How to Watch Beyoncé’s Black Is King on Disney+

Culture

There’s never a wrong time to welcome new Beyoncé content, but the arrival of her new visual album Black Is King on Disney+ feels even more necessary and cathartic right now. On Juneteenth, Beyoncé declared her secretive project Black Is King was on its way with a stunning surprise trailer.

Bey wrote, directed, and executive-produced the visual album; in her initial Instagram announcement of the project, she wrote, “Black Is King is a labor of love. It is my passion project that I have been filming, researching and editing day and night for the past year. I’ve given it my all and now it’s yours. It was originally filmed as a companion piece to The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack and meant to celebrate the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry. I could never have imagined that a year later, all the hard work that went into this production would serve a greater purpose.”

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Although the film is shrouded in mystery, Disney and Parkwood Entertainment offered the following statement, via Variety, last month: “The film is a story for the ages that informs and rebuilds the present. A reunion of cultures and shared generational beliefs. A story of how the people left most broken have an extraordinary gift and a purposeful future.”

Obviously, Black Is King is must-see viewing. Ahead, here’s how to watch the film on Disney+, and which members of the Carter family are expected to show up.

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How do I watch Black Is King on Disney+?

Just as the musical masses gathered on Disney+ for Hamilton this Fourth of July weekend, Black Is King is only available on that platform. It will hit Disney+ on Friday, July 31 at 3 a.m. ET/12 a.m. PT. (Every company should observe tomorrow as a national holiday, we know.)

If you are subscribed to Disney+ already, you can watch the film for free by logging onto your account. The 2019 The Lion King remake, in which Beyoncé voiced Nala, is also available on Disney+; as Beyoncé said, that film provides inspo for Black Is King and tracks from her album The Lion King: The Gift will reportedly be featured. If you haven‘t subscribed, you can sign up for Disney+ here. Monthly plans are $6.99 per month, an annual subscription is $69.99 per year, and a Disney+/ Hulu/ ESPN+ bundle is $12.99 per month. Download the app to stream on your tablet, laptop, or phone.

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What celeb cameos can we expect?

As previous trailers have suggested, eight-year-old Blue Ivy Carter herself is making an appearance in the film. While Blue hasn’t decided whether she’s entering the music industry or not, this isn’t her first time in a Bey-produced project. Earlier this year, she became a BET Award winner for being featured on the The Lion King: The Gift song, “Brown Skin Girl.” (Blue Ivy also picked up an NAACP award and became a Billboard-charting artist with “Spirit.”)

premiere of disney's "the lion king"   red carpet

Blue Ivy and Beyoncé at The Lion King premiere in July 2019.

Kevin WinterGetty Images

Other confirmed celeb cameos include Beyoncé’s twins Rumi and Sir, her mother Tina Lawson (fresh off her name-check in Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” remix) and husband Jay-Z, and Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o, Kelly Rowland, and Pharrell Williams.

What else should I know about Black Is King from The Creator herself?

As for parting sentiments before you watch Black Is King, Bey sent Good Morning America a virtual message about the film:

Black Is King is finally here. Now, I’m so excited you guys get to watch it tonight on Disney+. It’s been a year in the making. I worked with a diverse group of very gifted directors and actors and creatives from all over the world to reimagine the story of The Lion King. The narrative unfolds through music videos, fashion, dance, beautiful natural settings and raw new talent. But it all started in my backyard. So from my house to Johannesburg to Ghana to London to Belgium to the Grand Canyons, it was truly a journey to bring this film to life. And my hope for this film is that it shifts the global perception of the word Black, which has always meant inspiration, and love and strength and beauty to me. But Black Is King means Black is regal and rich in history, in purpose and in lineage. I hope y’all love it, I hope you enjoy and I hope y’all see it tonight.

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You heard Beyoncé: Get in formation over at Disney+ and prepare yourself for Black Is King.

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