Disney started pulling content from its direct-to-consumer streaming platform Disney+ earlier this year, following the streaming content bubble bursting spectacularly. Now some of it is beginning to reappear – on paid platforms.
Seasons of shows were unceremoniously zapped from the app, along with several high profile made-for-Disney+ movies, including “Crater,” which was erased a little more than a month after debuting on the platform. Those movies are back – and available to rent or buy on the PVOD platform of your choice (Apple, Vudu, Amazon, etc.)
Disney didn’t publicize this; they just showed up with as little fanfare as when they were removed in the first place.
The removed titles now available to rent (for around $4) or buy (for $20) are “Artemis Fowl,” “Better Nate Than Never,” “Crater,” “Cheaper by the Dozen,” “Flora & Ulysses,” “Stargirl,” “Hollywood Stargirl,” “The One and Only Ivan,” “Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made” and documentary “Wolfgang.” Disney+ original films that have yet to show up for rental or purchase are “Black Beauty,” “Magic Camp” and “Darby and the Dead.”
Several of these films were intended for theatrical release before debuting on Disney+ during the pandemic (like “The One and Only Ivan” and “Artemis Fowl”), which made their removal from the platform even more baffling. And many of them are actually quite good – “Stargirl” was charming enough for the studio to order a sequel with much of the cast and creative team returning for the follow-up. (“Timmy Failure” could have easily warranted a sequel too.)
While it feels weird to pay $20 for a movie that you used to be able to access, free of charge, on a different app, it is important that these movies still exist in the world and are available at all. None of the Disney+ original series that were removed have resurfaced in a similar fashion but maybe this is a good sign of things to come?
Disney did not immediately respond Tuesday to a request for comment.