It seems like it was only last year (that's because it was) when Disney struck a deal with Netflix that gave the streaming service exclusive rights to host films from their most popular brands. This meant that Netflix became the only on-demand service where you can find both older and recently released titles from Pixar, Lucasfilm, and even Marvel Studios. It's no secret that being the only on-demand provider to host some of the largest films in cinema gave Netflix an edge over other services like Amazon Video and Hulu, but unfortunately, the deal was just too good to last.
Not only has Disney already decided to pull all of their aforementioned brands out of Netflix once their contract expires, but they also plan on setting up their own streaming service to host them on. The forcefully short-lived contract between the two companies might already feel like a stab-in-the-back on its own, but the fact that Disney now seeks to create a movie service to compete with Netflix complicates things even further.
While this may be a rough situation for Netlfix in the long run, the good news is that you still have until 2019 to watch some of your favorite Disney-owned movies before they're removed, and we're here to fill you in on which flicks will hurt the most once they're gone for good. Here's 15 Disney Movies Leaving Netflix!
15 Anything Marvel
Starting off strong is something that will surely be a powerful blow to Netflix's movie catalog. Following Disney's recent deal with Netflix that went into effect several months ago, the streaming service had the sole privilege of obtaining any new Marvel Studios movie shortly after being released in theaters. It's no secret that being the only on-demand provider to host the biggest superhero films in cinema gave Netflix an edge over other services like Amazon Video and Hulu.
Still early into Disney's contract, Netflix only boasts a couple Marvel movies at the moment, but when those movies are the critically acclaimed (and still somewhat recent) Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange, it definitely doesn't hurt. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 also makes it way onto the service later this year, along with many other upcoming Marvel titles— but due to Disney pulling out, this temporary win could eventually become a significant loss for Netflix. Then again, recent negotiations between the two companies could reverse the tides here.
Zootopia was a big surprise for everyone when it came out, for a number of reasons. Following the financially disappointing release of Pixar's The Good Dinosaur (still its lowest grossing movie to date), Zootopia proved to be one of those rare occasions where a Walt Disney Pictures film managed to shine above its Pixar brethren, both critically and at the box office. Grossing $1 billion dollars is certainly nothing to scoff at!
With its stunningly beautiful and intricate animation quality, a cast of lovable and goofy characters, and an all-around fresh plot that managed to both entertain and get emotional at times, it's no wonder that Zootopia was the success that it was. If you're one of the few people that haven't already seen this fun look at a civilized world without humans, we definitely recommend you check it out before it's gone.
13 The Jungle Book (2016)
There's always an anxious feeling people get when we find out that one of our favorite movies is getting a remake. While a fresh new take at a beloved classic can sometimes lead to a great re-imagining of the original work, more often than not, these remakes can end in failure, disappointing both hardcore fans and casual moviegoers alike. Thankfully, when it comes to the 2016 live-action adaption of Disney's The Jungle Book, this was not the case.
Containing a star-studded cast — Bill Murray, Idris Elba, and Scarlett Johanson, just to name a few — who voice the brilliantly rendered CGI animals, The Jungle Book was praised by critics for its faithful balance between both the animated film and the original books. If you haven't seen it yet, then we suggest you go to Netflix and check it out before it's gone!
12 Finding Dory
There's no getting around it; the original Finding Nemo, which premiered all the way back in 2003, is irreplaceable. Not only was it the highest grossing G-rated film at the time of its release, but to this day, it still remains the best-selling DVD of all time. That being said, when Finding Dory finally came out last year, most fans were relieved to see that the sequel to one of their favorite animated films ever had lived up to the original.
While there have been complaints from some who say that Finding Dory's storyline wasn't particularly original, and that it relied heavily on almost constant references to the original, most were able to overlook these flaws and see it as a charming and overall entertaining movie. The general consensus goes — if you liked the Finding Nemo, then you're probably going to like Finding Dory.
