Disney+ Requested to Return “Banned” Episodes Amid Ongoing Content Purge

in Disney, Entertainment

Disney officials presenting Disney+

Credit: Disney

While there are more streaming services than channels (an exaggeration, but there are a lot), it can be tough for many to decide what they should keep and what subscription they need to get rid of. From Netflix, to Max, to Disney+ to Hulu, to Paramount+ to Apple TV+ to Peacock, and so many other options, streaming services are running up millions of credit card bills each month.

All of the different Disney+ titles surrounding the logo
Credit: Disney

Now, as more “ad based” tiers come into play, increasing the cost of an ad-free streaming experience, and password crackdowns begin, viewers are starting to expect more from their streaming experience.

Under the current Disney+ subscription plans, the online streaming service is offered at a base rate of $7.99 per month, which includes ads and does not allow downloads.

This pricing remains unchanged, but there will be limitations on device usage, permitting only two devices to be used for streaming at a maximum quality of 1080p, eliminating access to 4K streaming.

Disney+ logo with Iron Man, Darth Vader, Elastigirl, Moana
Credit: Disney+

However, for the Disney+ Premium plan, which provides an ad-free experience, there will be a price increase. Previously, this plan was available at $10.99 per month or $109.99 per year and allowed users to download content on up to 10 devices, and offered ad-free streaming. As of October 12, the price for this premium plan has been raised to $13.99 per month or $139.99 per year.

During the Q3 earnings call, Iger noted, “We’ve raised prices in nearly 50 countries around the world to better reflect the value of our product offerings.”

This change happened after Disney underwent a massive content purge, eliminating over 50 titles a few months ago. Just recently, we announced another round of cuts was taking place, with eight series coming to an end. This included:

  • The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers
  • Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.
  • High School Musical: The Musical: The Series
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles
  • Willow
  • National Treasure
  • The Wonder Years
  • The Nautilus 
A hand holding a phone with the Disney+ app open
Credit: Mika Baumeister via Unsplash

In our earlier predictions, we anticipated the likelihood of additional content being discontinued, prompted by Disney’s “strategic realignment.” This initiative was initially disclosed in March when CEO Bob Iger revealed intentions to reduce costs by laying off 7,000 employees, aiming to save $5.5 billion.

This move followed Disney+’s initial quarterly decline in subscribers at the close of 2022. As we have already explored, this trend is expected to persist and has become even more evident in the recent updates regarding changes to the Disney+ service.

One other change that is being implemented is the password sharing crackdown, which will no longer allow password sharing outside of households.

The enforcement measures are a part of the streamer’s revised Subscriber Agreement. Within this agreement, the company mentions the introduction of limitations on account sharing. More precisely, a new section titled “account sharing” has been added to the agreement, which outlines the following:

“Unless otherwise permitted by your Service Tier, you may not share your subscription outside of your household. “Household” means the collection of devices associated with your primary personal residence that are used by the individuals who reside therein. Additional usage rules may apply for certain Service Tiers.

Collage of Disney+ programming
Credit: What’s On Disney Plus

In Canada, this change is now in effect.

The upcoming changes are set to take effect on your next billing date, which falls on or after November 1st, 2023.

However, a few significant questions remain unanswered. Disney has yet to clarify the meaning of “Service Tiers.” It’s possible that the company intends to implement a system similar to Netflix, which was the first to address password sharing by allowing subscribers to pay an additional $7.99 per month to add ‘Extra Members’ with whom the account can be shared.

Again, with costs increasing, Disney fans are looking to see the platform grow, and not shrink.

One Disney+ fan took to the internet as they are seeking for Disney+ to return “banned” episodes to the platform in the midst of the ongoing content purge and price hikes.

Disney and Apple cross promote (Disney Plus) on different devices including a laptop, mobile phone, smart tv, and tablet showing various Disney+ films and Disney+ TV shows
Credit: Disney

They said, “The service has a “request” feature for you to request things to be added to steaming. But how many “requests” will it take to actually get things done? How many requests before they add the WW2 shorts or Runaway Brain or bring back the “banned” episodes of Darkwing Duck and Tailspin?”

Screenrant put together a list of the “banned” and missing episodes from various shows on Disney+:

  • Andi Mack (Multiple Episodes Missing)
  • The Little Mermaid (“Whale of a Tale” )
  • Darkwing Dark (“Hot Spells”)
  • TaleSpin (“Lost Horizons,” “Flying Dupes”)
  • The Muppets (“Lullaby of Birdland”)
  • Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (“The Quest of the Red Skull”)
  • DuckTales (“Sphinx for the Memories”, “Launchpad’s Civil War”)
  • The Simpsons (Season 3, Episode 1)
  • Smart Guy (Season 1, Episode 4)
  • Recess (Multiple Episodes)
  • The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (Season 1, Episode 18/ Season 3, Episode 20)
  • Fantastic Four (“Incursion of the Skrulls”)

On Disney+’s website, it notes, “Under exceptional circumstances Disney+ will omit certain episodes from a TV series for a range of possible reasons such as ratings, rights availability, or other editorial decisions. If you have questions or comments about specific content missing from Disney+, please contact Disney+ Customer Service.”

Disney officials presenting Disney+
Credit: Disney

In response to the guest wondering about the request that they had been placing on Disney+, someone else replied, “Probably none. Odds are very high that no one ever looks at them. It’s a placebo. These decisions are business decisions, most of what isn’t available have a monetary reason why. Companies pay a lot more attention to what is trending on the social media feeds and organic search keywords driving users to their site.

And no executive anywhere is going to jeopardize their bonuses and promotion to recommend anything with even a tinge of controversy, at least those ideas without the prospect of huge profit.”

Many agreed that it likely does not matter the amount of service requests given and that the feature is just an added option to allow users to feel heard.

Do you think that Disney should stop removing content or banning episodes of shows on Disney+?

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