The Olympics Are Near – Why Is Endurance (1999) Not On Disney Plus?

Endurance Poster

With the Olympics starting Friday, July 23rd and running through Sunday August 8th, I can’t help but question why Endurance (1999) was not on the “Coming to Disney+ in July” list. Let’s start here:

The gold medal for the men’s 10,000-metre race in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics is won by Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie.

Endurance synopsis, courtesy IMDB

Um, okay. So this title deals with the Olympics. Relevant. However, this title has 2 other things about it that make it an odd to vault.

It just happens to be a film spotlighting a real life black hero – at a time when Disney is promoting its “Celebrating Black Stories” collection it feels like an oversight that Joe Earley (content team) let Black History month in February and Juneteenth in an Olympics year (and now the Olympics themselves?) pass without adding one of the few Disney titles that focuses on both.

Side note: when your list of live-action films dealing with Black culture / lives is only 14 and yet you’re sitting on 15 others, you might wanna get rolling. 30 looks better than 14. For a great, but slightly outdated look at this issue, here’s a great article from What’s on Disney Plus.

That extra space in the collection grid sure seems suited for Endurance…

Another reason it’s odd to vault this title – after some recent additions this spring, Endurance is now one of only 5 1990s “Disney Pictures” films still missing.

Those films are:

  • A Far Off Place (1993) 
  • Angels in the Outfield (1994)
  • The Jungle Book (1994)
  • RocketMan (1997)
  • Endurance (1998)
Endurance Poster
Endurance Poster

I’m not about to say this is racism. It’s not. But it is an oversight from the content team. The title is not “lost” it’s available digitally with subtitles on all VOD sites. This is exactly the opposite of what subscribers expected from the content team. It’s safe to say everybody anticipated more relevant, frequent, and careful curation of the library titles. Yet every major event or holiday passes with 1 or no relevant library titles being plucked from the vault.

During Black History Month in February people were thrilled to see Brandy’s Cinderella (1997) finally get added, but what about the complete absence of titles added on Juneteenth? What about the countless other “black” titles that weren’t added during Black History Month.

Doing the bare minimum is only marginally better than doing nothing.

Enjoy the trailer for Endurance below:

Do you agree? Would you like to see Endurance in time for the Olympics? Do you want to see more of the missing 90s films? What about the missing stories from Disney’s Celebrating Black Stories collection? Please help submit title requests for all of them by clicking “Give Feedback” here.

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.