Disney has announced that a new viewing experience called IMAX Enhanced will be coming to Disney+ starting on Nov. 12. IMAX Enhanced will be available for 13 Marvel movies including Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings which debuts on Disney+ on the same day.
The IMAX Enhanced option expands the selected Disney films to IMAX’s extended aspect ratio which shows about 26% more of the movie than widescreen. However, the widescreen option will still be available.
IMAX Enhanced doesn’t mean that every movie will be in the extended aspect ratio. Many Marvel films, including Black Widow and Captain America: Civil War, were only partly shot in IMAX. So, it’s possible that only 30 minutes of the movie will be in this new aspect ratio. The only two Marvel films fully shot in IMAX are Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
In an interview with Deadline, IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond says that fans and filmmakers have been looking for more ways that fans can experience an IMAX-type quality at home.
“To me, it enhances the notion that streaming and the IMAX theatrical experience are complementary,” Gelfond said. “It’s not either-or. A lot of fans want to experience both.”
In addition to Shang-Chi, the IMAX Enhanced roster includes Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, Iron Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Captain America: Civil War,Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Captain Marvel, and Black Widow. Disney has said that the availability of each film on Disney+ will depend on region.
“We’re thrilled to create new value for Marvel fans and audiences on Disney+, and we’re looking forward to offering even more Imax Enhanced functionality in the future,” said Michael Paull, president of Disney+ and ESPN+.
The debut of IMAX Enhanced aligns with Disney+ Day, the celebration of the two-year anniversary of the launch of Disney+. This day will include plenty of new content from every sector of Disney+ including Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and National Geographic. Some of this new content includes Shang-Chi, Jungle Cruise, Enchanted, Season 2 of The World According to Jeff Goldblum, and Home Sweet Home Alone, the reboot of the Home Alone franchise. There will also be a few animated shorts including Olaf Presents, Ciao Alberto, and The Simpsons in Plusaversary, which will see the animated family celebrating the anniversary themselves.
Also coming on Disney+ Day is Marvel Studios’ 2021 Disney+ Day Special.This special will look at the past, present, and future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including some looks at upcoming Marvel projects. This could include first looks at upcoming Marvel Disney+ shows such as Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, She-Hulk, and Hawkeye, which debuts on Disney+ on Nov. 24.
It’ll be interesting to see how much IMAX Enhanced impacts the streaming experience. This new viewing experience could be expanded to other streaming services, changing how people view movies at home. Unless you have a state-of-the-art sound system and massive projector, this won’t fully capture the IMAX experience but it will be exciting to see how much IMAX Enhanced changes the streaming game.