Lately our relationship hasn't been what it used to be, and it's not me, it's you. Okay, maybe it is me a little. I have changed. I've grown older, wiser, more mature since the good old days when Ashman and Menken could do no wrong, Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue notwithstanding. Those days are long gone. You claim the record stock price and the popularity of Frozen means you're doing better than ever, but for all the money I have given to this company in order to provide me with entertainment, lately I feel like I have been getting less and less for it. As a matter of fact, I had to sleep in my car to be able to afford my last trip to Disneyland. You keep raising the prices, but what are people getting for their money? What are cast members at the park getting for it?
Why are you still making 3D movies if you don't want to release them on Blu-ray in 3D in Region A, but you will make them available for streaming that way? I pay $51 a month for my Internet service with AT&T and I still can never get 2D movies to load in full resolution. Streaming is not as good as physical media and it never will be. It certainly isn't in its current form. If only you would allow more than a small number of your own films and TV shows to appear on Netflix. I didn't even like that ill-conceived revisionist mess called Maleficent, but the fact that it was in 3D in theaters but is not getting a 3D Blu-ray bothers me. Unlike Planes, which does warrant an American 3D Blu-ray release, Frozen, that Oscar-winning box office record-breaker everyone's been talking about, couldn't even rate one either! Actually, it did: in the UK. I upgraded to 3D just so I could watch it. And it looks quite nice. As does the lovely Blu-ray of 101 Dalmatians that still hasn't come out yet in the US. Hopefully when it does, it won't be anything like the same smudgy messes you turned The Sword in the Stone and The Jungle Book into, especially the former. Until you can figure out how to remove cel dust without removing pencil marks, don't bother calling these "restorations." They're not. They're grotesque alterations that barely resemble the originals. And you dropped extras from so many titles I can't even remember them all (except for Pete's Dragon. I never forget a slight against that film, either). But I do remember the promises you failed to keep, like those Blu-rays of Pollyanna and the Absent-Minded Professor films. We were promised those in 2013, and it is now the second half of 2014 and they are still only available in HD via streaming. It's like you're doing everything you can to discourage people from buying physical media. I would gladly do so if you gave me any incentive, but these are disincentives.
Your latest transgression against Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray was the straw that broke the camel's back. The dubbing aside, the 1996 restoration was a mitzvah, and for you to go back to the studio-imposed cuts was a horrific betrayal. The fact that you already did that to The Muppet Christmas Carol and Pocahontas was one thing, and there is no reason both versions of those films could not be included via seamless branching. They would have been perfect replacements for their respective DVDs. But to do this to Bedknobs and Broomsticks while offering a seamless branching option on Muppets Most Wanted, which you are releasing the exact same day, is at best stupid and short-sighted, and at worst a calculated insult to the makers of the film and to anyone who prefers the film the way the Sherman Brothers intended it to be. Even after one of them has died, you manage to screw them over yet again. Don't think for a second that putting most, but not all, of the scenes that a committee of seven cut out just to fulfill an arbitrary running time mandate into a supplementary section with no option to watch the film with them put back in the film where they belong, makes up for that. The fact that you would call this a "special edition" baffles me. The only thing that's special about this edition is the hubris that went into it! I should have realized not to expect much when the press release mentioned Mary Poppins, which itself has also lost extras on the flights between formats, more times than it mentioned the film that's actually on the disc. That's a film whose biggest 50th anniversary present from the studio was a making-of movie that's nothing but a spoonful of half-truths. At the establishing shot of the scene where Walt Disney and Helen Lyndon Goff go to Disneyland, what song do we hear? "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah," the theme song from Song of the South, which made all subsequent live-action/animation hybrids, as well as a major theme park ride and several characters who still roam some of the parks today, possible. So we still can't have that film even though the park is full of reminders of it, and other countries got it on VHS and even laserdisc? A boy beaten up over a lace shirt collar seeks an elderly black sharecropper's advice on how to outwit his bullies? We need that movie now more than ever. If you're so afraid of it, why not test the waters with something like a Disney Family Foundation making-of documentary? There's still plenty of time to change your mind in time for the film's 70th anniversary in 2016.
I don't think we should see each other anymore until you clean up your act. And I don't need you to be happy, even though it was because of you that I learned what it takes to be happy. As Julie Budd sang in The Devil and Max Devlin, "instead of waiting for those roses and rainbows, you'd better give them to yourself." And I'll be giving myself plenty of roses and rainbows, and not one red penny to anything of yours. No Disney movies, not even Pixar and its beloved Brain Trust that manages to magically turn almost every single movie into a mismatched buddy comedy. No parks. No ABC. No ESPN. No stage shows. No Marvel Comics. No Muppet anything unless Jim Henson was alive to be involved with it. I've threatened boycotts before, but this time I mean it.
If you want me back, you know what you have to do, and it's going to take more than just re-releasing Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray in its uncut form and removing the embargo on Song of the South. Start listening to your customers and start taking consumer input seriously. Look at companies such as Criterion and Shout! Factory and start striving to be at least as good as they are. Use your Disney Generations MOD program other than a dumping ground for outdated transfers; adopt the Warner/Sony way instead of the Fox way. Pay your cast members fair wages that take the cost of living into consideration. Be proactive about making catalog titles available on physical media. Most importantly, you used to say, "look to the name Walt Disney for the finest in family entertainment" on every movie poster. You're Disney. You can't do things half-heartedly and expect your consumers not to flock to one of your competitors. You need to earn the right to be able to say that again, and you need to make sure that statement includes all families.