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Le cinéma

Whats New on Disney Plus in September 2021

An anime screenshot from Star Wars Visions of a blonde boy in a white shirt and black vest holding a lightsaber that is wrapped in tentacles of red energy

Screenshot: Star Wars: Visions/Lucasfilm

For a certain segment of Star Wars fans—a segment of which I am not a part, though I have been cramming my head full of information about the franchise since roughly 1985—nothing is more important than arguing over what’s part of the canon. That is, which of the stories that have been told in this universe over the past 40-odd years actually “count.”

This argument grew extremely heated when Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 and declared almost everything that had come before the sale no longer canon, save for the theatrically released films. Some fans who had been following the galaxy far, far away across comics and books and video games for several decades were not happy; others embraced the new stories told by the more recent films and novels; some just liked to argue.

In short, Star Wars fans are rarely happy, which is why I think more of them should take my approach to the canon: If I like it, it’s part of the canon. If I don’t, it’s not. This helpful system means I don’t need to care that The Rise of Skywalker sucks (though it does), because it isn’t part of the canon. And judged by this rubric, Star Wars: Visions, an officially non-canonical series of anime shorts inspired by the sci-fi saga that premieres on Disney Plus on Sept. 22, is definitely canon. Because it looks awesome.

In many ways, Star Wars is a story built for anime. The training, setbacks, and ultimate triumphs faced by Jedi like Luke Skywalker and Rey, uh, Skywalker are heroes’ journeys that would be right at home in any shonen manga. (In fact, Star Wars has even been adapted to the Japanese comics format before—several times, actually.)

And Lucasfilm appears to have done Visions up right. As when the Wachowskis assembled The Animatrix—the compilation of anime shorts that nodded to the debt The Matrix film series owed to manga and anime tropes—rather than aping the style of Japanese animation studios, Disney/Lucasfilm has gone straight to the source, enlisting the skills of some of anime’s biggest talents to tell super saiyan stylish standalone stories within the Star Wars universe. The trailer promises they will be unlike anything we’ve seen before, which—at a time when the franchise seems to be eating its own tail—sounds good to me.

In other ambitious remake news, this month also sees the Disney Plus premiere of Doogie Kamealoha, M.D. (Sept. 8), a reboot of the ‘90s Neil Patrick Harris sitcom about a kid who becomes a doctor that shifts the locale to Hawaii and casts a girl—Andi Mack’s Peyton Elizabeth Lee—as the precocious physician.

Here’s everything else coming to the streamer in September, including more episodes of Marvel’s What If…? and the welcome appearance of yet more catalogue favorites (Pepper Ann kids, I’m talking to you).

Series with new episodes premiering weekly in September

  • Chip ‘n’ Dale: Park Life
  • Doogie Kamealoha, M.D. (Series premiere Sept. 8)
  • Monsters at Work
  • Turner & Hooch
  • Marvel’s What If…?

Movies and complete series/seasons coming in September

September 1

  • Alaska Animal Rescue (S2)
  • Cesar Millan: Better Human Better Dog (S1) Ep. Tall End Of Trauma
  • Cesar Millan: Better Human Better Dog (S1) Ep. Hijacked Pack
  • Dug Days (Shorts)
  • Disney Junior The Chicken Squad (S1), 4 episodes
  • Marvel Studios Legends: The Ten Rings

September 2

  • Behind the Scenes of Growing Up Animal

September 3

  • Dark Phoenix
  • Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles, featuring Billie Eilish
  • Smoky Mountain Park Rangers
  • Tomorrowland

September 8

  • Disney Junior Mira, Royal Detective (S2), 15 episodes
  • Disney’s Pepper Ann (S1 – S3)
  • The Incredible Dr. Pol (S19), 5 episodes
  • The Wizard of Paws (S1)

September 10

  • Disney Far Away From Raven’s Home
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
  • Twenty Something (Short)

September 15

  • Disney Junior Ready For Preschool (S2)
  • Life Below Zero: Next Generation (S16)
  • Miraculous Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir (S4), 13 episodes
  • Unknown Waters with Jeremy Wade (S1), 3 episodes

September 17

  • Confessions of a Shopaholic
  • Disney Descendants: The Royal Wedding
  • Disney’s Broadway Hits At London’s Royal Albert Hall 
  • Flooded Tombs Of The Nile
  • Jade Eyed Leopard
  • Nona (Short)

September 22

  • Dog: Impossible (S2)
  • Spidey And His Amazing Friends (S1), 7 episodes
  • Star Wars: Visions (S1)
  • Star Wars: Visions (Filmmaker Focus)

September 24

  • Spooky Buddies
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • Pixar: A Spark Story (Documentary premiere)

September 29

  • Disney’s Magic Bake-Off (S1), 7 episodes
  • Disney Junior Muppet Babies (S3), 8 episodes
  • Disney Junior Ready For Preschool (S1)
  • Disney Junior Vampirina (S3)
  • Great Barrier Reef (S1)
  • The Hatcher Family Dairy (S1)
  • Rolie Polie Olie (S1 – S5)