While I contemplated producing some music to accompany this Disney Club Movies review, I decided that it would be cruel to subject you to my singing.
If you’re reading a review of ANYTHING Disney, you’re probably already getting more adorable music than you can bear.
I’d like to start this piece with a disclaimer: I adore Disney movies. Moana is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I possess most of their VHS and DVD/Blu-Ray releases. Now that I have children, my passion for Disney has become even stronger, since it serves as an excellent babysitter when I need to get things done or take asleep.
(I’m kidding, my kids won’t keep quiet long enough for me to snooze!)
That being said, I have nothing particularly kind to say about the Disney Movie Club. So, if you’re ready, grab your fish hook and clam-shell bikini, because we’re about to go deep into the world of Disney Movie Club.
What exactly are Disney Club Movies?
I should have started with this. If you’re not acquainted, Disney Movie Club (DMC for short from now on) is a subscription service. You sign up, generally get four movies for one dollar, commit to a two-year contract for another six movies at $19.95 a piece (plus shipping and processing), and then you may “cancel anytime.”
If you were a teenager in the 1990s, you might recall the Columbia House CD membership program, where you got several free CDs but then had to buy another 10 or so at quadruple the price. Those were terrific until your mother walked in and asked why she owed $32.99 for a copy of a Bjork CD that your crush said was awesome but wasn’t.
In any case, the DMC is the same as it was before Bjork. You receive a few movies for “free” upfront, but then you have to pay a certain number more. It’s not bad if you like Disney and have gaps in your film library.
Even in the worst-case situation, it’s still horrible, and here’s why!
Your Disney Club Movies Commitment Requires a Month-to-Month Check-In
Each month, you will get a mailer containing the “Featured Title” for the next month. This isn’t entirely surprising; it’s part of the package. My issue with it stems from three fundamental points:
- You must answer within 2 weeks after receiving the mailer, saying whether or not you desire the item. If you don’t, you’re stuck with whatever is available that month. This is why we now have copies of Planes on at least three different mediums (it’s not even a decent movie!!).
- If you didn’t notice from the preceding bullet, these options are occasionally lesser-known films or ones that likely did not receive the recognition or success of major blockbusters. We have Beauty and the Beast Do Christmas, or whatever it’s called as a result of this, which has fantastic phone-in animation and voice acting from a group of folks who, I guess, work at Disney’s copy office as their primary job.
- Even after your two-year commitment expires, you must remember to cancel fully or react to their mailers every month. Otherwise, you’ll be charged for that month’s movie, even if you’ve already completed your purchase requirement.
We were only pleasantly surprised when we received Doctor Strange in the mail. Sure, I’m perplexed, but I’m also pleasantly delighted. You may satisfy your commitment by choosing any four movies you choose, but the monthly selection is still in effect, and if you forget, you’ll wind up with Aladdin 4: Aladdin Does His Taxes.
Disney Club Movies Good Deal or Costly Mistake
Disney Club Movies Costs
I may have overstated the cost of a random Bjork CD from the 1990s, but the movies in this subscription normally cost roughly $35 after shipping/processing.
I don’t care if the location of Atlantis is carved into it; $35 is a LOT of money to spend on a movie when you can generally get it for less than $20 on Amazon. If you need to acquire another 5 movies to complete your contractual duty, you’re looking at a budget of $175.
Divided into 9 movies, this works out to roughly $19 per movie, which isn’t terrible, but after your four free movies, are there another five movies you’d go out and buy unless you had a contractual gun to your head? Would you go out and buy a bunch of odd Disney movies if I handed you $175 right now?
The enduring myth of “digital copies”
Many movies now come with a DVD, Blu-ray, and a “digital copy.” I can download this on my kids’ tablets and they’ll be quiet as we go to Grandma’s place.
That’s not how it works, at least not with Disney films. The digital copies are stored in an online account, similar to your own personal Disney vault, where they may be streamed. So you can’t view your movies if you don’t have consistent data or internet connectivity.
This is aggravating in and of itself, but when combined with the fact that streaming from their site was choppy on our home Wi-Fi, it’s simply annoying.
Is It a Scam or a Good Deal?
As I already stated, I adore Disney and its films. My daughter likes Minnie Mouse, but my son believes he is Simba. Do I believe joining the Disney Movie Club is a good idea? No way, not even if you’re a die-hard fan.
In an age where you can stream absolutely anything you want at any time, the notion of a tangible copy of media is less significant than ever (and it will almost likely grow less so in the next two years, which is how long you’d have to buy those five movies!)
The extra benefit of receiving a digital copy to store on numerous devices is appealing, but it’s all a ruse. Furthermore, paying a $10 markup or more for three copies of a movie is ludicrous, given that most consumers own either DVD or Blu-ray, or prefer one over the other.
With the price of the average selection and the automatic, rapid-fire delivery of undesirable movies each month, I believe I can fairly advise you to avoid the Disney Movie Club. There are less expensive, more convenient, and just better methods to get your Disney dose.