Earlier this year, Disney removed over a hundred original films and shows globally from its streaming services, including Hulu, Star+ and Disney+. These removals were done as part of an impairment charge to write off over $2 billion dollars of costs for Disney’s streaming service business.
Then, in September, Disney made a small selection of the films that had been removed from its streaming services available to rent or purchase in the United States on digital platforms like Vudu, Amazon and Apple. These films included:
Better Nate Than Ever
Flora & Ulysses
The One And Only Ivan
Cheaper By The Dozen
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made
And the good news is that recently, Disney has made even more former Hulu and Disney+ Original movies available to rent or purchase on these digital platforms, including:
Darby And The Dead
The writers of “The Princess”, Jake Thornton and Ben Lustig, even took to social media to celebrate the re-release of the film on digital platforms:
So in rather exciting news, Ben and mine’s film, The Princess, which was removed from Hulu and Disney+ earlier this year is now back, and available to buy and rent wherever you buy or rent moves from. Hurrah! The Princess is saved!
AMAZING! Back by popular demand, or just sheer will. THE PRINCESS lives. If you missed it on Hulu you can now rent or own on all major platforms.
While the removal of these films from Disney+ and Hulu is extremely annoying for subscribers, who are paying for access to films and shows, at least these films are now available to rent or purchase, rather than being locked away in the Disney vault and unable to watch legally. This certainly isn’t an ideal situation, and removing them just to shuffle around some numbers on a balance sheet isn’t of any importance to subscribers; I’d rather they were still out there legally.
It’s unclear if Disney will also make other removed shows like “Willow”, “Big Shot”, or “Pistol” available to rent or buy, or even on an alternative streaming platform in the future. Due to the legal issues with an impairment charge, they likely can’t be returned to Disney+ for many more years, until their “licensed” date from the studios has passed.
Unfortunately, while these films are now available to purchase and rent, I wouldn’t expect these to raise much money for Disney, since if hardly anyone watched them when they were included in a Disney+ or Hulu subscription, even fewer people are going to be willing to pay money to watch them. But at least they are now available, should you wish to watch them.
The removal of these films over the summer did highlight a significant problem with streaming services, indicating how no movie or show is guaranteed to stay there indefinitely, which also highlights the importance of physical media.
Will you be renting or purchasing these former Disney+ Original films? Let us know on social media!
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.