The ongoing question about Disney+ is how long they can go without original fiction content until The Mandalorian comes back. This month features no original fiction series at all, and though there is one big-budget, big-name piece of content, it wasn’t intended for the streaming service. Kenneth Branagh’s $125 million fantasy family film Artemis Fowl was originally supposed to play in theatres last year, but the studio rescheduled it for May 2020. When all theatrical releases were cancelled due to COVID-19, Disney decided to make it a Disney+ original instead. Depending on how long it takes for film and television production to resume, and how long it takes for movie theatres to reopen in a sustainable way, Disney might be tempted to send other theatrical movies directly to streaming.
Artemis Fowl (Friday, June 12)
Kenneth Branagh’s unexpected late-career reinvention as a reliable Disney studio director continued when he signed on to direct and co-produce this adaptation of Eoin Coffer’s fantasy novel. An Artemis Fowl film has been in and out of development ever since the first book came out, since it’s been described as Harry Potter meets James Bond. In this film, Artemis, a precocious young criminal genius must rescue his dad by coming up with a daring plan to steal a magical device from a secret society of magical fairies. Coffer has written many other books about Artemis, though the odds of a similar long-running film franchise don’t look very high at the moment.
Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 (episodes 1-6, of 6)
Friday, June 26: Not to be outdone by the eight-part Disney+ series about the making of The Mandalorian (see below) the streaming service now gives us a six-part documentary series about the making of an animated sequel.
It’s a Dog’s Life with Bill Farmer (episodes 4-7)
The longtime voice of Goofy travels America to meet dogs and people who own dogs.
Friday, June 5: “Disaster Rescue Dogs & a Dog Mayor” – Farmer learns that it is, in fact, possible for a dog to become mayor of a human town.
Friday, June 12: “The Surfing Corgi & Bee Dogs” – Apparently there are dogs that have a special ability to keep bees alive.
Friday, June 19: “Stunt Dogs & Water Rescue Dogs” – Dogs that are forced to perform for humans, and dogs that go out in the water to rescue humans.
Friday, June 26: “Detective Dogs & Truffle Hunting Dogs” – Some dogs search for other animals, while others sniff for truffles.
Be Our Chef (Episode 11)
The season finale for this attempt to combine the cooking-show format with Disney synergy: every episode is about trying to cook meals that are also promotions for Disney films.
Friday, June 5: “The Spectacular” – The remaining families are asked to make meals based on Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. Also features plugs for Disney theme parks and a special guest appearance by Mickey Mouse.
Disney Family Sundays (Episodes 31-34)
It’s like “Be Our Chef” except instead of making meals that advertise Disney movies, families make crafts projects that advertise Disney movies.
Friday, June 5: “101 Dalmatians: Onesie”
Friday, June 12: “Winnie the Pooh: Bag Toss”
Friday, June 19: “Monsters, Inc.: Water Bottles”
Friday, June 26: “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” [crafts project TBA]
One Day at Disney (episodes 27-30)
A quicker approach to Disney self-promotion: each week this series offers a short look at the life and work of a Disney employee.
Friday, June 5: “George Montano: Plasterer” – A 50-year veteran of construction at Disney theme parks, whose father was also a Disney employee.
Friday, June 12: “Scot Drake: Imagineering Creative” – An executive in charge of helping to create theme park attractions.
Friday, June 19: “Candice Valdez: Radio Disney Host” – A look at the art of interviewing Disney stars and introducing Disney music.
Friday, June 26: “Marc Smith: Story Artist” – The director of storyboards for Frozen 2 gives us a look at the process of figuring out how to tell a story through drawings.
Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian (Episodes 6-8, of 8)
Until Disney+ can finally get the new episodes of “The Mandalorian” up and running, we have to settle for this documentary series which takes eight episodes to explain how the eight episodes of the first season were made.
Friday, June 5: “Visualization” – The crew explains the movie genres that influenced Star Wars and how that influences the look of the show.
Friday, June 12: “Score” – Interviews and recording sessions with series composer Ludwig Göransson.
Friday, June 19: “Connections” – Producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni talk about Star Wars shout-outs we might have missed in their Star Wars series.
New Library Titles
Mighty Med (June 12)
Disneyland: The Liberty Story (June 12)
Disneyland: The Story of the Animated Drawing (June 12)
A.N.T. Farm (June 26)
Avengers: Infinity War (June 26)
Raven’s Home, season 3 (June 26)
Disneyland: Man in Space (June 26)
Disneyland: Mars and Beyond (June 26)
101 Dalmatians, season 1 (June 19)
Goldie & Bear (June 19)
Muppet Babies Play Date (June 19)
Prep & Landing (June 19)
Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice (June 19)
Schoolhouse Rock! (June 19)
Toy Story of Terror! (June 19)
Toy Story that Time Forgot (June 19)
National Geographic & Disneynature:
Alaska’s Grizzly Gauntlet (June 5)
Chasing the Equinox (June 5)
Drain the Oceans (June 5)
Secrets of Wild India (June 5)
The Greeks (June 5)
Weird But True! (June 5)
Wild Hawaii (June 5)
Secrets of the Zoo, season 2 (June 12)
Egypt’s Treasure Guardians (June 19)
Brain Games, season 8 (June 26)