Disney+ Just Upgraded Avatar, And Fans Are Blown Away

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Avatar Neyteri, Disney Plus

The first Avatar movie has received a massive 4K upgrade on Disney+.

James Cameron's Pandora continues to have a major presence on Disney+, having just debuted a special collection for the franchise as Avatar: The Way of Water finally makes its way to the service after an unprecedented wait.

Disney+'s Avatar Receives 4K Upgrade

Disney+ just upgraded 2009's original Avatar movie with a selection of quality improvements that bring the streaming release up to standard with the impressive specs of the brand-new Avatar: The Way of Water.

The upgrade sees the highest-grossing movie of all time now available to watch in 4K Ultra HD with HDR 10 and Dolby Atmos, having originally only been streaming in regular HD since coming to Disney+.

Avatar Disney+ Upgrade

Disney+'s Avatar upgrade comes just weeks ahead of the long-awaited 4K Ultra HD physical release on Thursday, June 20 - the same day The Way of Water finally arrives for physical purchase.

The exact date Disney+ made this upgrade is currently unclear, but the timing of the imminent 4K physical releases points to it being a recent one.

Avatar fans expressed huge excitement to finally enjoy the gorgeous blockbuster in all its glory at home, with LF_1223 praising the "astonishing" upgrade:

"'Avatar' (2009) is already available in 4K Dolby everything. And let me tell you, it's astonishing."

After combing through Avatar's key scenes, LegalBeagleOK was "very impressed" by the upgrades, particularly noting the "especially good" audio:

"Just spent 45 mins or so going through some key scenes from the 4K/Atmos version of 'Avatar' on ⁦Disney Plus in Cinema George⁩… Have to say, I’m VERY impressed. The audio is especially good… Bodes WELL for the disc!!"

Along with posting the upgrade details, BoricuaMacho expressed their excitement through a simple "Oh my god, wow" GIF.

While Disney+ has now received this 4K upgrade, clif1212 added hopes to see these changes applied across other streaming services as it "looks great:"

"Hope they upgrade 'Avatar' 2009 to 4k on all the other streaming services very soon. Looks great on Disney plus."

Another user watching Avatar from Disney+'s Indian streaming partner Hotstar, Laksh_Patil_, was also in awe of the "mind-blowing" quality:

"Watching 'Avatar' on Hostar. This 4k quality is mind-blowing."

Avatar Goes Big on Disney+

As James Cameron's Avatar may be one of the biggest franchises Disney now has under its belt - alongside the MCU and Star Wars - it's no surprise the studio would want it to have the strongest Disney+ presence possible. 

Unfortunately, due to the money and intense VFX work that goes into Avatar, a streaming spin-off show isn't yet achievable with modern technology. But Cameron was clear that may one day be possible in five to ten years' time. 

In the meantime, the best Disney can do is ensure all the movies are available on the streaming service in the maximum quality possible, along with offering an assortment of special features, documentaries, and additional content.

With Cameron set to deliver his four Avatar sequels on a bi-annual basis from 2022 to 2028, the original 2009 movie will always be the outlier due to the huge difference in technology available at the time of its creation.

That being said, even back in 2009, Avatar was so far ahead of its time, the visuals and CGI on offer still exceed much of what's being offered by most studios today, and that's only more clear than ever with the recent 4K release.

Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water are streaming now on Disney+.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.