As first spotted by DejaView, Hulu has added almost 30 National Geographic documentaries to its ‘expiring’ page for the end of March – and given that Disney’s streamer boasts its own dedicated National Geographic hub, we expect many of these non-fiction features to land on Disney Plus next month.
Disney hasn’t confirmed as much just yet, but with both Hulu and National Geographic now majority-owned by The Walt Disney Company, it’d be a big surprise to see these documentaries – many of which are already available on international versions of Disney Plus – move elsewhere.
These aren’t small independent features, either. Hugely popular long-running series like Nazi Megastructures appear on Hulu’s list of outgoing documentaries, as well as newer projects like 9/11: One Day in America (which was recently commissioned to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the September 11 attacks).
Check out the full list of titles below:
- To Catch A Smuggler
- Trafficked With Mariana Van Zeller
- Locked Up Abroad
- Pop Goes The Vet
- Drug Lords: The Next Generation
- Narco Wars
- Drugs Inc
- Hitler’s Last Stand
- Nazi Megastructures
- North Korea: Inside the Mind of a Dictator
- Blood On The Wall
- Great Shark Chow Down
- Cannibal Sharks
- Shark Movers: Deadly Cargo
- Forecast Shark Attack
- Activate: The Global Citizen Movement
- Bin Laden’s Hard Drives
- Superstructures: Engineering Marvels
- The March On Washington
- Apollo: Back To The Moon
- The Armstrong Tapes
- Ultimate Survival WWII
- Extreme Rescue
- Legendary Catch
- Dead By Dawn
- Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer
- Snake City
- 9/11: One Day in America
As we alluded to earlier, some of the documentaries on this list already exist on Disney Plus in non-US regions – Nazi Megastructures, for instance, has been available to stream on the UK version of the service for some time – which makes us even more confident that they’ll be making the switch from Hulu to Disney Plus in the very near future.
This also comes just a week after Disney confirmed that former Netflix shows Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders and The Punisher will be joining Disney Plus' back catalog of Marvel TV shows on March 16.
Analysis: a frenzy for factual drama
The battle between platforms like Netflix, Disney Plus and HBO Max to stock the best movies and TV shows is well documented, but more and more emphasis is being placed on creating quality documentary content in all corners of the streaming wars.
Buoyed by the pandemic-era popularity of series including Tiger King and The Last Dance, Netflix has enjoyed particular success in producing some of the best documentaries of the last few years. The approach has paid dividends, too – for a time, The Tinder Swindler ranked as the biggest movie on Netflix (outperforming much more expensive feature-length projects on the service).
Disney, on the other hand, hasn’t dedicated as much in-house resources to producing new documentary content, but its acquisition of National Geographic has outsourced the task to arguably the best filmmaking hands in the non-fiction business (Free Solo won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2019, while 2021’s The Rescue is nominated at this year’s ceremony).
The arrival of 30 more documentaries, then – on the US version of Disney Plus, at least – further increases the value of a streaming service that poses the biggest immediate threat to the long-standing supremacy of Netflix.
- These are the best Disney Plus shows to stream right now
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.