In most cases – not likely. Despite Halloween being many people’s favorite time of the year, Disney’s small library of Halloween-related content remains mostly un-streamable. Last year Chip & Company wrote an article about people’s disappointment in the missing Halloween films featuring tweets from many fans. Here is a longer list of missing films along with information on how to watch them and why their arrival is unlikely.
Watcher In The Woods (1980)
This film flopped at the box office but went on to become a cult classic. It’s not considered one of Disney’s most iconic films due in no small part to being their scariest and least-Disney like. Every year articles are published speaking of how this film became a Gen X Halloween classic… so why does it remain vaulted? Spooky has been in for a long time. Disney needs to fix acquire the streaming rights and get this up. Now.
Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)
A few years later, Disney once again stepped outside their comfort zone. Like Watcher in the Woods, this film remains mostly vaulted. Disney+ and the 80s don’t get along well.
Ernest Scared Stupid (1991)
Unfortunately, Jim Varney (aka Ernest) died years ago. His passing has probably eliminated the chance of ever streaming his classic Touchstone comedy films. His estate would have to negotiate with Disney a new contract as the existing deal was for Disney to distribute the films on home media, not streaming. The lack of any thus far suggests that isn’t going well and they’ve given up.
Tower of Terror (1997)
If you’re a Millennial you probably have fond memories of this film that used to air on Disney Channel. It was the first Disney film based on a theme park attraction. This Wonderful World of Disney made-for-TV film stars Steve Guternberg and a young Kirsten Dunst.
Under Wraps (1997)
The first DCOM has been missing since launch. On October 1st’s a remake will premiere on Disney Channel as the 111th DCOM. We should get both of them. Problem? Hallmark produced the film. Disney and Hallmark collaborated on other films that did make the service, but Hallmark’s involvement is likely the tie up. Another possible setback is the film’s producer Don Rhymer passed away in 2012 and his estate would be involved in reworking the old DVD contract to include streaming. 🙁
NOTE: As of March 2022 ALL of these links below are now dead. Disney’s 6-year contract for home media release rights has expired!
Mickey’s House Of Villains (2002)
This is the most likely title to join the library this year. On June 25th, 2021, YouTube VOD replaced the version they’d been selling since 2013 with a wide-screen version. Here’s the link to the 2013 version. I mean, think about it… Disney actively singled out this film to upgrade on VOD… just before Halloween… We also know this one is streaming-approved because it left Netflix in November 2019 after 6 years of streaming. Yes, it left just before launch and still has been vaulted for 2 years. One reason it could be held back is to wait until House of Mouse is ready to stream. Could October see the long-awaited addition of House of Mouse along with this Halloween special?
Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween (2005)
We think the odds of this one making it are the 3rd highest. It’s a sequel to a film already streaming and requested often. It actually came out the same year as the film it’s a sequel to. Curiouser and curiouser. We reached out to the Director to ask if he had any info on what’s keeping it. We’ll update this if he replies!
The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular! (2017)
Added to Australia and other countries in June and July for some odd reason. Locked into DisneyNow contract until January 1st, 2022 here in the USA. We think this is the 2nd most likely to show up this year as Disney has been slowly starting to add content prior to DisneyNow expiration dates but this title is also the one we care least about since its eventual arrival is guaranteed.
We used to think Casper Meets Wendy (former Fox Family film) was obtained in the Fox purchase but new intel suggests the rights may have reverted to Universal. The odd thing is this Casper film is the only one not available on VOD or streaming…
Are there any films we missed or forgot? Let us know in the comments below! Are you worried most of these titles won’t ever join Disney+? Which was your favorite?
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.