Movies forgo theatrical releases in favor of streaming alternatives

By Lena Qian, Features Editor

Because of the closing of theatres, recent highly anticipated movies have ended up either going straight to streaming or have gone to streaming soon after its theatrical release date. Here are descriptions of some of the most popular of these movies and where to find them from the safety of your home.

Photo courtesy of Disney.


Hua Mulan (Liu Yifei) disguises herself as a man to take her injured father’s place in the Imperial Army. Not only does she face the obstacle of keeping her true gender a secret, but she also needs to protect the emperor and all of China from the hands of the Northern invaders. On her journey, she finds loyalty, bravery, and most importantly, honesty.

However, the movie has received a lot of criticism. To keep the storyline as true as possible to the poem it is based on, two of the most prominent characters in the original, Mushu and Li Shang, are not in the live-action remake. Additionally, some of the actors, including the leading actress, Liu Yifei, voiced support for the Hong Kong police, resulting in numerous boycotts of the movie. Diversity in the movie has also been an issue as only the actors in the movie are Asian, while the rest of the crew, including the writers and costume designer, are not.

If you are looking for an action-packed, girl-powered movie, and can overlook its faults, you can get the movie, which was released on September 5, on Disney+ for $29.99.

Photo courtesy of Vertical Entertainment.

Miss Juneteenth

A former winner of the Miss Juneteenth pageant, Turquoise Jones (Nicole Beharie) enters her unmotivated daughter, Kai (Alexis Chikaeze), into the same pageant, in which the winner receives a full scholarship to any historically black institution of her choice. Focused on her daughter’s future, Turquoise does everything she can to prepare Kai for the pageant.

“Miss Juneteenth” has received many good reviews due to its depiction of the fortitude of black motherhood and its sweet and uplifting spirit. It is a good option for a realistic movie to watch during quarantine.

The drama was sent straight to streaming on June 19th (Juneteenth) and can be found on FandangoNOW, Vudu, and Prime Video.

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.


The crew is back at it again. This time, we get a look into the group’s past, especially Scooby’s. Fast forward to the present, there is a new mystery that involves a three-headed ghost dog, tiny robots, more criminals and superheroes, and a look into the Underworld.

Along with the addition of new voice actors (including Zac Efron who plays Fred), Frank Welker, the voice of Scooby, continues his legacy on the Scooby-Doo franchise which he has been a part of since its inception in 1969. For die-hard Scooby-Doo fans, this movie will either make you nostalgic or disappointed when compared to the original episodes.

Warner Bros. released the movie to streaming the same date as its theatrical release, May 15. It can be found on Prime Video, YouTube, FandangoNOW, or Google Play.

Photo courtesy of Disney.


Ian Lightfoot (Tom Holland) and his brother Barley Lightfoot (Chris Pratt) go on a magical adventure to try and spend one more day with their dead father. On the way they face pixies, dangerous terrain, deadly creatures, and a monster who owns a tavern. Their mom (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) fears for them and partners with the Manticore (Octavia Spencer) to find them and bring them back home.

The movie is a good pick for those of you who enjoyed “Toy Story,” “The Incredibles,” or just want to watch a whimsical, adventurous story.

The animated movie was theatrically released on March 6 but was sent to streaming on April 3. It can be found on Disney Plus (for free with subscription), Prime Video, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play, and FandangoNOW.

Photo courtesy of Focus Features.


The movie is an adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma.” Taking place in Regency-era England, it follows the story of Emma Woodhouse, a rich, spoiled, headstrong girl who tries to play matchmaker. In her attempt to bring people together, she faces humiliation, jealousy, and a different view of love and marriage.

The romantic comedy has received high reviews on its portrayal of the characters and engagement with the audience. It is a great choice for Jane Austen fans or anyone who needs a good laugh.

“Emma” was theatrically released to the US on February 21 but was later sent to streaming on March 20 due to COVID-19. It can be found on Prime Video, the iTunes Store, Vudu, Google Play, and Microsoft Store.

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Based on the video game franchise, Sonic the Hedgehog (Ben Schwartz) partners with the sheriff, Tom Wachowski (James Marsden), to escape Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) and prevent him from using Sonic’s powers to take over the world. If you want a simple, clichéd, classic superhero vs. villain movie, this is the one for you.

The movie was in theatres on February 14 but was soon sent to streaming on March 31. It can be found on FandangoNOW, Google Play, Vudu, and Prime Video.

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