Did you know that Disney Plus is now three years old? As of November 12, 2022 the streaming platform has been around for three years.
I signed my family up for Disney Plus over Christmas break in 2019. I figured it would be a good thing to have while the kids were out of school. When we first turned it on I was overwhelmed by how many movies were suddenly available to us.
It was the Star Wars movies that got me. We had access to ALL the Star Wars Movies! I’m still blown away by this fact three years later. Over the summer my kids and I watched a Star Wars movie together every Friday afternoon. And every time we went to the Star Wars menu to click on that week’s movie I’d say something like, “I can’t believe they are all here.”
I’ve tried to explain to my kids how hard it was to find copies of movies when I was growing up in the early 90’s. Sure we had VHS tapes, but tracking down the specific movie you were looking for could be tricky. Especially if you were a kid who relied on your parents to pay for everything and drive you everywhere.
I actually watched the original Star Wars movies in reverse order because the movies were so hard to find. We had a copy of Return of the Jedi (the third movie) that I watched when I was four. I was hooked on the movie and watched it over and over again. My dad explained that it was the last movie in a trilogy and gave me some back story on the other two movies so I could understand some things. I wanted to see the other movies, but nobody we knew had a copy and my parents couldn’t afford to rent one. It was two years before we watched Empire Strikes Back (the second movie). I didn’t see the original Star Wars movie until I was 8 years old and we finally rented a copy from some movie store.
Oh and guess what? Those copies of Return of the Jedi and Empire Strikes Back didn’t come from a store with a nice case. They were recorded off of TV. Someone had gone through and taken out the commercials – mostly. There were little blips of commercials scattered through the movies. The commercials became almost part of the movies to me. Sometimes I miss them when I’m watching the official versions of the movies.
My husband and I have compared notes on our childhoods. He grew up watching movies that had been recorded off of TV too. His favorite movie in the whole world is Back to the Future. But he never even saw the end of the movie as a child because his family’s copy was recorded off TV. They’d run out of tape before the movie was over.
We both grew up in families without much extra money so that’s one reason we grew up watching copies of movies that had been recorded off TV. But I think that our parents were also just in awe of the ability to record things. Our parents grew up with movies only being shown in theaters and sometimes on TV. My dad would tell us about watching The Sound of Music on TV and being so sad when the first half ended because he knew he wouldn’t be home the next night to watch the second half.
In our parents minds, the ability to record things off TV was akin to a miracle.
Those commercial ridden recorded movies were revered. I’m sure they thought something like, “Who cares if the Death Star battle scene was interrupted by a Dove commercial? We can watch this whenever we want!”
I think my parents must have been in awe of VHS tapes the way I’m in awe of Disney Plus. They must have looked at me the way I look at my kids and thought, “kids these days don’t appreciate how great this is.”