Disney+ Explains Why Those Movies Suddenly Disappeared

Johnny Depp screams as Captain Jack Sparrow Pirates of the Caribbean

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Disney+ is only 2-months-old, so fans were surprised to see some initial content suddenly disappear like Thanos Snap 2.0.

Movies including Home Alone; Home Alone 2: Lost in New York; The Sandlot; Dr. Dolittle; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Flicka; White Wilderness; The Shaggy Dog; Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties; Strange Magic; Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers; and The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration were all reported MIA.

It was assumed to be due to licensing deals and apparently that is the case.

A Disney+ spokesperson explained to Gizmodo that a small number of titles left Disney+ over issues relating to legacy deals. All of the movies and shows that left -- and the ones that will leave from this point -- will also return to Disney+ when the deals expire.

This was expected, since there are still pre-existing arrangements between Disney+ and other outlets, it was just a surprise to see the streamer lose multiple titles so soon. However, this is only going to happen to a small amount of content. We've already seen the issue crop up in movies listed on Disney+ with dates coming later in 2020 or 2021 and beyond. Most of those movies are currently on Netflix, which is why they have yet to come to Disney+.

Apparently this is going to stay an issue for a long time. Bloomberg reported that, under Disney's current deal with Netflix, every movie released between January 2016 and December 2018 will be back on Netflix starting around 2026. The streaming world is fraught with complex contracts!

My problem isn't with streamers and their legacy/licensing/pre-existing deals. Just tell us. That's all I ask.

Disney+ could take a big lesson from Netflix on that front -- tell fans what you are adding each month and also make it clear what you are losing. Disney+ has been doling out new content info one week at a time, or one month at a time for December 2019, and most recently giving a look at the entire year ahead for 2020. But what it has yet to do is post a list letting fans know when a movie or TV show will leave.

Better to tell Disney+ users outright than keep it quiet, then suddenly that movie you were planning to see is now gone. That seemed to be the case for a lot of Home Alone fans, but I was thinking about Dr. Dolittle. After all, Robert Downey Jr.'s movie Dolittle is opening January 17, so some fans might've thought it would be fun to watch Eddie Murphy's first Dr. Dolittle movie, which came out in 1998.

I am hoping Disney+ starts giving users notice from now on, especially when fans weren't expecting movies to disappear quite so quickly. I never would've imagined so many Home Alone fans would be frustrated to miss out on a Disney+ marathon, but now we know they are out there.

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Since we're chatting, how are you feeling about Disney+ two months into its reign? Are you finding enough titles to watch or are you in the doldrums as you wait for The Mandalorian Season 2 or Marvel's The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and (my personal #1 must-watch for 2020) WandaVision? What has caught your eye? If you don't have Disney+ yet, start your free 7-day trial here.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.