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. This also means digital copies are not available on Disney Movies Anywhere when those movies are currently in the Disney Vault. However most titles in the Vault are available to buy online permanently.
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. As a side-effect, the practice also has made the Disney films a prime target for digital piracy.
The following movies are colloquially considered part of the Disney Vault. Each has at one time been announced/released on Disney's Platinum/Diamond/Signature collection, although some titles have later been canceled. Films that do belong in the vault but have never had such plans and Sequels to the listed films have been excluded. Films that are currently vaulted and not available for sale from Disney are denoted with a *.
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
- Fantasia - available on Netflix only
- Alice in Wonderland
- Peter Pan*
- Lady and the Tramp*
- Sleeping Beauty*
- One Hundred and One Dalmatians*
- The Jungle Book*
- The Little Mermaid*
- Beauty and the Beast
- The Lion King*
- "Front Row, Sofa! - Di$ney Does The Little Mermaid". dvdfuture.com. 2011-11-10. Retrieved 2011-11-28. "Archived". Archived from the original on October 13, 2007.
- Arnold, Thomas K. (2006-02-06). "'Bambi' is back for 70 'II' days". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved 2011-11-28.
- "Buena Vista Home Entertainment: A Very Lucky Accident Indeed". Awn.com. Retrieved 2011-11-28.
- Wilson Rothman. "Why I Steal Movies... Even Ones I'm In". Gizmodo.
- "Disney is taking a Movie out of the Vault, but why do they hold our childhoods hostage in the first place?!". eonline.com. 2015-02-06. Retrieved 2015-02-06.
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