Netflix, Where Are My Movies?

Netflix movie streaming

If you follow the news, you might have heard a fairly big announcement from Walt Disney Studios earlier this month. At the company’s latest earnings report, Disney announced plans to remove all its movies from Netflix’ streaming service at the end of 2018. This will include all Pixar titles and likely Marvel films, though Marvel TV shows will remain. (Lucasfilm titlesnow owned by Disneyhave never been available for streaming on Netflix.) The announcement caused Netflix’ stock price to drop more than 6%.


Beyond the loss of film content for the streaming giant, this brings up another perfect argument for downloading and owning a beloved film instead of trying to stream it. Forget about all the quality and performance issues—the transitory nature of streaming licenses means content can definitely be here today and gone tomorrow. And try explaining contract shifts, licensing agreements, and content negotiations to your 5 year old when she’s crying out to watch Frozen for the umpteenth time!

Netflix Movie Streaming

Further, the illusion for many users is that they’ll be able to watch any movie they desire when streaming on Netflix. While that’s true for Netflix’ enormous disc-by-mail rental library—a service I’ve used since the company’s inception—it’s decidedly not the case with streaming.


In fact, perusing the AFI Top 100 Movies list reveals that Netflix only has 7 of the movies available for streaming. No Citizen Kane (No. 1), no The Godfather or The Godfather Part II (No. 2 and No. 32), no Jaws (No. 56), no Shawshank Redemption (No. 72), no . . . You get the point.


You know what never goes away? Films owned in your disc library—or stored on a hard drive on a Kaleidescape server. Those cherished movies are always there, instantly available for consumption in the best quality possible.

—John Sciacca

Netflix movie streaming

Probably the most experienced writer on custom installation in the industry, John Sciacca is
co-owner of Custom Theater & Audio in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, & is known for his writing
for such publications as
 Residential Systems and Sound & Vision. Follow him on Twitter at

@SciaccaTweets and at

1 Comment
  • John Bishop

    I totally agree that streaming is a compromised way to get content….if quality is your issue. The news from Disney last week, and the Netflix move to steal Shonda Rhimes from them just yesterday, make it clear that content will originate from a host of new places in the future. Amazon, Apple, Google, and more will all be in the game; and streaming is their prime means of delivery. The industry sees this driven by the small screen, personal devices and TVs. At the opposite end is cinema, where quality is paramount and content delivery is a critical mechanism for insuring the integrity of the experience, insuring the artistic level intended by those who create movies for cinema is met….and on the biggest screens.
    Variable and hidden compression is a failing of all streaming, even if you don’t notice it on a TV or personal device, and you might not. But in a cinematic environment, those compromises are significant and clearing evident at least to the trained eye; and if buffering, or frame rate conversion artifacts interrupt a movie experience; that’s ridiculous! You get one chance to see a great movie FOR THE FIRST TIME. It’s nice to see great cinema multiple times, but the first time you see Psycho or Cloverdale, Interstellar or Dunkirk, there’s an impact that is truly unique. Every director and DP cares about that experience, so much so that a web initiative called ‘stop ruining my movies’ was very popular among Hollywood pros just a few years ago. They were concerned about what TVs did to alter the look of ‘their art’. It may be worse today with HDR calibration challenges and even pseudo HDR for non HDR content. I’ve seen Dunkirk now 4 times, as I surveyed two 70mm format presentations, one conventional DCi presentation, and a Dual DLP 6P Laser presentation on a 80 x 60′ screen. These experiences varied, and I can say one stood out as best overall. But all were far beyond the experience of any TV, or ordinary home theater using typical CE products and conventional HT design practices; streaming content or not. Whether in commercial cinema or a RAYVA Architectural Cinema, delivering the genuine cinema experience is a true luxury and one that keeps the art of movies at the level of importance they deserve. Surveying best in commercial cinema is one way to know what that experience should and could be at home. It illuminates proper design goals. And you know what they say about goals, ‘if you don’t know where you’re going, any path will get you there’. Our destination is great cinema experiences, using the science of cinema to deliver the art of movies. Yes, discs are failsafe and at this point KScape is the best way I know of to deliver them…bit by bit!

    August 18, 2017 at 3:38 pm