Disney Plus' Wish Movie Release Breaks a Frustrating Streaming Record

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Wish Disney Plus

Disney+ finally confirmed the streaming release date for the 2023 animated movie Wish, which will break a frustrating record for the studio.

The House of Mouse's centenary celebration arrived in theaters on November 22, but it has yet to make its debut on Disney+. Most initial predictions had Wish coming to streaming in late February, around three months after debuting on the big screen akin to most other major Disney releases.

But that never came to pass, and Wish has since been left off the monthly Disney+ release calendars for the first three months of 2024.

Wish Announces Record-Breaking Disney+ Release Date

Wish goat

Wish will officially arrive on Disney+ on Wednesday, April 3, a record-breaking 133 days after the animated movie came to theaters on Friday, November 22.

This follows Wish's release for digital purchase on January 23, and its physical drop on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on March 12.

With a 133-day theatrical-to-streaming window, Wish breaks the frustrating record for the longest wait for an animated movie to come to Disney+ since the streaming service launched:

  • Frozen 2 - 113 days
  • Onward - 28 days
  • Raya and the Last Dragon - 91 days
  • Encanto - 30 days
  • Lightyear - 47 days
  • Strange World - 30 days
  • Elemental - 89 days

Wish took the record-high previously held by Frozen 2 at 113 days, toppling its figure by 20 days. It should be noted Frozen 2 was originally planned to come to Disney+ on June 26, 2020, much later than its March 15, 2020 release date.

Disney ultimately opted to move up Frozen 2's streaming launch by around three months due to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The original plan would have seen that film come to Disney+ 217 days after it hit theaters on November 22, 2020.

Why Is Wish's Disney+ Release So Late?

Wish marks a rare occasion for Disney as its streaming debut will mark the final stage in its home release journey as opposed to physical. While, in the past, almost every movie release from Disney and its studios has followed the same path (theatrical, digital, streaming, and physical), Wish will break that trend.

It will be intriguing to see if Disney opts to mirror this flipped release order and longest theatrical-to-streaming release window with its biggest movies of 2024, such as Deadpool & Wolverine, Inside Out 2, and Mufasa: The Lion King.

As Disney CEO Bob Iger dials back the focus on Disney+ compared to predecessor Bob Chapek, the boss may look to increase these waits for streaming releases across the board to increase theatrical and home release revenue.

Or this may be exclusively applied to the company's infamous animated movies, which have been struggling at the box office since the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes after Chapek was accused of "[conditioning the] audience that Disney animated events are no longer special" with straight-to-streaming releases.

As Wish was no box office juggernaut like Avatar: The Way of Water, which had a long theatrical-to-streaming release window due to its success, Disney may have opted to use the flick to test how a longer wait would affect viewership and revenue.

If the House of Mouse has turned over more home release sales compared to usual and Disney+ viewership remains strong, it wouldn't be shocking to be kept waiting closer to four to five months for future movies to start streaming.

Wish will release on Disney+ on Wednesday, April 3. 

- In This Article: Wish
Release Date
November 22, 2023
Ariana DeBose
Chris Pine
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.