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Netflix wants to be bigger than Disney Plus for family animation

The streaming giant has big animated dreams

Netflix wants to be bigger than Disney Plus for family animation
Marc Chacksfield
21 January 2021

It's no surprise that in its recent earnings call, Netflix had to talk A LOT about Disney Plus. Easily the biggest rival to Netflix right now, it fielded many a question about the Mouse House's streaming success and, for the most part, it was very congratulatory.

One thing stood out for us, however, was just how big Netflix's animated ambitions were, with CEO Reed Hastings very clear that it wants to take on Disney in this area and made quite the statement.

"It's super impressive what Disney has done. It shows that members are interested and willing to pay more for more content because they're hungry for great stories, and Disney does have some great stories," Hastings said about its big rival. "It's going to be great for the world that Disney and Netflix are competing show by show, movie by movie.
"We're very fired up about catching them in family animation, maybe eventually passing them, we'll see, [there's] a long way to go just to catch them and maintaining our lead in general entertainment."

Fired up about surpassing Disney in family animation, eh? Oof, that is one hefty gauntlet throw. There is indeed a long way to go, given Disney has close to 100 years providing animated entertainment to the masses but it just shows how vested Netflix is in this area.

This can be seen in some of the big animation announcements it's made in recent months, including adding a whole host of Studio Ghibli titles on its platform in the UK and other countries. And its animation arm has continued to grow, with anime a particular highlight.

Co-CEO Ted Sandaros noted this in the earnings call, saying: "I used to try to get the team to wrap their head around the potential scale of the business by saying things like someday we'll be so big, we'll have a VP of anime. And then some days now, we're one of the largest producers of anime in the world."

These are the best Netflix shows right now and the best Netflix movies, too. These are the best Disney Plus shows and best Disney Plus movies around.