One practice that has been prevalent on Disney over the decades was its tendency to put a number of its productions in a “vault.” This means making home video releases of individual films available at only limited intervals before putting them on moratorium. This causes past Disney movies to languish from lack of tape and disc copies in circulation, at least until the company decides to do a limited re-release.
A recent statement by Disney CEO Bob Iger will apparently turn that practice on its head, when he claimed that many – possibly all – Disney movies placed in the vault will gradually be made available on their upcoming streaming program Disney+, starting sometime after its launch.
The Disney Vault has been conceptualized as a method by the House of Mouse to control its media market and ratchet up consumer demand with every limited-time release of new films and re-release of old.
Disney fans have long soured of the practice, which eventually extended to the matter of digital distribution via online streaming. With Disney+ as an exclusive platform, the company sees merit in releasing their vaulted media there, the same way they’ve removed their media from other streamers turned competition like Netflix.
News of Iger’s vision for offloading the Disney vault on Disney+ received positive reactions from fans on social media as well as investors. Doubled with the promise that a Disney+ subscription will cost less than for Netflix, it’s no wonder that people are getting excited.
Not everyone is raring to jump on Disney+ yet though. Others remain cautious until the platform finally launches. And regarding the matter about opening the company’s media vault, they’ll wait for an acid test in the form of, perhaps, releasing the 1941 live-action-animated movie “Song of the South,” notorious for past accusations of depicted racism.
A possible launch date for the streaming service is being anticipated with Disney’s investor day event this coming April 11.
If fans of Disney and its connected film studios are paying attention, they’d realize that this 2019 is turning out to be one of the most release-heavy years for the media giant in terms of movies. It’s easily shaping up to be one of their most packed schedules yet devised.
For instance, Disney has three remakes of their classic Animated Canon (two in live action, one live-action-looking). Their second-busiest filmmaking arm (Marvel Studios) matches that output. And let’s not forget new animated pictures, and “Star Wars.” If you think that’s bloated already, then apparently Disney thinks one more won’t hurt.
According to Vanity Fair, Disney’s sequel to “Maleficent,” the 2014 live-action remake (more like retelling) of “Sleeping Beauty,” has been moved earlier from its original May 2020 premiere to this coming October. Now it’s like almost every month there will be a Disney production debut.
To better illustrate this weighty schedule, here’s a list of all Disney and related-studio films coming this 2019. Fox isn’t included for now, because as of this writing the acquisition deal isn’t even finalized yet. Only major cinematic releases count:
Dumbo (March 29) – live-action remake
Aladdin (May 24) – live-action remake
The Lion King (July 19) – “live-action” CGI remake
Jungle Cruise (July 24) – new “based on Disney theme park attraction” live-action movie
Artemis Fowl (August 9) – live-action based on children’s urban fantasy adventure book series by Eoin Colfer
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (October 18) – sequel to “Maleficent” (2014)
Disney Animation Studios
Frozen II (November 22) – sequel to “Frozen” (2013)
Toy Story 4 (June 21) – fourth installment, following end of “trilogy” in 2010
Captain Marvel (March 8) – prequel set in the 1990s
Avengers: Endgame (April 26) – last part of MCU Phase 3, and “end” of overarching storyline from Phase 1
Spider-Man: Far from Home (July 5) – first part of MCU Phase 4
Star Wars: Episode IX (December 20) – last part of Sequel Trilogy and conclusion of Skywalker family story
That’s 12 movies in all. Starting from March, at least one will be premiering every month except for September. That’s just incredible. Disney really dominates in 2019.
When Disney began pulling out its content on the online streaming giant Netflix, followed by the eventual announcement of their own digital streaming platform Disney+, it seemed to signal to everyone that the entertainment juggernaut will in future offer streaming of their movies and shows only within its own backyard.
But this latest development seems to debunk that theory. Disney has apparently stuck a new deal with a streaming service based outside the US. This is Stan, one of Australia’s homegrown streaming platforms, and the first to have an original program to score a nomination at the Logies (Aussie Emmys).
This partnership will see Stan carry an astonishing number of films and TV series from Walt Disney and its various subsidiaries. Here’s the full list:
Toy Story trilogy
The Lion King
Cars (1 and 2)
Monsters (Inc. and University)
Big Hero 6
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
The Little Mermaid
A Wrinkle in Time
Iron Man trilogy
Captain America (First Avenger and Winter Soldier)
Avengers films (up to Infinity War)
Guardians of the Galaxy
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Sofia the First
The Lion Guard
Tangled: The Series
Star Wars Rebels
All these Disney goodies should already be available on Stan throughout Australia by December 14. So no, the House of Mouse isn’t hogging all its media for streaming yet.