Disney Plus is now less than a week away and will launch with an impressive catalog of content, as well as new original series like The Mandalorian. However, the platform’s claims to being the most comprehensive source of Disney-owned material will include some understandable exceptions.
According to reports online, Disney are committed to never showing films and particular scenes that, to put it mildly, haven’t aged very well or were divisive to begin with. Some omissions are fairly obvious, including the racism of 1946 live-action and animated hybrid Song of the South, which aside from a few theatrical re-releases, has long been kept out of circulation.
Although Disney haven’t been afraid to monetize some of Song of South‘s IP through theme park attractions like Splash Mountain, we’re not surprised that the original movie won’t be getting a new life on Disney Plus. Furthermore, in preparation for the service’s launch, the company has also cut the “Jim Crow” characters and their song “When I See An Elephant Fly” from Dumbo.
Caution over sensitive material also extends to removing a retrospectively controversial post-credits scene in Toy Story 2, whereby Stinky Pete suggestively offers two Barbie dolls a role in a future installment of the franchise. It’s not just controversy fears that affect gaps in Disney Plus’s library, though.
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Due to complex rights issues, only a few Marvel movies will be provided on the service at launch, while distribution deals with other platforms mean that subscribers will have a wait for titles such as Coco and Ralph Breaks the Internet.
We’re not surprised by Disney’s overall approach to its catalog, as they’ve already committed to not featuring R-rated content on the service, in a bid to keep its family-friendly brand identity. However, it’s fair to say that the streaming platform will still be a major challenger to Netflix and other competitors when it arrives on November 12th. The early buzz over The Mandalorian should be enough reason to sign up, while the prospect of exclusive new MCU shows will make Disney Plus difficult to avoid over the next few years.