It’s July! To celebrate, Disney’s official Twitter account posted a tweet sharing images of films that originally released in the month of July. It’s a great idea for a tweet. Unfortunately, their social media team made big mistake in the caption. The message reads: “Stream all your favorite July releases and more on @DisneyPlus.” Again, a great idea for a caption. See if you can find the problem:
Yes, the problem stems from the fact that only 7 of the 8 films featured are streaming on Disney+.
- Angels In The Outfield is not streaming on Disney+.
- Angels In The Outfield has never streamed on Disney+, in any country.
- Angels In The Outfield is widely considered one of the two biggest films missing from the service, alongside the only missing Disney Animated canon film, Make Mine Music.
As a result, this false promotion hit many subscribers and fans hard. Particularly during a time where Disney+ has been doing extremely poorly with their film library. That’s not an “opinion,” it’s a statistic-based fact. In 2022 Disney+ has barely added any films. We’ve covered this well in our monthly library breakdowns our pages: All Fox Films On Disney+ and Disney Vs. Fox Films In 2022.
2022 is the first year since launch with a NET LOSS. Between January and July Disney+ has removed more catalog films than they’ve added. In both 2020 and 2021 at this point, the net gain was close to 20 films. Extremely disappointing. The constant removal of Fox films is a big reason the net gains weren’t closer to 50 each year.
The Angels In The Outfield trilogy would have been perfect to add during the 4th of July holiday weekend and based on the many comments, people were looking forward to watching it. Had Disney added Angels In The Outfield in July, people would feel a lot more content with what the shallow library additions. Particularly the apparent refusal to add any of the over 70 missing, classic Disney Pictures films in over a year.
Why Isn’t Angels In The Outfield Streaming?
While there has never been an official announcement, some think the reason is to do with the California Angels or MLB licensing. We don’t think that’s it. We featured the director of the very first Disney Channel Premiere film, Tiger Town, in a guest post last year and he shared with us the reason his historical and award-winning MLB-related film is missing comes down to a musical jingle, not the presence of the Detroit Tigers. As such, we highly doubt the presence of the Los Angeles Angels (then the California Angels) has anything to do with it.
Our organization specializes in licensing and has the most knowledge of Disney’s pre-existing contracts by anyone not working for Disney. We have speculated since 2020 the reason for this film’s glaring omission in the Disney+ library, believing that we have the answer, although admittedly our reason doesn’t explain its absence internationally.
In the USA, TBS / TNT have been streaming the film on-and-off every few months for years. It’s there right now. They have also been airing / streaming Star Wars films, MCU films, and the Disney Pictures film library dating back to at least 2016. In 2016, Disney and Warner Brothers Discovery (then Time Warner) signed an 8-year network window deal providing all of these films to TBS / TNT on an exclusive basis. When Disney+ put together its launch lineup, they were forward about the fact that many Marvel and Star Wars films would NOT be present at launch. This is because they were licensed to Starz, Netflix, and TBS / TNT.
Wait a minute. Weren’t they pretty much all there? Yes! Kevin Mayer, the man we can thank for Disney+ having more than 50 films at launch, worked some major magic between 2018 and 2019. He made unprecedented deals with Starz and many other providers to gain access to Disney’s films much earlier than contracts allowed. He made a deal with Warner Brothers to revise their pact so that the MCU and Star Wars films on TBS / TNT would NOT be exclusively licensed. Warner Brothers was willing to negotiate, but they insisted upon monetary compensation and REPLACEMENT content.
Roughly 6 months into Disney+ we became confident that the omnipresence of the Angels In The Outfield trilogy on TBS / TNT is because of this deal. Exclusive access to that trilogy + an unknown financial sweetener allowed Disney+ USA subscribers to enjoy the original 6 Star Wars films and Marvel’s Phase 1 and 2 films years before they would have otherwise.
So, thank you for your service, Angels. But I think we speak for everyone when we say: it’s time to go back to the negotiation table.
Bring our Angels films HOME!
We leave with with a bunch of the depressing, let down, confused, and angry reactions to Disney’s rather large gaffe. Almost 1 day later, the tweet remains. Thing like this are harmful to consumer trust and sadly, this is far from the first time. We’re still waiting for Legend of Tarzan, which they falsely promoted as “Now Streaming” in an official YouTube video way back in January 2021.
We believe Michael Paull and his team should be forced to read all of them, then call up Warner Brothers Discovery and make a deal.
DISCLAIMER: If Disney chooses to renegotiate or rework the deal with WB, or if it ends, the film will arrive. If it arrives next week, that doesn’t mean we were wrong that it would be on TBS / TNT until 2024. The original deal goes till then, we simply expect the replacement films to last the same duration. Hopefully this mistakes results in a good surprise.
Drew Ryan is a film, TV, and Disney geek. He has degrees in English, Student Personnel Administration, and Library & Information Science from Lawrence University, Concordia University-Wisconsin, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Interested in the minutia and licensing of streaming service content, he is always publishing lists, suggestions, and advocating for Disney’s missing library to be added to Disney+. Drew subscribes to Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, and Paramount+. You can find him waxing nostalgic over classic Disney Channel or geeking out over Marvel, CW shows, & Disney on Twitter.