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While favorites like Star Wars: The Bad Batch and The Mysterious Benedict Society continue their runs, July sees Disney+ unveiling two big new features (simultaneous to their theatrical debuts), a pair of intriguing looking documentaries about professionals with unusual jobs, and, first up, a spin-off of a Pixar classic.
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Monsters at Work (July 7)
If any Pixar movie lent itself to being turned into a workplace comedy it’s Monsters, Inc. Who wouldn’t want to know more about the workings of a factory powered by children’s screams and the characters who work there? For this spin-off, Ben Feldman voices Tylor Tuskmon, a newcomer to Monsters, Inc. who discovers the place isn’t quite what he was expecting. John Goodman and Billy Crystal reprise their roles as, respectively, James P. “Sulley” Sullivan and Mike Wazowski. (And, in case you were wondering, yes, John Ratzenberger has a role as well.)
Black Widow (Disney+, July 9)
Yes, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) died a tragic death in Avengers: Endgame, but that doesn’t mean the movies can’t mine her past for adventures. It’s a troubled past, however: set after the events of Captain America: Civil War, this Cate Shortland-directed film finds Black Widow reckoning with her days as a Russian super-spy, and figures from her past played by Florence Pugh and David Harbour. (Available for an additional fee via Premium Access on Disney+. Also in theaters.)
Loki (Finale, July 14)
Elsewhere in the MCU, this series focusing on the time-hopping adventures of Thor’s trickster brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) draws to a close. The series has taken several unpredictable turns over the course of its run. Expect the same from this final episode (though a second season might be in the works).
We Bought a Zoo (July 16)
Anyone wanting to chase all that superhero action with gentler fare might want to check out We Bought a Zoo, a family-friendly Cameron Crowe film about fatherhood, loss, and zookeeping. Scarlett Johansson co-stars (but don’t expect her to engage in any butt-kicking spy heroics here).
Turner & Hooch (July 21)
In 1989, Tom Hanks starred in Turner & Hooch, a comedy about Scott Turner, a police detective who reluctantly becomes partners with a messy dog. Fast-forward a few decades to this new series focusing on Scott Turner Jr., an officer of the law who also becomes partners with a dog. What are the odds? Boding well: this spin-off/sequel is created by Matt Nix, whose Burn Notice confirms he knows his way around a breezy crime series.
Behind the Attraction (July 21)
Fans of theme parks should delight in this behind-the-scenes look at the stories behind some of Disney theme parks’ most famous attractions, which features episodes devoted to the Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain and other favorites.
Playing With Sharks: The Valerie Taylor Story (July 23)
This new National Geographic documentary explores the life and career of Valerie Taylor, who, with her late husband Ron Taylor, spent a lifetime studying, filming, and educating the public about sharks. Directed by Sally Aitken, the film spans the entirety of Taylor’s career and features interviews with Taylor herself. (Shark fanatics take note: it’s one of several shark-themed projects debuting on the service this month.)
Stuntman (July 23)
Another behind-the-scenes look at an undersung pioneer, Stuntman traces the career of Eddie Braun, a stuntman whose career stretches from The Dukes of Hazzard through the present. As he considers retirement he decides to go out trying to recreate one of the most dangerous stunts ever attempted (and never successfully accomplished): Evel Knievel’s jump over Snake River Canyon.
Turning the Tables with Robin Roberts (July 28)
Good Morning America host Robin Roberts holds (literal) roundtable discussions with a trio of female guests. The setting is casual but the conversations cover racism, sexism, and the struggles of female professionals in all walks of life. Roberts’ guests in this first season include Raven Simone, Tig Notaro, and Debbie Allen.
Jungle Cruise (Theaters / Disney+, July 30)
The latest Disney theme park to get the feature film treatment stars Dwayne Johnson hired by a British scientist (Emily Blunt) to search for the Tree of Life. Will their journey be free of adventure? Not if a rival team and a jungle filled with wild animals has anything to say about it. (Available for an additional fee via Premium Access. Also in theaters.)