Earlier this year, Netflix’s messy breakup with Starz resulted in an even messier custody battle, with the latter walking away with their entire catalog of Sony and Disney flicks. But now it looks like the world’s largest provider of on-demand streaming media is on the rebound and has hooked up with the Walt Disney Company in a multi-year licensing deal. Cutting out the middleman, Netflix will now have access to the wonderful works of Disney and its subsidiaries, as well as no longer spending lonesome evenings waiting for the hot dogs to thaw in the kitchen sink.
With this agreement, Netflix will be streaming a back catalog of classic Disney films including Dumbo, Pocahantas, and Alice in Wonderland among a plethora of other memorable titles. Beginning in 2013, new direct-to-video releases — most likely comprised of the lesser sequels that we try in vain to pretend don’t exist, but regrettably do — will be available for streaming once they’re released in stores and other outlets.
Perhaps the greatest stipulation of all in this agreement is the availability of new theatrically released films in the pay TV window to be watched instantly. This includes all films produced by Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disneynature, Pixar Animation Studios, and even Marvel Studios. Granted, this part of the agreement will not go into effect until 2016, but, in the meantime, we have plenty to watch during the next three years or so.
In Netflix’s press release highlighting this momentous occasion, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos had this to say:
Disney and Netflix have shared a long and mutually beneficial relationship and this deal will bring to our subscribers, in the first pay TV window, some of the highest-quality, most imaginative family films being made today. It’s a bold leap forward for Internet television and we are incredibly pleased and proud this iconic family brand is teaming with Netflix to make it happen.
While we’re happy to see Netflix out of its heartbroken rut, we really wouldn’t be at all surprised if Disney just flat out buys the company entirely. It’s just a matter of ti– NOW!
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