Since its inception, The Walt Disney Company has been creating animated content starting with short films, before they popularised the animated feature-length film and started making animated TV series later on in the company’s run. Disney+ is a hub for animation, having almost every animated production from Pixar, offering a large breath of Disney Channel and Disney Junior cartoons, streaming classic Star Wars animated shows and owning The Simpsons.
I have one question; however, what about all the classic animated shorts that Disney produced from the 1920s up until the 1960s?
I know many people will look at the animated shorts on Disney+ and think the catalogue must be mostly complete, right? Well, let me point out some notable omissions from Disney+.
Most of you are problem asking, “What on earth is a Laugh-O-Gram”? For those Disney historians, you know that Laugh-O-Gram Studios was the predecessor to what is now known as The Walt Disney Company.
Some of the first Laugh-O-Gram include “Little Red Riding Hood”, “The Four Musicians of Brenham”, “Puss In Boots”, and “Cinderella”, all of which were released as extras on the Beauty and The Beast Blu-Ray, whilst many other Laugh-O-Gram were lost to time.
Whilst The Laugh-O-Gram were made in the black and white, silent film era, there is no reason they can’t release the ones that are already available on Bluray onto Disney+.
The Alice Comedies:
Now for some Disney fans, you probably think “The Alice Comedies” are a nickname for all the Alice In Wonderland films available on Disney+ which is based on a classic British novel, which is not the case.
“The Alice Comedies” are a series of live-action/animated shorts released by Walt Disney during the 1920s. A large number of the classic Alice Comedies are lost to time. Still, the ones which weren’t lost were released on DVD, including “Alice The Whaler”, “Alice in The Wooly West”, “Alice’s Mysterious Mystery”, “Alice’s Balloon Race” and “Alice’s Wonderland” are some examples of “The Alice Comedies” that have been released on DVDs. Disney should use the Alice shorts that they have available on DVD as a collection on Disney+.
Oswald The Lucky Rabbit:
Now we come to Disney’s first mascot, Oswald The Lucky Rabbit. Oswald is a cartoon rabbit who starred in his own shorts between 1927 and 1928 before Disney lost the rights to the character to Universal Pictures. (Disney later regained the rights to Oswald in 2006). Whilst several Oswald The Lucky Rabbit shorts were lost to time, several have been released on DVDs or have been recently discovered.
Some of the Oswald shorts, including “Trolley Troubles”, “The Mechanical Cow”, “Bright Lights”, and “Ozzie On The Moutain”, were released on DVD and Bluray. Whilst other shorts like “Sleigh Bells”, “High Up” “, Neck n Neck”, “The Ol’ Swimmin’ Hole”, and “Africa Before Dark” were all rediscovered and would need to be digitized before being put onto Disney+.
Missing Silly Symphonies:
Whilst several Silly Symphonies including “The Golden Touch”, “Flowers and Trees”, “The Goddess Of Spring”, and “The Grasshopper and the Ants” have been released on Disney+, but many Silly Symphonies are missing despite being released on home media. Some of the missing Silly Symphonies include “The Skeleton Dance”, “El Terrible Toreador”, “Springtime”, “Hell’s Bells”, and “The Merry Dwarfs”.
As previously mentioned, dozens of Silly Symphonies are available on home media but aren’t on Disney+.
Missing Mickey Mouse Shorts:
Now let’s look at Disney’s most iconic character, Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse has several classic shorts like “Steamboat Willie”, “The Band Concert”, “Hawaiian Holiday”, “Canine Caddie”, and “Boat Builders”. Despite having his own collection on Disney+, Mickey Mouse is missing several classic shorts. Some of the shorts missing (but available on home media) include, “The Gallopin’ Gaucho”, “Plane Crazy”, “The Karnival Kid”, “The Haunted House”, and “Wild Waves”.
Mickey Mouse is Disney’s mascot and one of the most iconic animated characters of all time, so the lack of so many of Mickey’s classic short films is disappointing. Disney should prioritise Mickey Mouse’s missing shorts since many of the ones that aren’t available on Disney+ are available on home media, and Mickey Mouse is a character that audiences have enjoyed for nearly one hundred years.
Missing Donald Duck Shorts:
Donald Duck is best known as one of Mickey’s best friends and a member of what Disney fans call the “Sensational Six” (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, Goofy). Many Donald Duck shorts have been released on home media, similar to Silly Symphonies and Mickey Mouse.
Some of the missing Donald Duck shorts which are available on home media include “Donald’s Ostrich”, “Self Control”, “Donald’s Better Self”, “Good Scouts”, and “Donald’s Lucky Day”, none of which are available on Disney+.
Missing Goofy Shorts:
Goofy is a beloved animated character and is a member of the “Sensational Six” like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, who also got his own series of shorts. Whilst a handful of the Goofy “How To” shorts are available on Disney+. There are several others that are unfortunately not available on the service.
Some of the missing shorts include “Goofy’s Glider”, “Baggage Buster”, “The Art Of Self Defense”, and “How To Play Golf”, which were all released on home media.
Missing Chip N Dale Shorts:
There are several missing Chip N Dale shorts on Disney+, which have also been released on home media. Some of the missing Chip N Dale shorts include “Chicken In The Rough”, “Two Chips and a Miss”, and “The Lone Chipmunks”, which unfortunately are all absent from Disney+.
Missing Pluto Shorts:
Pluto is Mickey Mouse’s best friend and received his own line of shorts. Unfortunately, even though there are so many Pluto shorts released on DVD, a large number of them, including “Bubble Bee”, “Pluto’s Fledging”, “Cat Nap Pluto”, and “Mail Dog”, are missing from the Disney+ library.
Missing Adventures In Music:
A two-part series of shorts, with both the shorts “Melody” and “Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom” were both released on home media but are both absent from Disney+.
Missing Miscellaneous Shorts:
A group of animated shorts didn’t fit under the other categories listed, so I’ve lumped them all together. Note: This excludes all the World War Two propaganda shorts created by Walt Disney during the 1940s.
Several shorts that don’t fit into the previous categories/series mentioned are streaming on Disney+ like “Ferdinand The Bull” and “Lambert The Sheepish Lion”, but several aren’t available.
Some of the missing shorts which were released on home media include, “The Little House”, “Susie The Little Blue Coupe”, the 1943 short based on “Chicken Little”, “Morris The Midget Moose”, and “The Brave Engineer” are all absent from Disney+ despite being released on home media.
Disney has a legacy of animation that needs to be preserved for future generations, and Disney+ is the key to that preservation. Several Disney owned animated shorts in series like Oswald The Lucky Rabbit, the Alice Comedies, and the entire run of their “Lafflets” series of shorts as Laugh O Graham studios has been lost to time. Disney already has a large number of their remaining shorts digitized as they’ve been released on DVDs and Blu-Rays. Even if they managed to release one or two a month, it would help slowly build out the library with some classic content, giving older Disney fans something to enjoy.
The most unfortunate thing about Disney not adding the shorts is it shows disrespect to the shorts’ creators and Walt Disney himself. Disney should be prioritising releasing their classic animated shorts so millions of people can experience them for the first time and so these timeless stories are preserved for new fans and old.
What do you think? Should Disney release all their remaining shorts onto Disney+?