UPDATE: 2 weeks after posting this, the title is repaired! We’re vibing.
This one is weird. There’s no excuse for us having to write an article about this. We and others have submitted feedback on this and reached out via e-mail multiple times over the past few months. Something like this would genuinely never occur on any other streaming service. If it did, they would fix it.
So, the Frankenweenie short Captain Sparky Vs The Flying Saucers is streaming on Disney+. Except for multiple months it has been inaccessible unless you have the internal video URL (https://www.disneyplus.com/video/761f25dc-86a8-4e41-b7cf-d754e760405d) or were in the process of watching it and it is in your Continue Watching (like me, coincidentally). That’s how I discovered this issue. Check out this video.
When a subscriber clicks the title in search or on the homescreen they are “redirected” to the Frankenweenie title page. However, the URL in the browser still shows Captain Sparky title. What happened is Disney MERGED the two title pages. It’s crazy! if you look carefully, the Disney Plus ID for each title in the URL shows as the same. But Captain Sparky DOES have a separate Disney+ Movie ID number – 5n84k5Mz5uCL.
How Did This Happen?
Disney+ team has issues and the code is still a work in progress. We’ve heard this from people who work there, so we aren’t making it up. It’s also been clear since launch. One issue they’ve dealt with is shorts getting placed under Extras. Since then they’ve spun most of them out into separate titles. Some of them have reverted back to being listed under Extras on other titles. Some have disappeared entirely, like Marvel Studios One Shot Agent Carter. It started as an Iron Man 3 extra, then got listed separately. Then disappeared.
With Captain Sparky, the situation is unique. The title received a proper listing, but then instead of reverting back to extras on Frankenweenie or getting removed, they left it accessible only via URL and kept the thumbnail tile as a result in search or suggested titles. So… uh… great coding?
What’s most frustrating about this is, of course, that we reported it multiple times over the past few months through their proper feedback channels as well as via e-mail to operations staff.
We give up.
How does a service run by a major company have so many issues?
Imagine seeing the short suggested to you on only to click it and be redirected to the Frankenweenie page. Definitely not a good way to build trust with consumers.
Look, the two titles are both recommended in the same row.
Try for yourself! Go search for the title and click it! Again, can you imagine HBO Max or Netflix having an actual title on the service broken for months?
Drew Ryan is a film, TV, and Disney geek. He has degrees in English, Student Personnel Administration, and Library & Information Science from Lawrence University, Concordia University-Wisconsin, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Interested in the minutia and licensing of streaming service content, he is always publishing lists, suggestions, and advocating for Disney’s missing library to be added to Disney+. Drew subscribes to Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, and Paramount+. You can find him waxing nostalgic over classic Disney Channel or geeking out over Marvel, CW shows, & Disney on Twitter.