6 Disney Movies That You Can't Watch Anywhere Now
FROM UNDERRATED MADE-FOR-TV MOVIES TO THEATRICALLY RELEASED ANIMATED FILMS.
The Walt Disney company has been around for a century and making movies for almost as long—enough to populate an entire streaming service with them. But surprisingly, there are a handful of Disney movies you can't find streaming on Disney+—or anywhere else, for that matter. Read on for six movies from the studio that you can't easily watch in 2023, as well as some insight on why.
READ THIS NEXT: 6 Old Hollywood Movies You Can't Watch Anywhere Now.
Song of the South (1946)
RKO Radio Pictures
At least one Disney flick has been kept off of Disney+ (not to mention out of print on VHS and DVD in most countries) for good reason. No sooner than it was released back in 1946, Song of the South became the subject of protests by civil rights groups for its depiction of a Black man, the kindly Uncle Remus (James Baskett), appearing to feel nostalgic for the days of slavery while sharing colorful tales of the adventures of Br'er Rabbit with two white children living on what is obviously a Southern plantation. Though the film won an Oscar and was rereleased in theaters as recently as the mid-'80s, it has never been officially released for home viewing in the U.S.
The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh (1963)
Walt Disney Company
This 1963 TV-special-turned-feature film, originally aired in three parts on The Wonderful World of Disney and later theatrically released, has become one of the company's creepiest cult curios—in part thanks to the presence of lead Patrick McGoohan, who is best known for the surreal BBC classic series The Prisoner. Based on a 1915 British adventure novel, The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh follows the alter ego of Doctor Syn. Scarecrow, a Batman-esque vigilante, is a swashbuckling scholar who dons a burlap mask to fight against evildoers plaguing the rural countryside. Loaded with creepy imagery and suspense, it stands among the spookiest stories the House of Mouse has ever produced. Sadly, you can't watch it today unless you track down one of the pricey out-of-print DVD editions, which offer both the TV and theatrical versions of the story.
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The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit (1970)
Buena Vista Distribution Co., Inc.
Before Kurt Russell was an action star, he was best known as Walt Disney's chosen one—legend has it the words "Kurt Russell" were the last the studio mogul put to paper before dying, and in 1966, the young actor, then a teenager, signed a 10-year contract with the company. He went on to appear in a dozen films for the studio over the next decade, most of which you can rent digitally or stream on Disney+…but not the 1970 comedy The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit, about an advertising executive who concocts a scheme to use a horse to sell stomach medicine. (Russell plays a wound-be suitor to the businessman's equestrian daughter.)
Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)
Buena Vista Distribution
Countless Gen X'ers are haunted by hazy memories of Disney's adaptation of this spooky, nostalgia-drenched Ray Bradbury novel about two best friends in rural Illinois, born a minute apart on Halloween; a magical lightning rod; and a creepy carnival that comes to town, presided over by the ominous Mr. Dark (played in the film by future Bond villain Jonathan Pryce). With a screenplay penned by Bradbury himself, Something Wicked This Way Comes underwent a tortured production, with director Jack Clayton striving to make a faithful translation of the book, and the studio seeking something more family friendly (that is, less terrifying). The finished product received some good reviews (Roger Ebert praised it for capturing "the mood and tone of the novel, but also the novel's style") but flopped at the box office in 1983. These days, it's the rare major Disney release nowhere to be found on digital platforms (possibly due to rights issues), and the DVD is only available used.
Angels in the Outfield (1994)
Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
Part of a spate of mid-'90s inspirational sports movies that also included Cool Runnings and The Mighty Ducks, this baseball flick (a remake of the 1951 classic of the same name) stars future heartthrob Joseph Gordon-Levitt as preteen Roger, whose divorced dad tells him the family will only get back together if the California Angels make it to the World Series. Roger prays for divine intervention and receives it in the form of angels only he can see (including the "Boss," played by Christopher Lloyd), who help out the woeful team on the playing field. Angels in the Outfield later received two made-for-TV sequels, but if you go looking for any of them on streaming, you'll strike out.
Tower of Terror (1997)
Walt Disney Television
Based on the Disney theme parks ride, but lacking the attraction's clever Twilight Zone theme, the made-for-TV movie Tower of Terror stars Steve Guttenberg as a disgraced newspaper reporter investigating mysterious goings-on at a purportedly haunted hotel. A young Kirsten Dunst plays his plucky niece, who hopes to help him fake a tabloid news story, and you won't be surprised to learn that they come to encounter real ghosts. Despite the star power involved, the film isn't available on streaming.