Earlier this year, Disney removed over a hundred original shows and films from its streaming services around the world as part of a $2 billion impairment charge to help put its streaming business into profitability, by writing off assets that Disney considered no longer valuable.
Among the original shows removed included “Willow”, an eight episodes period fantasy series, that was a follow-up to the classic 1988 film, which was about an aspiring magician from a Nelwyn village and an infant girl destined to unite the realms, who together helped destroy an evil queen and banish the forces of darkness. In the follow-up series, which was set in a magical world where brownies, sorcerers, trolls, and other mystical creatures flourish, the adventure continues, as an unlikely group of heroes set off on a dangerous quest to places far beyond their home, where they must face their inner demons and come together to save their world.
Earlier this year, when the “Willow” series finale aired, it teased that there would be two more seasons of the show, but it was revealed shortly afterwards, that the cast had been let go from their contract and the show wouldn’t be returning. Then, just months later, the entire show was removed from Disney+ globally.
The new series saw Warwick Davis return in the title role of Willow, and recently, on social media, the actor called out Disney over the deletion of the show.
I meet lovely people on a daily basis who are fans of #Willow, who are the reason the @DisneyPlus Series was made. Please tell me @WaltDisneyCo, what do I say to these subscribers when they ask why they can’t watch the series any more? #embarrassing
No doubt, it must be embarrassing for an actor to have to try to explain why one of their shows has not only been cancelled but almost wiped from existence by Disney, because it didn’t perform well enough to warrant being left on Disney+.
While “Willow” is a follow-on to a successful film, it never got the attention of viewers and suffered from low viewing numbers, leading to its cancellation and ultimate removal. Since “Willow” is likely the most expensive original series, it was removed as part of the $2 billion impairment charge, due to the expensive digital and physical effects, additional costs from filming during a pandemic and much more.
As with most original streaming shows, “Willow” also isn’t available to purchase or rent on digital platform, nor is it available to buy on physical media, such as a DVD box-set, since audiences have slowly been drifting away from buying shows, due to the success of streaming platforms like Disney+.
Recently, Disney has re-released some of the removed original films, such as “Flora & Ulysses”, “Roseline” and the remake of “Cheaper By The Dozen”, on digital platforms like Amazon and Apple, to purchase, but it hasn’t made any of the original series available, either to buy or on a FAST channel.
Hopefully, Disney will also make the other now deleted Disney+ Originals available to purchase or rent on digital platforms to buy, to at least give people the choice, since, right now, “Willow” has been lost to the Disney vault, with no idea if or when it might ever be released again to the public. It’s unlikely, that Disney would invest money in releasing the series on physical formats like DVD or Blu-Ray, since if it doesn’t sell, the project will cost them even more money. While it would be great to see the “Willow” series return to Disney+, due to the impairment charge, it’s unlikely that could happen for years due to legal reasons.
Do you think “Willow” should be made available to purchase or rent on digital platforms? 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.