Today, along with the digital release of Frozen, Disney launched its new online streaming service, Disney Movies Anywhere. The service is a cloud-based application for purchasing, storing and watching Disney films on a PC or iOS device. It launched Tuesday on iTunes, and Disney says that they're currently in negotiation with other content providers.
So what does this mean for you? Well, that you can watch over 400 Disney movies whenever you please. And not just the princess ones, either: all the Muppets movies, documentaries about adorable animals, various uplifting sports movies based on true stories, every Pixar movie (even the shorts), every Marvel superhero movie, any movie with Winnie the Pooh in it, both the original and the remake of Tron, more Pirates of the Caribbean movies than you would ever want to watch... hell, they even have every iteration of Air Bud. And don't forget the glorious live-action duds (Prince of Persia, Around the World in 80 Days, Race to Witch Mountain, College Road Trip, etc.).
But although the movie library contains every Disney movie you remember from childhood (and the ones you forgot), it's still got some noticeable gaps. Star Wars fans will immediately note that any Lucasfilm properties are noticeably absent, although Disney currently has the rights for all Star Wars movies. And although Disney has created this Anywhere solution to replace the unpopular and expensive Disney Movies Online and let audiences easily purchase Disney theatrical releases, it still hasn't answered the question: what's happened to all the Disney Channel Original Movies?
Sure, High School Musical will get rerun into the ground, but in what vault are older movies like Smart House and Halloweentown locked away? Currently, there's no way to watch the classic coming-of-age story of a young boy becoming a merman online without a little piracy and the risk of a computer virus, and that's just not cool.
But hey, as Hannah Montana once said, nobody's perfect. So until a nostalgia-starved twentysomething invents a way to watch DCOMs online, you'll just have to be satisfied with the fact that corporate America seems to have finally figured out how to use the Internet.