/ Travel & Leisure

Are you paying more for lockdown entertainment?

From Netflix and Prime Video to the newly launched Disney Plus: have you started paying out more for TV and films to keep entertained during the lockdown?

I write this while sitting on my bed, sharing a room with my sister and having just watched three Disney movies in a row. Is the year 1999?

Sadly not. It’s 2020 and I’m back home with my family for a few weeks while we all self-isolate.

Read all the latest COVID-19 news and advice on our dedicated hub

The week an effective lockdown in the UK was announced was probably one of the weirdest weeks in my lifetime. Millions of people across the country now find themselves in their own homes trying to discover new ways to entertain themselves.

So far I’ve dyed my hair, cleaned out the shed, tried to teach sign language to my dogs (we’re getting there) and I’m slowly learning to cook. 

TV & film streaming

Disney’s timing has been impeccable. As people across the country exhaust their streaming services of movies and TV shows to watch, Disney Plus has launched in the UK.

Our experts have put together a guide on the new service to see how it compares with the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, NOW TV and Britbox.

The US has already had access to it for some time, so I’ve been keen to see if it could live up to the hype.

But then I thought… haven’t I already paid for these before? My attic is full of Disney VHS tapes from my childhood!

Do I need another expense?

All of this got me thinking further: do I really need to spend £5.99 a month on another streaming site?

After all, I already pay for both Netflix and Prime Video. I love the Disney films I grew up with, but is it worth another expense on top of the ones I have now?

Sure, the government’s current rules and guidelines mean I can’t physically spend my money in pubs and restaurants, but I’m not sure if I’m convinced yet, especially as I feel I’ve already shelled out for some of these films before.

The attic is full of old VHS tapes… now where did I put those DVDs I replaced them with!?

Have you paid for a streaming service since the lockdown began? Which is your favourite? Are you tempted by Disney Plus?

And one more question while I’m here… what’s the best Disney film? Obviously it’s Mulan.


I’m fortunate enough to live with someone who has access to both Prime Video and Netflix, so I’ve got away with shelling out more! But I’d definitely be tempted if I didn’t have access or already own some of the shows I watch regularly – I’m definitely watching more TV.

Oh, and the Jungle Book is the best classic Disney film, Peter Pan a close second for me. More recent I’d go with Toy Story.

The picture at the top of this Conversation shows a scene from Walt Disney’s classic 1940 animated film Fantasia which I would say is by far the best Disney animation of all time. Yes, Jungle Book and Peter Pan are very good, and the Toy Story set are wonders of digital animation and technical ingenuity, but there was something timeless and enchanting about Fantasia which has never been bettered in my opinion.

The image shows Mickey Mouse in the guise of the apprentice given an almost impossible task and who tries to outsmart his master, the Sorcerer, but ends up making a mess of the job. The animation was set to a symphonic poem by Paul Dukas. The whole movie was a series of cinematic interpretations of pieces of classical music, including the Pastoral Symphony and the Dance of the Hours, with stylised cartoon animals playing all the parts. Sentimental in places, frightening in others, but overall an incredible artistic concept suitable for any audience in any language.

I haven’t seen Fantasia in full for over sixty five years but I can remember it [and the cinema we saw it in] as if it were yesterday. I suppose I could find it somewhere and stream it but that would probably destroy the magic.

I don’t seem to have a lot of spare time during the lockdown so I am watching much less television than in normal times. That’s possibly because so much of the routine stuff is utter rubbish. – and I am fed up with looking at people’s bookshelves as they improvise links from their living rooms and studies. How can their places be so neat and tidy? My home office looks as though a volcanic eruption of clutter and a tsunami of paper have overwhelmed it in the middle of an earthquake scoring eight on the Richter scale.

We started taking our children to Disneyland Paris shortly after it opened, as they were just the right age. Since then we’ve acquired every Disney Animation ever produced. In terms of ‘the best’. that’s a pretty difficult thing to determine with any degree of certainty, simply because different things appeal to different people.

However, I would argue that Beauty and Beast marked the renaissance of the Disney Animation genre, even though the best song was omitted and later featured in a special edition, the most popular with audiences of little girls was Frozen, hugely down to the outstandingly talented Kristen Bell and her co-star’s Let It Go, anything by Pixar, since it appeals to the little boy in each of us and the oddly fascinating Pooh stories still being produced rank amongst the best.

I chose Fantasia for the image deliberately – I have strong childhood memories of it as the whole of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice terrified me as a child!

I thought the Night on the Bare Mountain sequence was fairly gruesome too; Mussorgsky’s music doesn’t help.

To be pedantic, it was actually Rimsky Korsakov’s arrangement of the Mussorgsky’s piano original. RK was a strange bloke, who liked to experiment with extending his senses and who never really came to terms with Tchaikovsky’s greater fame and success.

I noticed that Roku [the streaming-stick maker] has just launched a new streaming channel for the UK viewer. It promises 10,000 films and British TV series like Homes Under the Hammer. I was getting interested for a minute.

I downloaded Disney Plus a couple of weeks ago, and it’s been nice having it whilst we are self-isolating. I haven’t watched a lot of these films in years so it’s great to be able to just pick and choose from the selection so easily. My favourite Disney film is Aladdin.

Disney held that back for a couple of years over ‘political sensitivities’. The live action remake is also pretty good, although Will Smith wasn’t really a good sub for the late Robin Williams—but then, who would have been?

Lindsay John Smith says:
14 April 2020

When will Sky refund Sky sports subscribers
or is it best just to cancel
Mr L Smith

Somewhat off-topic, but does anyone else get marketing email from Netflix? They are doing their best to make sure that I never subscribe to their services. I wonder how they acquired my email address.

The arrival of the GDPR regulations put an end to junk email from several well known companies that I had never used.