“Playdate with Destiny” was the second non-Pixar short to play before a Pixar movie and the first Fox property to do so since Disney acquired the company. The short stars Maggie Simpson as she’s separated from her family, embarking on a “first playdate” with a new friend. A Simpsons short playing before a Pixar movie might not make a lot of sense, but considering how important The Simpsons is to Disney Plus, having a new short available for people at home is a win for the company.
The Simpsons is a mega-popular series that Disney wants to control. Incorporating The Simpsons into bigger Disney projects, like a short before a Pixar movie, and making it a core part of Disney Plus is a near-perfect example of company synergy. (A nightmarish example, perhaps.) Unlike many of Disney’s big draws to the streaming platform — Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar films — The Simpsons is one of the rare, lengthy shows that people can throw on night after night as comfort TV.
Disney Plus needs new content to keep its more than 50 million subscribers entertained. That’s harder to do right now when production across the world has shut down as people social distance to try to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Some of Disney’s planned shows have been impacted, including post-production work on the highly anticipated Marvel series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
As a result, Disney is releasing more shorts (like a new digital Frozen series that plays on YouTube), and it’s bringing certain titles scheduled for theatrical release to Disney Plus as streaming exclusives. Artemis Fowl, which was supposed to be released in August, will now stream on Disney Plus as an exclusive. Disney also brought a number of movies, including Onward and Frozen 2, to Disney Plus early, giving people stuck at home more movies to stream as people seek out entertainment to fill their days.
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