Disney+ has a huge vast selection of movies and TV shows, however, it doesn’t have everything currently locked away in the “Walt Disney Vault”. Currently, we have a list of over 600 titles that aren’t yet available on Disney+.

In this special bonus edition of the What’s On Disney Plus Podcast episode, Roger is joined by Josh Shepherd to discuss the current situation with titles not being available on Disney+.

You can watch the video above or you can listen to an audio version below:

Here are the show notes for this episode:

#1: Is there anything actually good still locked away in the vault? 

  • The answer is yes. Whether it’s Musicals you’re into or Star Wars or Inspirational Biopics or Action Films with Broad Appeal, all of these exist in the Disney vault
  • Netflix has five films from 2011 right now that have topped its Most-Watched charts
  • The truth is, Disney is going to have to lean into its legacy content in a big way in 2021, because the pipeline of new shows has been delayed by COVID pandemic

#2. Don’t you realize they can’t release everything at once? That’s not how streaming services work, they have to save titles for the future.

Yes, we realize this. What we’re asking for mainly is better transparency and communication.

  • Over a dozen titles were released and then disappeared without advance notice, such as Cinderella 2015 and the Home Alone films and Rookie of the Year
  • We’re asking for transparency.
  • If a title has to leave the service temporarily, then announce that in advance so subscribers know to watch it. THAT’s how streaming services work.
  • Then announce when it is expected to be back.
  • About a half dozen major titles, such as Zorro, were announced then never released. Actually, if you look back to the launch announcement, another dozen titles were announced that never arrived.
  • The big ask here is for Disney to announce at least a hundred more release dates for their legacy titles and stick to those dates.
  • At launch, they announced a list of 77 legacy films and when they’d hit Disney+… that list is now down to just a few dozen that haven’t released.

#3. But Disney+ releases new library titles every Friday. Why all this focus on what hasn’t released? 

We are one of the very few outlets who’ve been tracking the release of legacy titles every month, and been very disappointed.

– Only 1 pre-1990 Disney theatrical film has released since launch, The Moon-Spinners

– Fewer than a dozen Disney-brand legacy TV titles have released (lots from NatGeo)

– Missing Disney List has grown from 300 to 600, even with 150 titles on a Star/Hulu list

– Still over 20 missing or incomplete franchises, including Star Wars and Muppets (Narnia: Voyage was a great addition)

#4. We just have to wait until pre-existing streaming contracts expire. Isn’t that the biggest reason why all these films and series are missing? 

  • That’s only partly true.
  • About 20% of titles on the Missing 600 list are currently on other streaming services
  • HBO is one of the biggest, then there’s Cinemax and Starz
  • But Disney has initiated several new streaming deals with rivals over the past year, such as releasing several ABC shows on IMDBtv
  • Currently, every month, Disney is still licensing quality titles with Broad Appeal to rival services: Real Steel to Netflix, Lincoln to Amazon Prime, The Man from Snowy River to Hallmark
  • So other contracts are a problem
  • But the bigger problem is that so many of these films (like 80% on the list) are simply unreleased for reasons unknown, and they’ve been given no release date.

#5 Does anyone in the media or among show creators really care about what’s missing on Disney+? 

Yes. This is a positive development.

  • Some journalists have been talking about missing Disney+ titles, such as Cocoon, The Muppet Show, Once and Again, R&H Cinderella.
  • The creators and stars of Galavant have initiated a public campaign to

#6. Despite all this, hasn’t Disney+ made some progress? 

  • Yes, which is encouraging.

– Summer Movie Nights: the release of dozen or so 20th Century titles

– Disney has learned they can create a buzz with library titles, such as The Princess Bride, The Greatest Showman, Once Upon A Time

– Binge-Worthy TV improving: Once Upon A Time + The Right Stuff + Dinosaurs + Agents of SHIELD (ultimately) … which is why those last two not on the survey.

– Disney dominates on animation, both TV and feature films

#7. What is your outlook for the release of Disney legacy films and shows? 

  • Despite many disappointments thus far, there are positive signs that Legacy titles will be a focus moving forward as subscribers raise these issues.
  • Disney has their quarterly call on Nov. 12, the one year anniversary. We may not hear much there about legacy titles, mostly Mandalorian.

– The big thing to watch is the December 10 Investors Day

  • Star service launch will cause Disney to look closer at the value of their library.
  • I expect they will address the Missing Legacy titles, at least in passing… maybe they’ll even announce the HBO contract is being bought out, which would be huge. Hopefully, they’ll announce a list of 100 legacy titles to release in future months.
  • But the media coverage around Nov. 12 one year anniversary may partly determine whether Disney emphasizes Legacy films and shows.

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Roger Palmer

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. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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  1. Karen October 21, 2020

    I’d love to see Home Improvement on Disney Plus but I doubt it will happen any time soon. ABC just setteled a law suit with the producers over syndication rights. I’m sure they don’t want another one over streaming. Bummer