The "Disney Vault" is the term used by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment for its policy of putting home video releases of Walt Disney Animation Studios's animated features on moratorium. Each Disney film is available for purchase for a limited time, after which it is put "in the vault" and not made available in stores for several years until it is once again released.
The practice was started with Disney re-releasing its animated films in theaters every few years which began with the reissue of 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1944. In more recent times, this practice has been extended to home releases, in particular those in the Platinum and Diamond lines. Some direct-to-video Disney films, among them Bambi II, have also been released with a pre-established window of availability.
The Walt Disney Company itself states that this process is done to both control their market and to allow Disney films to be fresh for new generations of young children. The practice also has made the Disney films a prime target for digital piracy.
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- Wilson Rothman. "Why I Steal Movies... Even Ones I'm In". Gizmodo.