Movies Are Disappearing From Disney+ — Here's Why

by Julie Scagell
Home Alone
Twentieth Century Fox

Disney+ subscribers were sad to learn some of their fave flicks won’t be available anymore

If you were one of the millions who subscribed to the new streaming service, Disney +, you likely already know what I’m about to tell you: Movies are already disappearing with no warning, and people are not happy about it.

The service, which promises shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Nat Geo, and others, including everything from Snow White and Moana to Iron Man and Thor,” has already been purchased by over 10 million people to positive acclaim. But recent bad press about movies mysteriously leaving is giving the service a bad rap. Yes, Baby Yoda judges you.


Fan favorites, including Home Alone and Home Alone 2, for instance, were available over the holidays and are now suddenly MIA. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Sandlot, Flicka, Dr. Doolittle, White Wilderness, Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, among others, also gone.

Twentieth Century Fox

But wait. That’s not supposed to happen. Disney even made a statement about this very thing in November 2019 to Comicbook, saying in part, “there will not be a ‘rotating slate’ of licensed movies each month. … With Disney Plus, beloved classics from the Disney vault will now stream in a permanent home, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King — the entire 13-film Signature Collection — all available on day one.”

But, apparently, subscribers were meant to read between the lines because this only refers to very specific Disney films that were kept in the Vault but doesn’t apply to every film that Disney owns. For other movies, a permanent stay on Disney+ can be complicated by the company’s other relationships, like license deals and contract terms, with the likes of Netflix and Starz. Even today, the only way Disney can include The Force Awakens on its platform is if the company includes ads for Starz, which currently has the streaming rights for the film. Other movies, like the blockbuster Black Panther, will be taking a temporary hiatus from Disney+ and may not return until 2026. The hell?


What this means for subscribers is that nothing is forever. There won’t always be every Disney-owned movie at any one time available to be downloaded, and we now can’t expect that once something’s available it will be there tomorrow. Until new and different deals are made, your goal should be to watch your favorites when they’re available — because they may not last. This is especially fun if you have a little one who is obsessed with Home Alone regardless of the month we’re in and is having something of a mid-life crisis at the tender age of 8 over this entire situation.

If you’re a fan of the 2019 Aladdin, however, there’s a bright spot in this story: Disney + will begin streaming the flick on Jan. 8.