Disney+’s Choir Review

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Summary

  • Choir is an uplifting docuseries that follows the journey of the Detroit Youth Choir as they strive to achieve their goals.
  • The series showcases the challenges and triumphs of the choir members and their director as they navigate personal and professional obstacles.
  • With heartwarming storytelling and a focus on community, Choir is an inspiring and entertaining series that will leave viewers feeling uplifted.


The new Disney+ series Choir grabs you early on and doesn’t let go. This wonderfully inspiring, six-part docuseries about high hopes and personal achievement chronicles the renowned Detroit Youth Choir (DYC) students as they prepare for the performance of a lifetime. The series is an instant go-to for anybody who appreciates uplifting tales about a group of people joining forces to achieve a signature goal. In this case, a beloved choir hopes to top a stunning past achievement.

Enter: America’s Got Talent. In Season 14 of the hit talent show in 2019, DYC stunned judges with riveting performances, generating thunderous applause and standing ovations from the audience. They went on to become runners-up in the competition, and when they returned for America’s Got Talent: All-Stars, they finished in the bottom half of the Top 11. Post-pandemic, newfound goals spark a fervor, and the choir director and new singers explore opportunities to rise even higher.

Directed by Rudy Valdez (Growing Up) and produced by Imagine Entertainment and Blumhouse Television, executive producers Jason Blum (Get Out), Brian Grazer (Unbreakable, In the Valley of Sin), and Ron Howard (Genius, Willow) on board the project. Intrepid storytellers all around; just know that you are in good hands here. Disney loves heartwarming feel-good stories, and this is one of them. No matter the outcome of the choir’s goals, this compelling journey pulls at the heartstrings as much as it entertains.


Sing, Detroit, Sing

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Choir

4.5 /5

Release Date
January 31, 2024

Seasons
1

Studio
Blumhouse Television, Campfire, Maniac Productions

Number of Episodes
6

Pros

  • Choir is an uplifting docuseries with a sense of purpose that is perfect for fans of Pitch Perfect and Glee.
  • The docuseries doesn’t focus on just one person but an entire community that audiences will fall in love with.
  • Choir is downright moving and entertaining for the whole family.

Inspiring stories about overcoming the odds typically find their niche audience. Next Goal Wins, the moving documentary and the recent feature film of the same name starring Michael Fassbender, tracked the true story of the beleaguered American Samoa soccer team vying for a World Cup opportunity with newbie coach Thomas Rongen at the helm. More than 20 years ago, Spellbound introduced us to spelling bee kids to route for. HBO’s Hard Knocks also comes to mind. Hoop Dreams, anyone?

Choir feels like a creative cousin to all those films, effectively taking the audience into the everyday lives of its subjects. Choir director Rudy Valdez has a sharp eye and understands the importance of evoking a certain mood. Here, he shows us what’s at stake through the eyes of several key players.

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Real-life issues factor into the choir’s new goals. There’s the challenge of growing up—and, in turn, parenting and teaching—in Detroit and balancing all that comes with family, school, athletics, and various relationship dynamics. Add on yet another—and seemingly mindbending—challenge of surpassing DYC’s 2019 grand opus, and suddenly, the pressure mounts.

Overall, Valdez is effective on that front, especially whenever choir director Anthony White appears on the screen. As passionate as he is determined, White wants to keep the choir relevant in Detroit. But he must balance his own lofty ambitions with the significant challenges of replacing several key choir members. Always lurking on the horizon is finding the next greatest opportunity to put the choir back in the national spotlight.

Exposing Real-Life Dreams and Humanity

As Choir plays out over its six episodes, White’s goal to perform on an even greater platform plays out—”We’re the underdog to prove what we can do,” he says. But the great thing about this docuseries is that it never focuses solely on White. Taking the choir to new heights requires community effort. And it’s the community we meet and fall in love with here.

“I want to be able to take these kids to the next stage,” we’re told, “and when people see the Detroit Youth Choir, I want them to understand you were in the presence of young kings and queens, and we have a special feel for the city.” How true that is. Funk, soul, hip hop, and pop music genres become key characters in the series, appearing at varying stages during choir practice and performance. That should spark interest from TikTok fans or Pitch Perfect and Glee carryovers. It is uplifting, and there’s a great sense of purpose as the director takes audiences deep into the heart of this journey.

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Most of all, Choir is a wonderful look at real people filled with determination and spirit. Program director Daniel Valentine and musician Darrius Washington also stand out, and their story arcs and observations hold some intrigue. The greater message of “kids have so much to offer the world” lands well without feeling manipulative. However, by its very nature, viewers going in should, or will, know that this is Disney, and the filmmakers are holding the baton to our symphonic emotions.

Meanwhile, occasional dips back into the past give context to why the adults do what they do, but mostly, it’s the kids that shine brightly here. There’s the athlete attempting to find a spot in the choir. Another young soul who is eager to incorporate certain dance moves. And if only one girl can manage to show up—for herself. It gets deep. And it’s good. And good viewing for the entire family, in fact. The result is downright moving.

If you’ve had any doubts that these contentious times may never find a proper pivot and flow on a plateau of grace, look no further than these Detroit kids. Or youth, in general, as this series posits. Between their raw talents, sweet hearts, and willingness to grow, you can’t help but walk away from this series feeling good. Inspiring, thought-provoking, and thoroughly uplifting, Choir is a docuseries to savor. Experience Choir beginning January 31 on Disney+.

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