Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Bob Iger's plan to revitalize Disney...probably won't include adding library shows to Disney Plus

When I read that Bob Iger was back in at CEO after a short "retirement," I joked that he was unhappy with the lack of progress at getting the 1982 Incredible Hulk cartoon on Disney Plus. While I don't think he is all that concerned with the appalling lack of progress in getting library content on the company's streamer, I do think there could be a possible opportunity here if the cards fall right and if certain conditions are met. OK, now I sound like Leonard Nimoy.

3 years ago, I speculated on what kinds of cool BOTNS-era shows could appear on Disney Plus. The only one available is The Muppet Show, and yay, Disney, for that. 

I think it's about time to give up on most of my "What's missing" list (I still think Vic's Vacant Lot would be a blast), but here's a pared-down version of semi-realistic possibilities for 2023. Iger has called for a profitable Disney Plus, and that means less spending. Last I checked, it's still cheaper to restore an old show for HD than it is to create [Insert name of Disney Plus Original you don't care about].

*Marvel cartoons: Ok, I WAS joking about the 1982 Hulk, but really, what's the deal here? This and the 1960s Marvel cartoons, the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon, even the 1970s Fantastic Four...Get it all up here. No more excuses. 

*Wonderful World of Disney: It's amazing that the company that used to project so much concern for and care of its legacy is ignoring so much of it in the streaming age. There is so much TV footage featuring Walt, and while much of it is intros to movies and material already available, there are still plenty of themed episodes they could post. And what would be the problem with just posting an intro to a classic Disney movie?

*Vault Disney: Call it Bob Iger's Wonderful World of Disney. Call it Disney Plus' Wonderful World of Iger. The new returning CEO is said to be a booster of the Disney "brand" and history. There are a lot of cool Disney specials, like those relating to the theme parks, that are on YouTube but not on the flagship streaming video service. Put some of this together and let Iger record some new wraparounds for context. The nostalgic Disney lovers would eat it up.

*Disney Channel shows: Speaking of nostalgia, a lot of kids who grew up watching Disney Channel in the Eighties are now streaming video consumers, and I see many of them lamenting the fact that they can't watch the stuff they did then. In that aforementioned post in 2019, I mentioned Mousterpiece Theatre as a popular program the then-premium channel ran that is no longer available anywhere. There are plenty of others: anthology shows showcasing the classic animation shorts (And oh, yeah, a ton of those are still missing on D+), exercise shows, etc.  In fact, you know what would be cool? A quality documentary about the origin and early years of Disney Channel.

*The Star Wars Holiday Special: I have been saying for years that Disney oughta unveil this as a Christmas treat for the fans. Drop it on the service Christmas Eve as a surprise and let people discover it and make a big deal out of it. If they do it this year, I'll give Bob Iger all the credit for it.

So I have given up on non-Disney TV movies, Fox library shows, 1980s sitcoms that aren't already on Hulu, and plenty of other cool stuff. I think it's reasonable to hope for a few bones from this list. Make it happen, Bob Iger, and blame the delay on Chapek if you must!

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