It’s a month filled with fresh looks at familiar characters at Disney+, including those from a galaxy far, far away and a new incarnation of a teen doctor first made famous by Neil Patrick Harris. Shang-Chi, the latest entry in the MCU, was originally supposed to stream on Disney+ with Premiere Access, but plans for a hybrid release have been shelved, and the Asian superhero flick is now only available to watch in theaters. Still, there’s plenty of other titles to watch on Disney+ this September, beginning with a delightful animated dog striking out on his own.
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Dug Days (September 1)
Forky Asks a Question proved that Pixar could have a lot of fun spinning off supporting characters into delightful shorts. Will what worked for Forky work for Dug, the high-spirited talking dog from Up? Dug Days will give it a try, offering a season of short adventures from Dug’s perspective.
Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles (September 3)
Released earlier this year, the documentary Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry followed the singer and songwriter as she worked on her debut album. Directed by Robert Rodriguez, Happier Than Ever turns the focus to Eilish’s latest release via a front-to-back concert performance of the album at the Hollywood Bowl.
Dark Phoenix (September 3)
Fox’s run of X-Men movies ended quietly with the long-delayed release of The New Mutants last fall. But if the end of the series wasn’t already sealed by Disney’s acquisition of the studio, the reception met by this second attempt to adapt the comics’ famed Dark Phoenix Saga pretty much assured the end was near. Positioned as the first of a new trilogy, it instead brought the franchise that helped kickstart the superhero resurgence back in 2000 to an underwhelming end.
Tomorrowland (September 3)
Speaking of underwhelming, there are enough intriguing ideas and memorable sequences bouncing around in Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland that it’s kind of surprising it doesn’t work better than it does. Inspired by the theme park area of the same name, the 2015 film stars George Clooney as a disillusioned dreamer and Britt Robertson as the optimistic teen who enlists him to help her reach the wondrous land he glimpsed years ago. It doesn’t quite work, but there’s enough going on here to make it worth a look.
Doogie Kameāloha, M.D. (September 8)
While The Wonder Years gets a new version over on ABC, Disney+ plays hosts to the revival of another of the network’s late-eighties/early-nineties standouts, Doogie Howser. As the title suggests, this version’s a little different, following Lahela “Doogie” Kameāloha (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) as she struggles with everyday teen problems while working as a doctor in Hawaii after earning her medical degree from Harvard at sixteen.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (September 10)
The Pirates of the Caribbean series seemed to reach a natural end with Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End in 2007 and the departure of director Gore Verbinski. But film franchise’s never really die anymore. They just lay dormant for a while, as proven by this fourth entry, released in 2011 and directed by Rob Marshall. Playing Blackbeard’s daughter, Penelope Cruz joins series staple Johnny Depp.
Star Wars: Visions (September 22)
The Star Wars universe gets an anime remix with Visions, which brings in seven anime studios to put their own spin on all things Star Wars. It should offer a chance to see Star Wars through new lenses while doubling as a sampler for Japan’s top animation houses.
The Fault in Our Stars (September 24)
John Green’s bestselling young adult novel received a respectful, well-acted adaptation via Josh Boone’s 2014 film. Some smart casting helped, especially Shailene Woodley, who continued a breakout run begun with The Descendants by starring as Hazel, an Indianapolis teen living with cancer that will someday take her life. Ansel Elgort co-stars as her first love, who’s no stranger to illness himself.
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