Disney+ hasn’t even been a real thing for a full month, but it’s already become a major force in the new streaming-focused world we live in. The Mandalorian has become appointment television for the first time since before binge-watching was a thing, but it’s not the only thing on Disney+ that is apparently worthy of note.
It’s the end of the year and that means its time for award nominations and while Disney+ doesn’t even have that many original films, one of them has already seen its first nomination. Togo, the movie about the drama around the 1925 Serum Run to Nome, has been nominated by the Writers’ Guild of America in the Original Long Form category alongside Chernobyl, True Detective from HBO and The Terror: Infamy from AMC.
As you can tell from the competing nominations, Togo is competing against series rather films. The WGA lumps television in with “New Media” meaning streaming services, so original streaming movies (that were not also released theatrically) compete against other series.
Still, however you look at it, it’s pretty impressive for Disney+ to already be getting some recognition for its films. While Lady and the Tramp and Noelle were entertaining enough distractions, Togo is without question a well crafted film that’s a step better than the debut movies that came before it.
Willem Dafoe puts in a solid performance but Togo very much feels like a back-to-basics sort of Disney movie. It’s a heartwarming “boy and his dog” story with some “against all odds” tension thrown in for good measure. It’s exactly the sort of movie Disney would have made about a decade ago before everything the studio released was expected to bank $1 billion. It’s enjoyable entertainment truly designed for the entire family to watch together, making it perfect for Disney+.
While the WGA nomination will surely be a feather in the cap for Disney and writer Tom Flynn, it feels like an actual win is going to be tough. Chernobyl is the nominee that seems to have all the buzz going behind it and it isn’t nominated in any other categories, making it feel like this will be the place the WGA awards the much lauded show.
Having said that, the fact is Togo hasn’t released on Disney+ yet, which means most people haven’t actually seen it. Once the film drops on December 20, it’s possible the movie could build up enough buzz to compete. We’ll have to wait and see.
While this may be the first content nomination for Disney+, I certainly don’t expect it to be the last. If nothing else, The Imagineering Story seems destined for some recognition as a documentary series, and even The Mandalorian seeing nominations as a series aren’t outside the realm of possibility, though it’s a bit too early to know for sure.
The Writers Guild of America will announce its nominations in the screenplay categories on January 6, 2020. The awards will be given out February 1.