It’s Disney+ Day! [throws confetti]
I had high hopes for the service. Well before it was announced, I believed it needed to happen. However, my vision of Disney+ isn’t quite what we’ve gotten, and I can’t help feeling a little disappointed at the current version of it. There’s a lot of good stuff, of course; it would be difficult to have a Disney service that didn’t have a lot of good stuff. However, I was right that the idea that this would be “the end of the Vault” was optimistic at best.
Oh, part of that is that people simply are not aware of how much Disney content there is. A true end of the Vault would mean starting with the Alice shorts. You would then have to release every single short, every animated movie, every live action movie. You’d have to release all the TV content and all the Disney Channel original content. And that’s before you get into Disney’s ownership of other media companies. Even if you purely limited yourself to things released under the Disney name, that’s thousands of hours of content; even I don’t know how many.
Now, I don’t blame them for some of what they’ve failed to release. There are movies and TV shows that have aged very poorly indeed—and some that were considered Not Great at the time of their release, come to that. Song of the South was never going to be just released for streaming. I’m also sure that there are issues to do with their contracts with Netflix from before they decided to have their own service. There are even some things where the rights issues get complicated, though as Persia points out there’s no reason for Disney not to back the money truck up to deal with some of that; it’s how they have been able to release Muppet Show episodes mostly uncut.
However, we haven’t even gotten the full promise of what some people thought the end of the Vault would mean. Make Mine Music, which I’ll be writing about next month, is not available. That’s the only one I know of, but still; that’s a movie that should be available and isn’t. We were also told that nothing would leave the service, and I can tell you for certain that The Barefoot Executive has. “The theatrical release stuff that isn’t horrifically racist” is a low bar to clear, and the service hasn’t.
Don’t get me wrong; there’s a lot that we’ve gotten that’s good. The number of old shorts that is available has been steadily increasing. I’m a fan of any number of the new original series, and that includes Disney ones as well as Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. Several of them have become go-to watching for me. I’m really happy that they’re using the service to release any number of new shorts, since that’s one of the training grounds for developing filmmakers and is a way to increase diversity and visibility.
All in all, I’m really glad to have the service (and believe me, this month’s Patreon is helping to pay for another year of it, and there’s still room to help out on Ko-fi), and I believe it can definitely go places. There’s obvious room for improvement, here, but I believe there’s at least a little interest in doing so. Yes, the focus is mostly on the new, but that doesn’t mean there’s no place for the old. After all, day one release “Sammy the Way-Out Seal” is still available, and if that’s not a sign of good faith, what is?