Encore is one of Disney’s newest original shows for its new streaming service and follows a group of classmates from California’s Santana High School who are reunited 23 years later, to perform the Broadway classic, “Annie.”

The classmates get some additional help from Broadway professionals as they return to  reprise the roles of their youth. They all spend a week together, singing, learning dance moves, memorizing lines, and taking a trip down memory lane.

This show surprised me, I wasn’t really expecting to enjoy it, since while I enjoy musicals, I never was part of the drama club or put on any performances.  But I’m the exact same as the people involved in this project, so I could completely understand how the former classmates felt. How they’ve drifted apart from school friends, had arguments and never spoke again, or how life takes you in a different direction.

Personally the story of Jaimie, a deputy sheriff, who overcame cancer as a child, but it still affects him.  It was heartbreaking watching him talk about having to shave off just a few millimeters of hair to go completely bald, because it just reminded him of that time in his life.  Being a bald man of the same age, I connected with him, in the same way as I understood another male who didn’t really get on with everyone at school but wanted to be apart of it.

This show was more about the story of adults dealing with the after effects of school decades later and how their lives have changed from what they expected them to be.  One classmate called Annie, desperately wanted to be an actor, but having a family stopped that, but she wanted to share her love of performing with her children, so they could see who she really is, rather than just “mom”.

If you are going into this series expecting to see lots of Kirsten Bell, sadly you’re going to be disappointed, she does a voice over at the start and appears for the final performance.  Which is a shame, it would have been nice to have seen her be a little more involved in the process earlier on.

Encore is a show many parents and adults are going to enjoy, they will connect with someone taking part and that’s something younger audiences might not understand.  But for me, it was a unexpected delight.

Rating – 4 Stars


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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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  1. Janet Behning November 13, 2019

    I was watching an ad for Disney Encore and it reminded me of a community theatre audition I attended and thought I would let you know about it as an idea for a future episode. I'm not pretty; I admit it. It's no biggie as I tend to audition for parts that fit me. But I CAN sing well. I also play piano very well. I was called to play for auditions at a local theatre -- the music director, George, played piano but wanted to be able to listen to the auditioners so he asked me to play. As people came and went, I noticed that it was mostly teens... it was summer. So during a break, thinking they could used an extra adult, I said, "Can I audition?" The director suddenly got a panicked look on her face and blurted out, "Um, that's okay, we don't need to hear you sing; we'll put you in the chorus," then she looked over at George, rolling her eyes. A few auditioners later, at another break, I asked, "Can I just sing for you?" "No, no, no! It's okay! We'll put you in the chorus! No need to sing!" I thought I must really look bad today. I I'm older. No make-up. I needed a hair cut -- my hair doesn't grow longer, it grows bigger. I knew I didn't look good but she was being REALLY rude. After the last person I said, "George, will you please play for me?" I thought the director was going to have a fit. She threw her papers on the table, put her hands on her face, then threw them in the air, giving George a look that obviously said "I'll have to lie or pretend and try to not be embarrassed for her when she flops." When I belted out "Shy" from Once Upon a Mattress, her eyes popped and her jaw dropped. I said, "I know; the voice doesn't match the face." Still shocked, she said, "No, it doesn't." Then she slapped her hand over her mouth as she knew she'd just insulted me. Embarrassed, she's never called me again. I never tell people I can sing any more. I just sing when an opportunity arises so I don't cause people the embarrassment. I still enjoy the eye/jaw pop/drop thing though. :)

  2. Jeremy November 17, 2019

    Thanks for the review! I was in the first episode and I really enjoyed the experience. It was challenging and thrilling all at once. We forget sometimes what we believed about ourselves and others back in school. For me, it was amazing how different I viewed myself than How others viewed me. It was such a good thing to learn. And the same was true for the rest of my long lost friends. What’s great is how we have now been able to stay in touch and appreciate the humans we’ve become. And I even keep my head shaved shorter than ever now!!!

    1. McKenna November 19, 2019

      Jeremy, The entire time while watching Ecore Ep.1 (Annie) all I could think about it how much you look like Joey Lawrence. I am not sure if you've ever gotten that, I just wanted to point it out!