It won’t just be Marvel movies, Star Wars TV shows, and nostalgic animated films on Disney+ when the streaming service debuts this November. While Disney’s big entrance into the streaming world will indeed be heavy on library content and existing IP, it’ll also play host to a different genre altogether: documentary. Today, Disney+ announced the debut of the upcoming documentary series One Day at Disney, which highlights the men and women who bring life to some of Disney’s most beloved stories.
Each episode of One Day at Disney will profile a single remarkable person and their fascinating job, from cast members in the parks to Imagineers to Pixar animators. The series consists of 52 episodes in total, and each episode will run 4 to 7 minutes in length. Check out the trailer below:
But One Day at Disney will actually launch on Disney+ on December 3rd with a feature-length documentary special that will cover the following people:
- Eric Baker: The Walt Disney Imagineer who has overseen the creation of many of the intricately detailed props and lifelike creatures that inhabit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the newest lands at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts
- Ashley Girdich: A talented Walt Disney Imagineer who, as a Research and Development Project Manager, drives plans and helps teams execute some of the innovative robotics technology projects being created for our Parks around the world
- Eric Goldberg: The legendary animator known for creating the Genie in Aladdin and Phil in Hercules, directing Pocahontas, as well as for animating Mickey Mouse in the Academy Award-nominated short Get a Horse!
- Mark Gonzales: A Los Angeles native who works on the world-famous Disneyland Railroad
- Grace Lee: A senior illustration manager at Disney Worldwide Publishing who has worked on titles from Zootopia to Fancy Nancy
- Zamavus “Zama” Magudulela: The talented South African actor currently playing Rafiki in the Madrid production of phenomenally successful musical The Lion King
- Ryan Meinerding: Marvel Studio’s head of visual development who has worked on films including Avengers: Endgame and Guardians of the Galaxy
- Dr. Natalie Mylniczenko: The veterinarian who cares for creatures large and small at Walt Disney World Resort, including a number of endangered and threatened species.
- Jerome Ranft: The skilled Pixar artist who created detailed sculptures for animators to use as reference for such films as Finding Nemo, Toy Story 3, and Ratatouille
- Robin Roberts: The former ESPN sportscaster has been co-anchor of the Emmy® Award-winning, top-rated morning show, Good Morning America, since 2005
Following the debut of the docu-special on December 3rd, a new short-form episode will be released every week. And as if that wasn’t enough, Disney Publishing Worldwide will also release a 224-page coffee table book written by Bruce Steele. The book features 76 unique photo shoots that took place around the world, capturing images of employees and cast members from throughout the Walt Disney Company, from Shanghai Disneyland to ESPN to Pixar to the set of Modern Family.
I like the idea of a docuseries showing folks what really goes on behind the scenes at these various jobs, especially folks like parks cast members or Pixar employees, although since this is all produced in-house I wouldn’t necessarily expect a warts-and-all portrayal of life as a Disney employee. Indeed, with content like this there’s a fine line between documentary and, well, just a commercial for more Disney products, so it’ll be interesting to see what this Disney+ series looks like.
Hopefully this is just the first in a line of new documentary content focused on Disney stuff. I’d love to see a feature-length doc on the making of Galaxy’s Edge, for instance, or a day-in-the-life documentary about work at Pixar. Perhaps Disney+ could even play host to in-depth making-of documentary about specific films? They definitely have the access.
Disney+ launches on November 19th.