As February 1st approaches we find ourselves asking yet again:
“Hey, Mr. Earley.
Whatchu got for us this year? Last year you did something incredible and provided the highly requested, 1997 Wonderful World of Disney film Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, to Disney+ subscribers. Getting to experience the classic Brandy film on streaming for the first time ever felt special. Disney+ also put in a Celebrating Black Stories collection and row up all year long.
Here’s the thing, man.
In the USA the offerings in this collection are like my wallet, thin. It’s really not a good look. Great films like The Hate U Give and series like Lincoln Heights and Black-ish are forced onto Hulu in the USA.
“People want DISNEY content on Disney+.”Everyone
It’s widely agreed to be the worst part about the overall service on a global basis. It seems that after Year 1, Disney largely stopped adding “Disney” and we have the stats to back that up. Jokingly, people referred to the service as Star+ or Disney-. In the USA where STAR (sadly) doesn’t exist, it’s even more frustrating that Disney’s massive made-for-TV film library is not arriving. This leads to the jokes here being that we’re subscribed to Fox+ or Nat Geo+.
In February 2022, will you be coasting off Proud Family: Louder and Prouder? Even though it doesn’t arrive until February 22nd (in Spain, believed to be worldwide)? Will Disney kick the month off with some typical Disney lip service? Or will you bring us more of the classic Disney library we’ve been requesting for years?
People have NOT forgotten the tacky social media posts last year that suggested there was more coming than just Cinderella. “Exciting new announcements” never came. They did not even add any missing “Black Stories” for Juneteenth. And why is it that come February we have to beg for missing “Black Disney Stories,” anyway? They shouldn’t be held back to only release in Black History Month because that’s problematic thinking.
Here’s the thing again, man. You CAN fix it now.
Combing through the comments last year the 10 most requested DISNEY titles still missing are:
Celebrating Black Stories – Missing Series
- Fillmore! (26 episodes, 2002-2004)
- Cory in the House (34 episodes, 2007-2008)
We know you won’t be adding Cory due to his… er… legal troubles, forever making that infamous November 2019 promise from DisneyPlusHelp that it was “coming soon” immortalized. Fillmore!, however, is unproblematic, digitized, and available to purchase by German subscribers on Amazon Prime. It’s the only family-friendly (?) black cartoon you have besides Proud Family, so it would be a great companion. Oh, and did we mention it’s the 20th anniversary year? Do not miss this moment.
Celebrating Black Stories – Missing Films
- The Ernest Green Story (1993, Disney Channel Premiere film)
- Selma Lord Selma (1999, Wonderful World of Disney film) AVAILABLE ON DISNEY MOVIE CLUB
- Jett Jackson: The Movie (2001, Disney Channel Original Movie) – 1 of only 5 missing DCOMS
- Sounder (2003, Wonderful World of Disney film) AVAILABLE ON DISNEY MOVIE CLUB – Remake of 20th Century Fox’s Sounder (1972), a landmark in African American cinema
These 4 made-for-TV films are essential to any collection celebrating black lives. All of them are available via Disney Movie Club on DVD.
Finally, these 4 films offer you the opportunity to elevate incredible and inspirational tales of black triumph, a much needed departure from the usual stories of struggle. They are:
- Endurance (1999, Disney Pictures) AVAILABLE ON VOD
- The Loretta Claiborne Story (2000, Wonderful World of Disney film)
- Polly (1989, Wonderful World of Disney film) AVAILABLE ON DISNEY MOVIE CLUB
- Polly Comin’ Home (1990, Wonderful World of Disney film) AVAILABLE ON DISNEY MOVIE CLUB
Please. Adding 10 catalog titles to celebrate black lives is not asking much. You’ll make things much better for a community that deserves to see themselves on screen. Think of the young fans that will be introduced to these titles for the first time.”
It’s a lengthy ask, but we’re asking it.