Extraordinary Magic in Everyday Life
A recent phenomenon has engulfed our popular culture. This remarkable tool brings a diversified collection of thousands of parts to our very own home. It allows for convenience and quickness, providing the ability to unearth things thought to be lost or overlooked. It introduces a new form of procrastination. It presents a means from which to view several years of television in a couple of days.
What is this revolutionary feat? Netflix.
Yes, Netflix has found a surge of popularity in recent years as more film and television studios grant the system the rights to show users their work, in doing so increasing brand awareness (for films) and creating increased viewership of new episodes (for television) after users have gotten all caught up with past seasons on Netflix. I can say personally that this strategy is working, on all fronts. In fact, sometimes I’m pretty surprised at just how much Disney there is to find in Netflix’s many intricate corridors.
Obviously, a lot of the classics are here. Alice in Wonderland, Pocahontas, Hercules, Mulan, and the like are all here. There are quite a few significant omissions (where are Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King?), but for the most part, you’ll find a good helping of Disney’s best work.
Tailoring to the dominant Netflix demographic, there’s also a lot from Disney Channel. Multiple seasons of many Disney Channel programs are ready for viewing, like Phineas and Ferb and Good Luck Charlie. Most of the Disney Channel series are current programs, though there are a few tossed in that are off the air (like The Suite Life of Zack and Cody).
Surprisingly, there’s also a good amount of Disney Channel Original Movies, both new and old, popular and obscure. I for one look forward to reliving Cadet Kelly in the near future.
What I was most surprised to find on Netflix, though, was many of the vintage Disney cartoon shorts. At first, when I saw that the Walt Disney Treasures series (which released all of the old cartoons in one DVD collection several years ago) was not available, I figured my search reached a dead end. I came to find out, though, that I just wasn’t searching right. Five (five!!) titles listed as Disney Animation Collection boast quite a few of the shorts from Walt’s era, 29 in fact, and they’re all on streaming. It’s a great way for fans to finally see some of this material for the first time.
One of the beauties of Netflix is that it provides a way to hop on the bandwagon with shows that are on the rise. I’ll admit that with most of my favorite current TV shows, I starting watching once they gained a following and alerted me that I might want to pay attention to them. As such, I missed a good chunk of their beginning roots. With Netflix, that problem is nonexistent. If I see a show I want to get into, I simply play catch-up on Netflix until I get to the most recent episode, and then start watching on regular TV. This was a lifesaver with the Marvel films and ABC’s Once Upon a Time. I was able to watch all of them from the beginning and get the full experience. Otherwise, I probably would have dismissed both franchises, not wanting to try to put the pieces of the story together by coming to the party late. (And just as a side note, EVERY episode of Once Upon a Time is currently on Netflix streaming, and the third season begins September 29 on ABC. If you’re a Disney fan, you need to be watching this show. Go watch ‘em now! [Soapbox over.])
But perhaps the real cream of the crop in Disney’s Netflix presence is (drumroll…) the Travel Channel specials all about the Disney theme parks! Five different 50-minute specials can be found, and provide tons of depth and inside behind the creation of some of our favorite attractions and experiences.
Hopefully this rundown brought to light something you didn’t realize was on Netflix and can now go and appreciate. There’s a lot to find, and sometimes you just have to know where to look.
Blake is a college student focusing on Film and Creative Writing. He enjoys making his family of six watch the parade on Main Street and then sprint to Frontierland in time to see it again. You can follow Blake’s random Disney ramblings on Twitter at @olddirtyblake, or at BlakeOnline.com.