Did you ever think you'd get to see Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson playing a Polynesian demigod in an animated Disney film? Did you ever imagine him providing vocals on a musical number that somehow manages to rival Frozen's "Let it Go" in just how catchy it is? No, we wouldn't have guessed it either, but Moana proves that you should never underestimate what Disney is capable of.
The film focuses on a young islander girl named Moana who is chosen by the ocean to set sail and search for the key to revitalizing her island, which is slowly losing its plant-life and fish. Of course, this isn't so simple, as she has to adventure far away from the only world she's ever known, and somehow convince the tricky, shapeshifting demigod Maui (played by The Rock) to help her return her island back to its former state.
10 Rogue One
Here's an entry that really doesn't need much of an introduction. Unless you've been sleeping under a rock for the past 40 years, you'll know that Star Wars is one of the largest (if not the largest) cinematic franchises in all of existence. The movies, multiple TV shows, video games, books, and much much more — it seems nothing can stop the money-making monster that is Star Wars.
That didn't stop people from worrying, however, when their favorite space opera epic released the first of its anthology trilogy, Rogue One. Thankfully, there wasn't much to worry about, as the spin-off was met with great critical praise and even greater box office numbers. Considering the fact that Rogue One is the only Star Wars film currently on Netflix, losing it will be quite a loss.
Again, however, if recent negotiations pan out, Netflix might just retain the rights to the galaxy far, far away after all.
Chances are that you completely forgot about this charming movie about a cruel juvenile detention camp located on top of a dried-out lake. If you're a child of the '90s however, then it's likely that you know all about the dubious claim that forcing troubled youths to dig an endless number of holes in a blistering desert is supposed to "build character". Is this synopsis bringing back a flood of pleasant memories big enough to refill Camp Green Lake itself? Then you know we're talking about Holes!
An interesting thing to note about this movie is that it was Shia LaBeouf's first big starring role, and what many would call the catalyst to his movie career. While nowadays, Shia has gotten a reputation for being quite an eccentric character, this film takes us back to a more innocent time, and it will be a shame to lose it.
8 Pirates of the Caribbean
No one ever could have expected a movie series based on a theme park ride to become a huge success, yet here we have Pirates of the Caribbean. At the time, Disney was experimenting with different genres of movies to see what clicked with audiences, choosing three of their Disneyland attractions to make loosely-based films off of. These three films were: The Country Bears, The Haunted Mansion, and of course, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
While The Haunted Mansion was met with mixed-reception, and The Country Bears was a straight-out flop, the debut Pirates flick managed to be a staggering success, spawning an immensely successful line of sequels which now make up one of the highest-grossing film franchises of all times. It's understandable why Disney would want this swashbuckling comedy series all to itself.
7 The Emperor's New Groove
While the film may share a similar title to the classic fairy tale The Emperor's New Clothes, Emperor's New Groove takes a unique approach to introducing a vain, air-headed monarch, and teaching him some humility. This time, of course, instead of giving the conceited emperor a set of invisible clothing that doesn't actually exist, he's magically transformed by his corrupt ex-advisor into a llama. Well, that escalated quickly.
Emperor's New Groove has the refreshing distinction of taking place in an ancient Inca Empire, while still being relatable on a near-universal level. Starring David Spade as the young and egotistical Emperor Kuzco, John Goodman as family-man and village leader Pacha, and Eartha Kitt as the diabolically conniving Yzma, the film's all-star cast pulls off an incredibly amusing performance, which manages to pull off near-constant laughs from beginning to end.
6 Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Basing your movie around a diverse and ancient culture like The Emperor's New Groove is one thing, but Disney took things into an even more interesting direction shortly afterwards with Atlantis: The Lost Empire. In the real world, the legendary lost city of Atlantis has a strange and uncertain history, with some people believing it to actually exist, and others brushing it off as little more than an age-old fairy tale.
Atlantis could have gone in many different directions, but what we ended up getting was an eclectic and three-dimensional cast of characters on an adventurous trip to what ends up being the actual ancient empire of Atlantis. Aimed at a slightly more mature audience than most Disney films of the time, and utilizing a mixture of traditional and new CGI-based animation, Atlantis is an animated spectacle that is still a treat to watch to this day.
