What is this?
ho are we?
Many people signed up for Disney+ with one thing in mind – revisiting Disney’s library of nostalgic favorites. Since launch, only a small amount of library titles have joined the service. Most of those titles have been recently completed seasons, Disney Junior shorts, or National Geographic specials. I noticed a lot of disappointed people on Disney’s social media posts who felt they weren’t being heard or weren’t welcome on Disney+. Prior to launch it had been promoted as “all your favorites in one place” and other things that 19 months later remain far from true.
Some subscribers felt the service caters too much to babies. Names like Preschool+, Disney Junior+, and Babysitter+ are commonly thrown around due to Disney being the only major streaming service with an age cap of TV-14 / PG-13.
The feeling of adults being unwelcome on Disney+ in America grew considerably worse with the February 23rd, 2021 launch of STAR, Disney’s 6th brand tile on the service. STAR is a catch-all brand for anything Disney deemed too mature (Touchstone or Hollywood Pictures films, Freeform or ABC series, etc.) or anything acquired in the purchase of Twentieth Century Fox studios. The addition of STAR was heralded by a roughly 400 title content drop, featured the removal of the age cap internationally (except Latin America), and resulted in most countries receiving triple the monthly library additions for barely any additional cost.
Others groups of subscribers, like Baby Boomers, Gen X, and younger, but lowkey Disney historians such as myself were left out. The first 50 years of Disney’s existence are barely represented on the service. It’s been a complaint seen all too often. Where is the “Walt?” Films and serials created during Walt Disney’s life are largely absent, despite most being available on VOD or remastered and released on DVD in the early 2000s. Hundreds of animated shorts are missing. 2 vintage serials were added at launch, 19 months later we’re still missing the other 8ish.
While out of work during the pandemic I became obsessed with documenting and analyzing Disney’s work with the library each month and identifying missing titles, surprising gaps, and incomplete franchises. The trends I’ve identified have been horrifying. In YEAR 1, for example, Disney only added 1 Disney Pictures film pre-1980 (Moon-Spinners ). Despite almost all Disney Channel, XD, and Junior shows from the past 20 years being on VOD, Disney+ is still missing 30 and last year went on an astonishing 8-month streak without adding even 1. Disney is now in a 12-month streak without adding any episodes of Disneyland, hosted by Walt himself after initially doing 1-2 every month and a half for first 6 months.
Through this time I’ve met a lot of similarly minded people as well as been very active in the fan community. This has led to putting together lists, reports, charts, and stats related to Disney+’s library. I have always wanted to find a way to get that info to a larger audience – it’s a unique niche people refuse to cover. This website is finally the answer.
I’ve spoken to journalists who won’t write about Disney’s library. The main trades devour their originals, but don’t care about the ever shrinking amount of library titles getting added each month. Josh Shepherd at What’s on Disney Plus is one of the few shining examples of people committed to this. He is a major part of the #OpenTheVault campaign. My support for that hashtag and ideology is why this website’s tagline is “Relive it today.”
The 5 primary goals of this website are:
- Provide the most in-depth analysis of Disney’s library additions each month
- Raising awareness of titles added and removed from the library
- Spotlight notable missing titles in hopes of getting them added
- Reveal trends related to the library and Disney’s pre-existing contracts that other sites and journalists won’t do
- Be the premiere source of Disney+ “Known Issues” by compiling the service’s many metadata / presentation issues including incorrect release years, incorrect titles, episodes out of order, wrong aspect ratio, missing episodes.
With regards to that final point – another passion of mine besides the Disney+ library is metadata, presentation, and user experience. I’ve been responsible for compiling reports on the main complaints, feature requests, and many bugs found in Disney+ system. Through my efforts and reports, Disney+ Operations team have fixed an incredibly large amount of issues related to incorrect release dates, titles, episode numbering, episode orders, and more. Some of the fixes made that can be attributed to my work include Tangled the Series (2017) renamed as Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure, Austin & Ally (2011) episode order fix, Schoolhouse Rock (1973) relisted as 6 seasons instead of 1, 20+ release date fixes, prefixes such as “Disney” or “Marvel Comics” being removed from 100+ titles, Spider-Man the Animated Series (1994) relisted as 5 seasons instead of 1, and many more I’ve been told are in the works for this summer. This website will compile an ongoing list of current issues with updates as they’re fixed.
One feature we will be launching in the future is the most complete and accurate list of Disney-owned films online. We have done considerable research into all Disney’s assets including uncovering exactly which Freeform and Disney Channel Premiere films Disney still owns. Our list of 2000+ films will tell you which titles are on Disney+ and which are not. There is a popular list on What’s on Disney Plus of over 800 missing titles. Our list will show that without even including series or shorts there are over 1500 missing films alone. The numbers are depressing. Disney+ film library is not even 1/3 complete. The overall library including shorts and films is short about 3000 titles away from completion. Certainly nobody expected Disney to ever get there but it’s reasonable to have expected about 1000 more by now.
Finally, this site will provide original articles and posts related to Disney’s library from a volunteer staff who are just as committed as I am to our ultimate goal – helping Disney+ become the #1 streaming service in the world… and making sure they’ve earned it. No failing up for us.
Let’s get dangerous,
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
Disclosure: This is an *unofficial* Disney news site. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Disney. I am also an investor in Disney stock ($DIS), and thus Disney+ success results in personal gains as well.
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.