At the end of June, as part of a review to align with the strategic changes in Disney’s approach to content curation to save just under two billion dollars in the last financial quarter, a wave of content was removed from Disney’s streaming platforms around the world, including Star+, Hulu and Disney+ as an impairment charge, which basically means the shows and films are written off assets for tax purposes. The removals included “Single Drunk Female”, “Alaska Daily”, and “Crater”.
Unfortunately, one of the titles that were removed from Disney+ this past week, was the Australian documentary series, “Chasing Waves”, which was originally released on Disney+ back in January.
In the wake of surfing’s debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, “Chasing Waves” featured the people and places that are defining Japan’s reach in the global surf culture and examines the diverse regions, unique characters, and endless surf along the over 18,000 miles of coastline that makes Japan one of a kind.
The character-driven documentary series, shot with state-of-the-art 4K cameras and stunning 16mm archival film, followed athletes from various cultural backgrounds as they pursued their dreams, painted a captivating picture of Japanese life, and showcased what it takes to succeed in the international surf industry. The docu-series featured extraordinary pro surfers Mahina Maeda, Yuma Takanuki, Sara Kohrogi, 2021 Olympic Silver Medalist Kanoa Igarashi and Australian-Japanese surfer Connor O’Leary.
From the indoor wave pool called the “Ocean Dome” in Miyazaki to the hallowed grounds of the stalwart surfers in the icy waters of Hokkaido, “Chasing Waves” painted a holistic picture of the world of Japanese surfing culture through those who live it in a magical new way.
“Chasing Waves” was produced by Boardwalk Pictures and Station 10 Media, with Christopher G. Cowen (“Cheer,” “Last Chance U,” “Decades Series,” “State of Play”) serving as Executive Producer and Co-Director and Andrew Fried (“Cheer,” “Chef’s Table,” “Val”) served as Executive Producer. Jason Baffa (“Singlefin: Yellow,” “One California Day,” “Bella Vita,” “Loopers: The Caddie’s Long”) served as Director and Executive Producer.
As with other recent removals, it’s unlikely we will see “Chasing Waves” return to Disney+ since the assets are considered a tax write-off as a failed asset, though it’s possible Disney could license out the show, but as of yet, no removed content has been.
Other streaming services, including Max and Paramount+, have also been using a similar tactic to save money, removing original content and writing it off as a quick way to balance the books after spending huge sums of money chasing subscribers to catch up with Netflix, but now are focusing on profitability rather than subscriber numbers.
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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.