Disney+ may be adding one of the company's most beloved classic animated movies to its catalog soon: Disney's American Legends. The move has not been confirmed yet, but a report by Deja View Stream assembled all of the clues so far. Fans of the iconic film may soon be in for a treat.
Disney's American Legends is a collection of four animated short films made over the course of several decades. It includes Johnny Appleseed (1948), The Brave Engineer (1950), Paul Bunyan (1958) and John Henry (2000). These four movies were collected into one home video release in 2015, and according to Deja View, Disney generally only puts shorts like this onto Disney+ as part of a package deal, not individual titles. That means the whole American Legends collection would need to join the streaming age at once.
Still, Disney+ does have a section for animated shorts where they can be browsed separately from their longer home video releases, and fans have noted that John Henry did not transfer over from Netflix when many other similar titles did. Reporters are taking this as evidence that the entire American Legends collection will be streaming soon. Last of all, they point out that this would likely be the preferable way for Disney to release the collection because it ties the older films to the newer one and puts them all under the narration of James Earl Jones.
The oldest film in this collection is The Legend of Johnny Appleseed, which was produced by Walt Disney himself and released in 1948. After that came The Brave Engineer, which was about railroad engineer Casey Jones and was released in 1950, followed by a short about folklore hero Paul Bunyan in 1958. Both of these were produced by Disney as well, but the entrepreneur had passed away before John Henry was released in 2000.
As best as we can tell, Disney never adds "individual" shorts if they are also available as part of a package film. People noticed that "John Henry" was globally removed earlier this year from countries that streamed it. It's part of that 'American Legends' package film.— ⏪🎃Deja BOO Scream👻📶 (@DejaviewStream) October 19, 2021
The film is often lauded for its nostalgic value, drawing on American folklore, where other Disney films draw on fairytales from around the world. The addition of Jones as a narrator was also well-received, but since the 2015 DVD release, the movie has not gotten any easier to find.
At the time of this writing, you can find Disney's American Legends in its complete form on digital stores like Amazon Prime Video or YouTube TV. It costs $9.99 to purchase a digital copy of the movie in standard-definition, and it is not available to rent or to watch in HD. That may change if the movie finds its way to Disney+, but for now, that is only speculation.