‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’, ‘The Book of Boba Fett’ and ‘Welcome to Earth’ are arriving on Disney+ UK in December. (Disney/Lucasfilm/Kyle Christy/National Geographic)
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The return of Star Wars is the headline debut as Disney+ delivers its festive schedule. At the top of this particular Christmas tree, Temuera Morrison reprises his role for The Book of Boba Fett, which will spin off from the events of the second season of The Mandalorian last year.
Elsewhere, a handful of recent Disney animated releases are heading straight from cinemas to the streaming platform, while Diary of a Wimpy Kid arrives in the shape of a brand new animated movie adventure.
On the small screen front, the most eye-catching addition set outside of the galaxy far, far away is the limited documentary series Welcome to Earth. Will Smith spins off his most famous Independence Day line with this exploration of everything that makes our planet so spectacular.
Here’s everything on its way to Disney+ in the UK this month…
Original movies coming to Disney+ UK in December 2021The Last Duel (1 December)
Hot on the heels of its blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cinema run, Ridley Scott’s historical epic is making it to the Disney streaming platform. With critical acclaim at its back, The Last Duel will hope to find its audience in people’s homes.
The Rashomon-inspired plot delivers different perspective on an incident of alleged sexual violence, which spawns a trial by combat — the last officially-sanctioned duel in French history. The combatants are Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) and Sir Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon), as the latter fights the man accused of attacking his wife Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer).
Christmas…Again?! (3 December)
Scarlett Estevez leads time loop comedy ‘Christmas…Again?!’ (Disney Channel)
This Disney Channel movie follows an 11-year-old girl who becomes trapped in a festive time loop after making a wish to a shopping mall Santa Claus amid her parents’ divorces. Scarlett Estevez plays the young lead, while the director is Andy Fickman of recent John Cena comedy Playing With Fire.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (3 December)
After four live-action movies, one of the most distinctive children’s book series of recent years is bringing its visual style to the world of animation in this feature-length reboot. Author Jeff Kinney has penned the script for this tale and it’s his stories and illustrations which provide the inspiration for this tale of the importance of friendship, fronted by the compelling and unusual protagonist of the books.
The Rescue (3 December)
‘The Rescue’ tells the dramatic story of the 2018 Thai cave rescue. (National Geographic)
In 2018, 12 young football players and their coach became trapped in a cave in Thailand. The story of their rescue was followed from all over the world and, unsurprisingly, it subsequently became the subject of a studio bidding war. Netflix won the rights to the boys’ stories, while numerous films about the event have already been released.
This National Geographic effort focuses on the rescue divers and is helmed by husband and wife duo Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, who previously won an Oscar for the incredible Free Solo.
Ron’s Gone Wrong (15 December)
Released in cinemas recently, charming animated comedy Ron’s Gone Wrong is now making the journey to Disney+. In a world in which just about every kid has a robot companion known as a B-Bot, Barney (Jack Dylan Grazer) feels even more isolated until his dad finally brings one home.
Unfortunately, Ron (Zach Galifianakis) has fallen off the back of a truck and has a fair few malfunctions. The debut film from British studio Locksmith Animation, this one is well worth seeing.
Encanto (24 December)
Stephanie Beatriz leads the voice cast of new animated film ‘Encanto’. (Disney)
The release of a new Disney animation is always a cause for excitement, and that’s no different with Encanto — set for Disney+ in time for Christmas after a November cinema release. Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Stephanie Beatriz leads the voice cast, as the only member of her Colombian family who doesn’t appear to have magical powers. When her relatives’ magic begins to disappear, it’s down to her to save them. There are also original songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, which is yet another reason to catch this one.
It’s preceding short film Far From The Tree will also be on Disney+ from 24 December.
Original TV shows coming to Disney+ UK in December 2021The Big Leap (weekly from 1 December)
‘The Big Leap’ is heading to Disney+. (Sandy Morris/FOX/Disney)
In 2014, Channel 4 broadcast the reality series Big Ballet in which women not quite as thin as the average ballerina were taught to dance Swan Lake by Wayne Sleep and prima ballerina Monica Loughman. That reality premise has been fictionalised for new American series The Big Leap, which follows a group of diverse characters who sign up to take part in a dance competition.
Mickey & Minnie Wish Upon a Christmas (3 December)
In this festive special for Disney’s most famous characters, a series of mishaps ensures that Mickey, Minnie and all of their friends are separated and must try to find their way back home in time for their Christmas celebrations — with the help of a wishing star, of course.
