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What Will Apple TV Plus Offer Animation Fans?

The streaming wars are about to get a whole lot more complex, with new services incoming from Disney, Warner Media and NBCUniversal. But the most mysterious of all was the new service from Apple. While announcements were made about programing, nobody knew what to expect of the service itself. With Apple TV Plus due to launch on November 1, things have finally begun to become clearer. What are Apple offering- and what will it offer animation fans?

Apple TV Plus's unique selling point is that it aims to streamline the viewing experience. It brings together the new shows and films exclusive to the service along with access to thousands of movies and series to rent and buy and content from other popular streaming services. It's personalised (so you'll only be shown the services you're subscribed to) and curated. If you have an Apple device, you already have access to the app (minus the new Apple TV Plus content) but later this year, the app will also be coming to other devices- smart TVs, streaming boxes and smart sticks. One year's access will come free with every new Apple device, and there will be a 7-day free trial.



Apple is at a major disadvantage in that they don't have any licenced content (unlike Netflix or Amazon) or an existing back catalogue of their own (like Disney or Warner Media). So subscribers are paying ($4.99/£4.99 a month) just for Apple's originals... which are currently a bit of an unknown quantity. The tech giant is investing heavily in getting big names like Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams and Oprah Winfrey on board but will that be enough to get people to sign up?

And for animation fans, the offerings are currently looking sparse. The only animated content available from launch is Snoopy In Space from Wildbrain. The series is apparently educational and " features Snoopy as he fulfils his dreams and embarks on his next big adventure—becoming a NASA astronaut. Joined by Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang, Snoopy takes command of the International Space Station and explores the moon and beyond." Sounds a bit out of character for Peanuts, but the 2D animation looks nice enough.



Beyond that, Bob's Burgers creator Loren Bouchard is reportedly bringing musical comedy Central Park to the service. But we've heard nothing more since it was first announced, and don't know just when we might expect it.

Apple's big coup in animation was picking up Wolfwalkers, the new feature from Song Of The Sea director Tomm Moore and Cartoon Saloon. Apple has recently confirmed that some of their feature film originals would receive cinema screenings before hitting the app, so we're hopeful there may be a chance to see this on a big screen as well. It's probably no mistake that Apple chose a film from a Studio with multiple Oscar nominations under its belt. We'd wager that Apple are going to be hoping for awards glory when this finally arrives.

Other than Wolfwalkers,  in terms of animation, Apple TV Plus will have very little to offer.  The film is currently in production, so we wouldn't expect it before the end of next year at the earliest (eyeing the 2021 awards season).

The idea of bringing services together in one app looks shrewd, as the streaming landscape continues to fracture. If you've got a large library of iTunes movies or TV, it may seem even more convenient. The ability to add extra channels is pretty useful too. But ultimately for everyone else, it looks like Apple has got their work cut out to convince people they need their service in their lives. And for animation fans- it looks like it'll be a while before it gives its rivals anything to worry about.


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