A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Disney Movies Anywhere allows you to organize and stream your collection of Disney films from one hub (there's also an app version). You'll connect one of the accounts you already use to purchase media (iTunes, Google Play, or Vudu), and when you buy a Disney title, it'll show up in both places. It's not a subscription service like Netflix; you'll buy or rent each movie separately and then watch through the site or your mobile device. Closed captioning and parent controls are easy to manage, and there's a rewards system that offers points for both digital and physical Disney purchases. Access controls allow parents to disable purchases and block films with particular ratings, such as PG-13, for each individual device. The site is lovely and designed with classic Disney care, but you may run into some connectivity issues when viewing on the site, depending on your Internet connection.
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What's it about?
With stunning layouts and welcoming design, Disney Movies Anywhere organizes about 450 full-length feature films sortable by name, release date, what's featured, or "your collection," titles you've purchased digitally. Registration is quick and simple and requires an email and a password. To actually rent or purchase a film, you're redirected to your platform of choice, (iTunes, Google Play), which must be already installed on your PC or device. The purchased title is now available in both places. When renting, you have 30 days to start watching; after you click play, the film will be available for 24 hours.
Is it any good?
DISNEY MOVIES ANYWHERE presents its collection of classics and latest hits beautifully, and browsing is a joy. Movies can be listed by release date, giving a visual representation of the Disney legacy starting with its 1937 debut Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Twenty-three languages are available for subtitles, and you can like and share on Twitter or Facebook, create a wish list, or send someone a gift.
Though it's not totally a necessity, it's very nice to have all your Disney movies accessible from one place; and with parental controls, it's possible to let kids roam the site to find their own favorites. One problem is that the streaming itself can be uneven. While we watch a single movie online, connections dropped and the screen froze, and restarting after these issues was tricky. App streaming is smoother. Rentals are a bit more expensive than competitors, but the site sometimes offers freebies and bonus content. Amazon Instant Video and Netflix offer a handful of Disney movies for a monthly fee, but if you want the full Disney pantheon at your fingertips, this is the site for you.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about collecting things. When it comes to movies, what's the difference between owning and renting, especially in this digital age?
Settle in for a cozy family movie night once a week to make the experience special. Many Disney films deal with complex themes; you can chat about them afterward over hot cocoa.
- Subjects: Language & Reading: storytelling, vocabulary
Social Studies: cultural understanding, events, global awareness, history
Arts: dance, film, music
- Skills: Emotional Development: empathy, identifying emotions, persevering, perspective taking
Responsibility & Ethics: following codes of conduct, making wise decisions
- Genre: Video Sites
- Pricing structure: Paid (Most movies are about $4.99 to rent and $14.99 to buy and store online but prices do vary.)