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Disney Plus reveals first 9 Australian original programs


The titles will be coming to Disney Plus in 2022 and 2023.

Disney Plus has officially announced its first batch of local content commissions in Australia. The titles are a mixture of documentaries, lifestyle content and drama series. They feature some big talent from the film and TV world, including Miranda Otto, Guy Pearce, Deborah Mailman, Rove McManus and more.

The shows are expected to land on Disney Plus throughout 2022 and 2023. Many of these titles are expected to expand Disney Plus' adult-focused Star general entertainment offering. All will be available both locally and internationally on Disney Plus with release dates to be announced.

Here we take a closer look at the new announcements.

Matildas: The World at Our Feet

  • Lead talent: Sam Kerr (captain), Ellie Carpenter (defender), Mary Fowler (forward)
  • Creatives: Steve Bibb (executive producer), Christopher G. Cowen (executive producer), Katie Bender Wynn (director), David Briegel-Jones (series producer)
  • Filming locations: Townsville, Canberra, Sydney, Dubai, France, London, Sweden

This docu-series will focus on The Matildas' journey to the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 as told by the players. The cameras have already started rolling from the first match of the 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup. It will follow the women footballers preparing for the game's biggest tournament.

Shipwreck Hunters Australia

  • Lead talent: Johnny Debnam, Nush Freedman, Captain Ash Sutton, Ryan Chatfield, Andre Rerekura
  • Creatives: Steve Bibb (executive producer), Brendan Hutchens (director and producer), Katherine Barrett (series producer), Darren McCagh (director of photography), Meredith Watson Jeffrey (editor), Noah Norton (editor)
  • Filming locations: Western Australia

Centred around a group of highly skilled divers, underwater filmmakers and maritime archaeologists, Shipwreck Hunters Australia is a 6-part docuseries. In each episode, the team explores a remote location off the coast of Western Australia to uncover long-lost shipwreck secrets.

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Chasing Waves

  • Lead talent: Connor O'Leary, Mahina Maeda, Kanoa Igarashi, Hiroto Ohhara, Sara Kohrogi, Shino Matsuda
  • Creatives: Christopher G. Cowen (executive producer), Jason Baffa (executive producer, director), Andrew Fried (executive producer), Dane Lillegard (executive producer)
  • Filming locations: Japan, Australia, Hawaii, California, Spain, Portugal

Chasing Waves explores surf culture in Japan, highlighting the push and pull between convention and innovation. The 8-episode docu-series captures the surf industry from freestyle surfers to Olympic hopefuls and those on the business side of things.

Fearless: The Inside Story of the AFLW

  • Lead talent: AFLW Football Clubs, Adelaide, Collingwood, Greater Western Sydney, Western Bulldogs
  • Creatives: Anne-Maree Sparkman (executive producer), Michael Venables (director), Becky Taylor (series producer)
  • Filming locations: Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney

Capturing the action from the AFL Women's (AFLW) competition, the 6-part series spotlights 4 clubs: Adelaide Crows, Collingwood, GWS Giants and Western Bulldogs.

The series goes beyond the action on the pitch though as it also shows how the AFLW is at the forefront of celebrating diversity and inclusion. It will also display how its players are paving the way in professional sport and helping change the sporting and cultural psyche of Australia.

What's Your Toy Story?

  • Lead talent: Rove McManus
  • Creatives: Rove McManus (executive producer), Kevin Whyte (executive producer), Jon Casimir (executive producer)
  • Filming locations: To be announced

This competition series will see teams of kids and grown-ups show off their creativity, innovation and storytelling as they bring their own toy stories to life. The set will be inspired by Pixar. Rove McManus will host the show.

Donna Hay Christmas

  • Lead talent: Donna Hay
  • Creatives: Donna Hay (executive producer), Benjamin Jones (director)
  • Filming locations: Avalon, New South Wales

It's a 4-episode series produced and hosted by Australia's food and lifestyle icon Donna Hay as she serves up an Australian Christmas menu.

The Clearing

  • Lead talent: Teresa Palmer, Miranda Otto, Guy Pearce, Hazem Shammas, Mark Coles-Smith, Tom Budge, Erroll Shand, Lily La Torre
  • Creatives: Matt Cameron (co-creator and co-writer), Elise McCredie (co-creator and co-writer), Jeffrey Walker (director), Gracie Otto (director), Jude Troy (producer), Osamah Sami (co-writer)
  • Filming locations: Rural Victoria, Melbourne

The psychological thriller is an 8-part event series inspired by the real-life Australian cult The Family and its founder Anne Hamilton-Byrne. It is based on J.P. Pomare's novel In the Clearing.

Teresa Palmer (A Discovery of Witches, Ride Like a Girl), Miranda Otto (The Usual Suspects, Homeland) and Guy Pearce (Jack Irish, Mare of Easttown) lead the cast. The show is created and written by Matt Cameron (Jack Irish, Secret City) and Elise McCredie (Stateless, Ride Like a Girl).

The Artful Dodger

  • Lead talent: To be announced
  • Creatives: David Maher (co-creator, executive producer), David Taylor (co-creator, executive producer), James McNamara (writer, co-creator, co-executive producer), Andrew Knight (writer, co-executive, producer), Jeffrey Walker (co-executive producer, director), Vivienne Walshe (writer), Miranda Tapsell (writer)
  • Filming locations: Scoping locations in New South Wales and Victoria

This 8-episode drama series explores the adult double life of Charles Dickens's famous character Dodger, who's now a surgeon but who can't escape his love of crime. The inspiration for 2 of his most famous characters, Fagin and Jack Dawkins AKA The Artful Dodger, was transported to Australia for his crimes.

It takes place 15 years on from the events of Oliver Twist and is set in the frontier colonies of 1850s Australia.

Last Days of the Space Age

  • Lead talent: Jesse Spencer, Radha Mitchell, Deborah Mailman, Linh-Dan Pham
  • Creatives: David Chidlow (creator and writer), Bharat Nalluri (director), Laura Waters (executive producer), Emma Fitzsimons (executive producer), Chris Loveall (executive producer), Stephanie Swedlove (executive producer)
  • Filming locations: Sydney, Perth

It's an 8-part dramedy set in 1979 Western Australia as major headlines are being created in the area. Perth hosts the Miss Universe pageant, a power strike threatens to plunge the region into darkness and the US space station Skylab crashes near Esperance.

Against this backdrop, 3 families in a tight-knit coastal community find their marriages, friendships and futures put to the test. The cast includes Radha Mitchell (Man on Fire, Olympus Has Fallen), Jesse Spencer (Chicago Fire, House) and Deborah Mailman (Total Control, Offspring).

Can't wait for the Disney Plus Australian originals?

While these titles aren't available yet, you can still subscribe to Disney Plus in preparation.

Disney Plus costs $11.99 a month or $119.99 annually and doesn't currently offer a free trial. You get access to a wide range of content though, including titles from Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar. Disney Plus features TV shows and movies, as well as documentaries, specials and reality TV.

Some of the recent highlights to tide you over until the new Australian shows are released include Marvel's Moon Knight, Star original The Kardashians and fantasy competition series The Quest.

Want to learn more about what's on Disney Plus? Check our list of best Disney Plus shows on offer, or Finder's review of Disney Plus.

Image source: Disney Plus

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