As we kick off the new year with a bang, there’s plenty of new content coming to our favorite streaming services to keep us entertained. While the streaming platform mostly focuses on TV with new episodes of your favorite shows that were recently released, Disney+ also has a handful of movies coming in January, but there are no new 2023 titles or Disney+ originals to enjoy.
Disney+ continues to update their library across all of their properties, and this month they’re focusing heavily on updating their National Geographic documentaries. These span several different subjects and all come from different times in mostly the last decade. If you want to learn something new, or just enjoy watching documentaries in general, you should definitely keep an eye out this month for what’s newly added to Disney+.
Strangest Bird Alive (January 6)
The Strangest bird alive which this documentary refers to is the ostrich. They have lived and existed in the Namibian desert for over 70 million years, but often struggle to survive. One of their biggest challenges each year is finding the right moment to breed. They want their babies to be hatched around when it rains so there is plenty of food and water for them to grow. The beautiful nature documentary tells viewers all about these strange habits of an ostrich, as well as how they live as not only the largest bird, but as flightless ones.
King Shakir Recycle (January 18)
King Shakir Recycle is a Turkish animated film based on a Turkish TV cartoon King Shakir. The titular character is a lion who leads both the film and TV series as he faces various issues with family and friends, often dealing with real-life issues in kid-friendly ways. This film focuses on scientists who try to solve pollution problems by collecting the garbage and sending it into space in rockets. However, this solution doesn’t last long, as the trash starts landing on alien planets that don’t like that Earth’s trash is now covering their own planets, and head towards Earth for revenge.
Sharkatraz (January 20)
Sharkatraz is a documentary about the two things the title combines: sharks and Alcatraz. In San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz prison sits on an island as a home to many of the toughest criminals out there. To prevent them from trying to escape, despite the obvious security measures they had, they created stories about sharks in the water to prevent them from trying to leave.
Although there are definitely sharks in the bay, some of the stories they tell, such as that all the sharks only have one fin so they constantly circle the rock, are completely made up. This documentary explores both Alcatraz and these myths, as well as the various sharks you can find in the bay.
Ocean’s Breath (January 20)
One of the most common subjects for nature documentaries is the ocean, as there is so much out there to learn, and so much we have yet to uncover. Ocean’s Breath is no different, focusing on the coral reefs of the planet and how they are all slowly dying out. Three scientists team up in this documentary to give us an up close and personal look at the coral reefs. They also try to find the reason why they die, since they are an important part of the sea and its life, by visiting the Dolomites, a mountain range in Italy that is the site of an ancient coral reef that has now turned into stone.
T. Rex autopsy (January 27)
T. Rex autopsy may sound like something impossible at first, but it’s actually something a team of four paleontologists did. Using the most complete T. Rex skeleton ever recovered, named Sue, as a reference, a silicon replica of the T. Rex was created only to be cut apart again by paleontologists.
They use this to try to determine how large the various organs would have been in the dinosaur, as well as where they would fit into the skeletal structures they have managed to piece together. Although not completely factual and historically accurate, as we will probably never know every single thing about real dinosaurs, it is still an interesting piece and something that helps give us a better understanding of dinosaurs
Challenger Disaster: Lost Tapes (January 27)
Challenger Disaster: Lost Tapes is about the story of the space shuttle Challenger in the days leading up to the tragedy. Without using narration or interviews, the documentary only compiles reports from journalists covering the story, footage from NASA and the crew themselves, and other rarely seen images and audio recordings. It brings the days and events leading up to the disaster into light, giving everyone a detailed overview of what happened behind the scenes surrounding this historic and tragic event. It also has a special focus on Christa McAuliffe, the first civilian to be launched into space, and the big deal this event was for her.
American Blackout (January 27)
This is not your average documentary: American Blackout is a realistic drama that explores the possibilities of what would happen if the power grid in the United States were hacked and taken down. Since any kind of electronic device is capable of being hacked into, and many other urban infrastructures will be greatly affected by this, the point of this film was to bring to life what would happen if such a thing happened.
IN American Blackoutthe public initially believed that power would return shortly after it went out, but as the ten days of outage continue, the country descends into anarchy as people begin to struggle to feed themselves and their families, as well as protect them.