Welcome to Earth (8 December)
Will Smith and Darren Aronofsky on the set of documentary series ‘Welcome to Earth’. (Kyle Christy/National Geographic/Disney+)
With big-name producer Darren Aronofsky behind the scenes, Will Smith shines a spotlight on some of the most mysterious and under-explored parts of our planet in Welcome to Earth. The six-part limited series sees Smith visiting volcanos, deserts and interacting with unusual creatures. Disney+ includes a lot of nature programming due to its ownership of National Geographic, but this is as A-list a documentary series as it gets.
Foodtastic (15 December)
Keke Palmer fronts this global competition show, which tasks artists with creating great works out of food items. There’s an extra Disney spin to proceedings as well, with the designs using the studio’s franchises as inspiration, including Star Wars, Muppets and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Wonder Years (weekly from 22 December)
Aired in ABC a few months ago, this series serves as a reboot of the previous show from the 1980s and early 1990s. Elisha “EJ” Williams plays 12-year-old protagonist Dean in the coming-of-age series, which explores his childhood as part of a middle-class Black family in 1960s Alabama. Don Cheadle provides narration as the older version of Dean.
The Book of Boba Fett (weekly from 29 December)
Temuera Morrison reprises his ‘Mandalorian’ role in spin-off series ‘The Book of Boba Fett’. (Lucasfilm/Disney)
At the end of the second season of The Mandalorian in December 2020, audiences saw Boba Fett take charge of Tatooine after felling Bib Fortuna. This series picks up with Fett and right-hand woman Fennec Shand as they attempt to assert their authority. Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen reprise their roles for the series, which has Robert Rodriguez, Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni and Bryce Dallas Howard among its roster of directors.
The Day After Tomorrow (Star, 2004)
Die Hard (Star, 1988)
The First Wave (2021)
From the Ashes (2017)
The Heat (Star, 2013)
Juno (Star, 2007)
The Last Ice (2020)
No Sleep Til Christmas (Star, 2018)
What A Man (Star, 2012)
Watch: Trailer for Jojo Rabbit
Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas (Star, 2019)
JoJo Rabbit (Star, 2019)
The Joy Luck Club (Star, 1993)
King Arthur (Star, 2004)
Downhill (Star, 2020)
Life Of Pi (Star, 2012)
The Man with One Red Shoe (Star, 1985)
Same Time Next Christmas (Star, 2019)
Derek DelGaudio’s In & Of Itself (2020)
A Hidden Life (Star, 2019)
Paddington 2 (2017)
‘Paddington 2’. (Credit: Studiocanal)
Da Vinci’s Demons S1-3 (Star)
Devs S1 (Star)
Drain the Oceans S3
Gabby Duran and the Unsittables S2
India From Above S1
Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi S1 (Star)
Black-ish S7 (Star)
Brickleberry S1-3 (Star)
Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi S2 (Star)
Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson return for the seventh season of ‘Black-ish’. (Richard Cartwright/ABC via Getty Images)
Disney Holiday Magic Quest (2020)
Atlas of Cursed Places S1
Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted S2
Malcolm in the Middle S1-7 (Star)
Sonny with a Chance S1-S2
Arendelle Castle Yule Log: Cut Paper Edition
Being the Queen (2020)
Eyewitness D-Day (2019)
American Housewife S1-5 (Star)
The Con S1 (Star)
Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist S1
Dog With a Blog S1-3
Made in a Day S1
‘Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist’. (National Geographic)
Al Davis vs The NFL (Star, 2021)
Big Shot (Star, 2013)
Brian and the Boz (Star, 2014)
Fantastic Lies (Star, 2016)
Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau (Star, 2013)
Life and Death in Paradise: Crocs in the Caribbean
Silly Little Game (Star, 2010)
This Magic Moment (Star, 2016)
Airport Security: Brazil S5
Bless This Mess S1-2 (Star)
Club Mickey Mouse S4
The Ghost and Molly McGee S1 E1-10
Ice Road Rescue S5
The Salisbury Poisonings (Star, 2020)
T.O.T.S. S3 E1-10
Rafe Spall stars in ‘The Salisbury Poisonings’. (James Pardon/DailyWorld.Live/Dancing Ledge)
Angry Sky (Star, 2015)
The Band That Wouldn’t Die (Star, 2009)
The Best That Never Was (Star, 2010)
Broke (Star, 2012)
No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson (Star, 2010)
Run Ricky Run (Star, 2010)
Slaying The Badger (Star, 2014)
Small Potatoes: Who Killed The USFL (Star, 2009)
Surviving the Mount St Helens Disaster (2020)
Watch: Trailer for The Book of Boba Fett