The two protagonists of Elemental walking together.

Image: Disney

Securing physical copies of a number of Disney classics is about to get a lot harder. Disney has announced today that after 23 years of service, it will be shuttering the Disney Movie Club later this year. Disney Movie Club is a subscription service for diehard fans that, since 2001, has provided an avenue for them to secure DVDs and Blu-rays of countless pieces of Disney media. Members would receive monthly releases, but the real boon of the service was the Disney Movie Club’s deep cuts, which were often mostly-forgotten classics that are otherwise very difficult to get a hold of.

A statement from the company reads, “After 23 magical years, it’s time to say goodbye. After serving over 10 million valued Club Members, we have made the difficult decision to close the Disney Movie Club. We will miss the opportunity to be part of the lives of so many Disney fans, including you, but we will be forever grateful for the time you’ve chosen to spend with us.”

Disney’s move to close the Disney Movie Club comes on the heels of a new deal the company has struck with Sony, which will see the latter taking over the production of physical media on behalf of the former. The deal, first reported by The Digital Bits, does not clarify whether or not Sony will offer its own similar service in light of Disney Movie Club being closed down.

Physical media has been trending downward for a long time thanks to the emergence of digital releases and the advent of streaming services, making a move like this all but an inevitability. Disney launched its own streaming service, Disney+, in late November of 2019, and the service has largely been touted as an incarnation of the promise the Disney Movie Club once held. But you don’t own the films and TV shows on Disney+; they can be taken off the service at any time. And despite its status as Disney’s digital vault, Disney+ is still missing a number of titles that are currently only available in a physical capacity through the Disney Movie Club. The shuttering of the service in a few months, paired with these titles’ absence on Disney’s preeminent service, has many wondering what’ll happen to the precious titles that haven’t been brought over and have no other physical releases available.

The announcement of Disney Movie Club’s shuttering notes that the service will be retired in July of this year, but current members will have until May 20 to place any remaining orders. If you’re a collector of vintage Disney movies and shows, or even just an advocate for the proliferation of physical media and ownership of it, it’s best to act fast.



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