Disney has announced that it is releasing two of its biggest movies for home viewing early, in a response to the outbreak of coronavirus, officially called COVID-19. Both Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker and Frozen 2 will be available to stream before originally planned.
The release of Rise of Skywalker was met with mixed responses, to say the least, and many fans responded passionately for or against the movie. But if you or your kids are bored at home and looking for a way to distract yourself from the unending horror of world news right now, then you could do worse than spending a few hours in the Star Wars universe enjoying some dumb action scenes.
The movie was originally going to be released digitally on March 17th, but it is already available on digital stores like iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, and Vudu. It costs $20 to buy the movie digitally in 1080p HD, with options for digital rentals coming at the end of this month.
As well as Rise of Skywalker, Disney announced earlier this week that it would also be streaming the animated hit Frozen 2 three months before scheduled. The movie will be available from tomorrow in the U.S., and from March 17 it will be available to stream on Disney+ in Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand as well.
Disney said it was hoping to provide “some fun and joy during this challenging period” of coronavirus outbreak, which is especially stressful for parents looking to entertain their kids while schools are closed. According to UNESCO, the United Nations organization dedicated to promoting education and culture, schools or universities have been closed in 61 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and South America. Of these, 39 countries have closed schools completely, which affects over 420 million children.
With the closing of so many educational institutions, many are now turning to online education options instead. Countries including China, Italy, Japan, and Korea are using e-learning solutions to provide educational access to children who are stuck at home, although this raises worries that kids without access to newer technologies and fast internet could be left behind while their more privileged classmates can continue to learn with fewer encumbrances.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the availability of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It is only available for purchase digitally, not to stream on Disney+.
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