5 Lilo and Stitch
The early 2000s was a wonderful time for Disney's fans, as it was a reassuring sign that the long-standing animation studio was going to continue releasing quality content for years to come. For evidence of this, look no further than 2002's Lilo and Stitch. What happens when a chaotic and demented genetic experiment from an alien world crash-lands on the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i? Apparently, a lesson about family that's seamlessly sewed into a wholly delightful kids film.
As it turns out, dangerous creatures from outer space make great companions for little Hawaiian girls, or at least that's shown to be the case during the events of this movie. It's a fun and exciting romp which manages to both stimulate your brain, while also instilling some worthwhile morals to any youngsters watching.
4 The Nightmare Before Christmas
It's a stop-motion animated feature that stars a theatrical talking skeleton. It's a mish-mash holiday movie that combines both Halloween and Christmas into one. It's — really hard to describe properly to someone that hasn't seen it before. The Nightmare Before Christmas is not only Tim Burton's most beloved and critically acclaimed animated film, but it's also one of the most impressive feats in cinematic history.
Today, The Nightmare Before Christmas is well-known as one of the quintessential cult films in cinema, with every generation of new fans introduced to it being just as enthusiastic as the last. Interestingly enough, before it became a hit, Disney wasn't really sure how their core audience would react to the unconventional animated movie, and so they elected to distance themselves from it by releasing the film under the Touchstone Pictures brand instead.
While most of the fleeting Disney films featured so far have been relevant for only the past 15 years or so, we definitely cannot forget one of the all-time classics. Fantasia, which first premiered way back in 1940, is an animated marvel that stunned audiences of the time, and it still manages to command the attention of viewers today. While the film initially received low box office numbers — largely in part to World War II cutting off any international releases — it has gone on to be one of the most lauded animated features in history.
Fantasia consists of several animated segments that each feature its own theme and instrumental track provided by an orchestra, which you see bits and pieces of throughout the film in live-action. Having been re-released numerous times, and having been labeled "timeless" by Walt Disney himself, this is a movie that you'll never get tired of seeing over and over again.
2 Direct to Video Sequels
Okay, so this entry is a little different than the rest. You probably forgot that a lot of these movies existed, or it's possible that you haven't even heard of some of them at all, but they're still an important factor to Disney's pulling out of Netflix in the next couple years. The seemingly endless collection of movies we're talking about, of course, are all of the direct-to-video sequels the House of Mouse has cranked out over the years.
Now, we have to admit that in pretty much every case, Disney's direct-to-video movies are just sub-par continuations of their biggest franchises, and most of them aren't all that amazing. But many of these sequels are somewhat competent movies that are at least a little entertaining. From Tarzan 2 to Mulan 2 (and all three Lilo and Stitch sequels), Netflix is stocked-full with lesser known Disney titles that subscribers may never get the chance to see otherwise.
1 All the Future Releases
Finally, we've arrived at what is certainly to be the biggest hit that Netflix will suffer once their contract with Disney expires. It isn't any of the movies that they're going to lose that are already featured on their service, but rather what they're never going to acquire. Netflix losing Disney means that they're going to miss out on all of the soon-to-be blockbuster movies that are set to be released in 2019 and beyond.
If you're having any doubts that Netflix is really going to miss these upcoming titles, then check out this list of upcoming movies: The Lion King's live-action remake is set for release in 2019, right off the heels of Beauty and the Beast's successful foray into the same platform. Along with that, we have the fourth entry to the ever-popular Toy Story series coming out that same year. And if you're still not convinced, then perhaps Frozen 2 will change your mind when it arrives as well. There's no nice way of saying it — Disney has some huge moneymakers lined up, and Netflix is gonna hurt bad when it misses them.
Are there any Disney movies in particular that you're going to miss from Netflix once they're gone in 2019? If so, let us know in the comments!