Disney hopes to provide "some much needed moments of respite" with the launch of its highly anticipated streaming service in Ireland.
The service includes Star Wars, the Simpsons and Marvel, as well as decades of Disney's own classic material.
It could serve as a source of welcome relief for thousands of families who are facing the prospect of spending the next few weeks primarily indoors.
At launch, subscribers to Disney+ will have access to more than 500 films, some 26 original movies and series, and thousands of television episodes from the likes of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and more.
Among the standout new titles are 'The Mandalorian', the first ever live action Star Wars series; a live action re-telling of 'Lady and the Tramp'; 'The World According to Jeff Goldblum', a new docu-series from National Geographic; and 'The Imagineering Story', a six-part documentary from Emmy and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Leslie Iwerks.
These are in addition to the likes of 'The Simpsons', with more than 600 episodes now available on demand, and hit film titles in the 'Star Wars' and Marvel series, as well as kids favourites from the catalogues of Pixar and Disney.
The Disney+ platform first launched in the US in November 2019 and is seen as the latest challenger to the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime
Video and Apple TV+.
It aims to compete on price and in terms of its extensive library, calling on more well-known brands than any of its rivals. It is available in Ireland for €6.99 per month or €69.99 for an annual subscription, and can be accessed on a range of devices, including smart televisions, Apple and Google devices, and the XBox One games console. In Ireland, it is also available on Sky Q boxes.
Kevin Mayer, Chairman of Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International said: “As the streaming home for Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, and National Geographic, Disney+ delivers high-quality, optimistic storytelling that fans expect from our brands, now available broadly, conveniently, and permanently on Disney+. We humbly hope that this service can bring some much-needed moments of respite for families during these difficult times."
Ricky Strauss, president of Disney+ content and marketing, said he is hopeful that the slate of shows planned for later this year will still launch on time.
Several original shows starring characters from Marvel films, including 'The Falcon and The Winter Soldier', 'Loki' and 'WandaVision', have stopped production due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Mr Strauss said, "Those are all still programmed for the fall of '20, so hopefully, depending on what happens in the state of our world, when we are able to get back into production, we are hoping to launch those shows in the fall."