What's Still Missing From Disney+

Today is the day!  Disney's new streaming service, Disney+, is now available on smart devices everywhere. The highly anticipated launch did not go as smoothly as planned with the servers crashing earlier this morning, probably due to everyone wanting to be the first to access its content. That snag got fixed in a timely manner, but I can't say the same for the password issue. It seems like I need to reset my password almost every time I log on from a new device. Putting all of that aside, the app works exactly as advertised but with somewhat less content than expected. Initially, Disney claimed that they would be releasing their full library of movies, televisions shows, and specials, but it looks like we're going to have to settle for a decent-sized chunk of them instead. There were a few movies and shows added since the preview that launched in the Netherlands a couple months ago, but not quite as much as I was hoping for. I don't consider myself a Disney expert by any means, so this post will mainly focus on the princess content of the app.

When I first opened Disney+, it took a some digging before I realized that the "Princesses" category is located under the "Search" tab and not as one of the default categories that appear on the menu screens. The header image for this section features Snow White, Elena of Avalor, and Ariel. I did not see the larger version of the header that got leaked a few months ago that included Tiana and Mulan on any of my devices. All of the classic animated Disney Princess movies are in the "Featured" section just below the header along with two live-action selections that comprise of The Princess Diaries and the Disney Channel original movie, Princess Protection Program. I personally would have preferred the ABC Family original movie Princess if they had to include a live-action made-for-TV movie in the mix, but I suppose beggars can't be choosers. It's also important to note that Brave and The Princess and the Frog have been added to the service after their initial absence from the Netherlands preview. However, the animated/live-action hybrid princess classic Enchanted is still nowhere to be seen on the app.

Under the "Featured" section of the "Princesses" category is another section called "More Adventures," which showcases all of the direct-to-DVD and made-for-television sequels to the Disney Princess movies. It's nice to see the subtle admission that these films are a notch below the classics. Below that is the "Series" section, which features a handful of animated series that were inspired by the princess movies. Interestingly, Elena of Avalor is included in the "Featured" section alongside the classic Disney Princess films even though it is actually a series. I am extremely disappointed that Sofia the First is still missing from the app entirely, even though Elena of Avalor is actually a spin-off of it. Sofia unfortunately won't be added until Disney ends their contract to stream her show on Netflix. Sofia deserves a home alongside all the fellow princesses she met through her amulet. Right now, the only two full-length animated series that are based on Disney Princess movies are The Little Mermaid: The Animated Series and Tangled: The Series. Aladdin: The Animated Series is still missing as is the original Disney Channel series Star vs. The Forces of Evil. Yet, for some reason, they thought Lego Frozen Northern Lights was important enough to include.

You'll have to dig pretty deep into the Disney+ app to find the other animated princess movie that they shoehorned in thanks to the FOX acquisition. Disney now owns the rights to both of Don Bluth's princess movies, Thumbelina and Anastasia. Of these two, Anastasia is the most popular and the one that people most often confuse for a Disney movie. There was some speculation over whether or not she would be inducted as a Disney Princess when Disney gained the rights to her film. Yet, Disney chose to put Thumbelina on their new streaming service instead. It's unknown whether this is because someone else owns the rights to the recent Anastasia musical, which features some of the same songs as the feature film and is still touring despite ending its Broadway run or because they don't want to heighten the confusion about whether or not Anastasia is a Disney Princess. Nevertheless, Thumbelina is not listed in any of the sub-categories on the app, including the "Princesses" one. Her movie can only be found by either searching for it directly or looking it up in alphabetical order on the page that lists all of the movies.

Though Disney+ hosts some original content with more on the way, it is not a replacement for cable, so don't throw hastily away your DisneyNOW login. Disney+ does not feature any currently airing seasons from shows such as Tangled or Elena of Avalor. It appears that they will likely follow in the footsteps of Netflix by adding new seasons only after they have aired in full. Still, Disney+ is a great way to catch up on older seasons of shows that are no longer available on DisneyNOW and to become reacquainted with some childhood favorites. It's great to see all of the Disney Princess movies together in one place even if there are a few things missing. Hopefully, they will continue to add more great content as time goes on.


legogirl8 said…
I think I wait to get the plus until they put the Aladdin series on there.
But I’ve seen that you now can send request for films and shows on the app.
How is the quality by the way on the old shows, the little mermaid, gargoyles, gummibears? Are they in HD quality? :D
Lisa Dawn said…
Some of the older shows look better than others. The Little Mermaid had already been digitally restored back when they put it on DisneyNOW, so it looks great. I believe Gargoyles was restored for the DVD release. Other shows that had never been released digitally before, however, such as Darkwing Duck, have some very annoying garbly audio issues, and the video looks like it came straight off a TV set in the '90s.
Legogirl8 said…
That's sad to hear :(
I hope they will fix that in the future. Many of the fans of those shows have probably already send in their complaints.
Thank for giving me the info! <3
Marissa said…
Any word on when Sofia the First will be added? I can't find anything about when the contract with Netflix ends. I'm afraid that Disney is phasing her out :( My 14 month old daughter loves her and I'm hoping if Sofia gets back on Disney+ she will become more popular again. I have been buying her most Sofia things second hand...
Lisa Dawn said…
Hi Marissa,

I certainly hope Disney is not phasing her out! Sofia the First is one of my favorite shows of all time. Unfortunately, series creator Craig Gerber posted on Twitter that it would be "years" before their contract expires with Netflix. I know that sounds pretty discouraging, but at least we can still watch it there. Good luck on your quest to find Sofia toys for your daughter!
Unknown said…
When will liv and maddie be on disney+ US
Lisa Dawn said…
Hi reader,

This website is my primary resource to learn what shows and movies will come to Disney+ and when: https://whatsondisneyplus.com/ They also have a Facebook page. If you're waiting for something specific to show up, it's a great place to keep tabs on.
Anonymous said…
i think sopai is still cool

Unknown said…
Sofia the First is leaving on October 7th so we'll probably be seeing it on Disney +.

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