Disney officially entered the streaming wars with the launch of Disney+, its direct-to-consumer video service that offers subscribers an impressive library of streaming movies and series from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and 20th Century Fox, among other studios.
With more than 600 projects available at launch, there’s something for everyone — but the list of movies and shows available on Disney+ is far from complete. Whether due to existing licensing deals, uncertain demand, or various unknown factors, there are some glaring omissions in the Disney+ catalog. Here are some of the best films that should be available on Disney+ but are currently missing for one reason or another.
Angels in the Outfield
Disney’s 1994 remake of the 1951 film of the same name, Angels in the Outfield followed a young boy in foster care who believes that if the long-suffering California Angels (the team now known as the Los Angeles Angels) win the World Series, he’ll finally be reunited with his father. After praying for a miracle, he suddenly begins seeing angels assisting the team’s players to one victory after another, and finds himself at the center of a baseball miracle. The all-star cast is led by Danny Glover, Tony Danza, and Christopher Lloyd, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing the film’s young protagonist in one of the actor’s earliest featured roles. Supporting cast members include Adrien Brody, Matthew McConaughey, and Neal McDonough. There’s no official word on why Disney+ doesn’t offer the film, which was received well enough to spawn two sequels.
While many of the films Disney acquired as part of its purchase of 20th Century Fox don’t align with the family-friendly vibe of Disney+, the 1985 sci-fi drama Cocoon would fit right in among the heartwarming movies aimed at the service’s older subscribers. Not only is it a PG-13 film, but its themes correspond with the sort of inspirational tales Disney is known for. Directed by two-time Oscar winner Ron Howard, the films tells the story of a group of senior citizens who discover a fountain of youth in a pool near the complex where they live, only to learn that the secret of its powers is literally out of this world. Steve Guttenberg leads a cast that also includes Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Brian Dennehy, and Jessica Tandy, among other familiar faces. Disney hasn’t revealed whether Cocoon will ever make its way to Disney+.
It’s not one of Disney’s better-known films, but this 1981 adventure comedy won over audiences with its tale of an imaginative comic book creator who gets caught up in the defection of a KGB spy while pretending to be his book’s fictional hero, Condorman. Equipped with all of his hero’s trademark tools — from a transforming race car to a set of high-tech wings — he must evade a deadly assassin while escorting the beautiful ex-agent to safety. Michael Crawford stars in the film, which was celebrated for its innovative (at the time) stunt sequences, and was regarded as one of Disney’s most adult-themed films when it was released. There’s no word on when — or if — the film will ever be available on Disney+.
Few films’ absences from Disney+ are as conspicuous as Enchanted, Disney’s musical, 2007 blend of live-action and animation that cast Amy Adams as a typical Disney princess who is transported out of her animated fantasy world into live-action, modern-day New York City. A critical and commercial success that established Adams as a leading lady and pivoted Disney back to traditional animation after years of computer-animated projects, the film managed to simultaneously parody and pay homage to classic Disney animated features over the years, and earned multiple Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for its original songs. Adams was joined in the cast by Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Idina Menzel, and Susan Sarandon. There’s currently no mention of the film on the Disney+ service as a future addition to the library.
Director Andrew Stanton’s 2012 adaptation of sci-fi and fantasy author Edgar Rice Burroughs’ celebrated Barsoom series was an infamous flop at the box office despite earning almost $300 million worldwide, but its ambitious scope, breathtaking visual effects and action sequences, and roots in one of the greatest sci-fi literary sagas of all time make its absence on Disney+ noteworthy (and a bit disappointing). The film’s underwhelming performance at the box office didn’t stop it from earning a large fan following over the years, and it tells the story of an American Civil War soldier who finds himself transported to Mars and thrust into the middle of another, equally brutal war between the planet’s rival factions. His human physiology gives him powerful abilities on Mars, and he uses them to establish himself as one of the planet’s greatest warriors. Taylor Kitsch plays the title role, with Lynn Collins, Mark Strong, Ciarán Hinds, Dominic West, and Willem Dafoe in supporting roles. The film also marks the live-action debut of Finding Nemo and WALL-E director Stanton. According to Disney, the film won’t be available on Disney+ until May 2020 due to licensing agreements.
Angelina Jolie plays the title role in this 2014 film told from the perspective of the eponymous Sleeping Beauty villain. The film explores the powerful character’s relationship with the neighboring kingdom’s ruler, and the greed, betrayal, and jealousy that has poisoned their relationship and their lands. The film was a massive hit at the box office, finishing as the fourth highest-grossing film of the year and earning an Academy Award nomination for its gorgeous costume design. Jolie is joined by Sharlto Copley and Elle Fanning in the cast, and the film spawned this year’s sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Disney has indicated that a licensing agreement will keep the film off Disney+ until October 2020.
The Mighty Ducks
The absence of The Mighty Ducks feels like a knuckle-puck to the face for fans of the 1992 family-friendly hockey classic, which cast Emilio Estevez as former professional hockey player Gordon Bombay, whose cushy life as a sleazy defense attorney is changed forever when a judge sentences him to community service as the coach of an underachieving local youth hockey team. As is often the case with Disney sports films, Gordon learns about what’s truly important in life as he turns the motley group of kids into a close-knit team, and served up one of the most beloved Hollywood underdog stories for an entire generation. The film was so successful, in fact, that it spawned two sequels and a real-world hockey team, with Disney establishing the National Hockey League’s Mighty Ducks of Anaheim a year after the film hit theaters. Sadly, you won’t be able to stream The Mighty Ducks on Disney+ until July 2020, and you’ll have to wait until January 2021 to do the same with its sequels.
Disney+ has all kinds of Marvel movies available for subscribers, but you won’t find Disney’s own, live-action superhero movie available on the service any time soon. Michael Angarano played Will Stronghold, the son of the world’s two greatest superheroes, in this 2005 family-friendly film. Sent off to superhero school by his famous parents — played by Kurt Russell and Kelly Preston — Will must navigate the social pressures of high school and his parents’ legacy while dealing with the concern that he might not actually, well … have any powers at all. Danielle Panabaker, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Steven Strait play fellow students at the school, while iconic Wonder Woman actress Lynda Carter plays the school’s principal. Fans of the film will have to wait a very not-super amount of time to see it on Disney+, as it won’t arrive on the streaming service until December 2020.
- The best family movies on Disney+ right now
- What’s new on Disney+ in April 2021
- The best shows on Disney+ right now
- The best kids movies on Disney+ right now
- The best action movies on Disney+ right now