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Why Disney+ Has Already Removed a Ton of Movies (And When They Will Be Back)

We didn't get to say goodbye!

Twentieth Century Fox

It’s been just about two months since Disney+ was released to the world, and it’s pretty safe to say it’s been successful. There was a vast library of content available to stream when it first launched, both original content and nostalgia-filled titles were included in the launch. We’ve had weekly releases of new episodes of their shows like The Mandalorian and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, but on January 1st, streamers noticed titles that were once available to watch have since been removed. People were caught off guard saying there was no warning and some of their favorite titles apparently had a brief shelf-life.

For the most part, people seem really thrilled with the service from Disney, which allows us to watch everything from the Disney family. Statistics released say that more than 10 million people have already signed up for the service, and for the most part, it’s all been positive. That was until people realized the missing titles, but Disney did warn us a few months ago.

What Disney+ Titles Missing & Why?

On January 1st, several titles went missing from the service, including all the Home Alone movies, The Sandlot, Dr. Dolittle, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Strange Magic. Disney warned us that this kind of thing might happen back in November 2019 saying, “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.”

While they didn’t outright say that they’re going to have a somewhat rotating collection of titles, that seems to be the case. And it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Every other streaming service does the same thing, with titles usually leaving at the beginning of each new month as new titles are added throughout.

Will These Titles Be Coming Back to Disney+?

There is a chance people weren’t anticipating titles to be leaving the Disney+ platform because so many of them are owned by the company, but that’s not the case for all of them. Just like other platforms, Disney+ must have contracts in place with other companies in order to feature specific titles and vice versa. These have expiration dates and that’s when we see them removed, but a heads up would be nice, which is the heart of the complaints.

Several of the titles that users saw leave the platform at the start of this month were holiday-related, so it’s safe to guess we may see those return next year. But, without any official announcements or heads up from the company before they disappear, we’re going to be a little on edge.