Disney movies: Coming to a Web browser near you

The entertainment giant begins streaming some movies over the Web--but only for some movies and for limited windows a few days long.

Disney has begun showing full-length movies online, beginning with Finding Nemo, the studio said Tuesday.

It's the first time Disney has done so, and it's notable as such, but don't confuse the move with a full-on YouTubization of the company. Each movie will only be available for a few days after they air on ABC's Saturday-night TV show Wonderful World of Disney. Finding Nemo, for example, can be watched online through June 13, Disney said.

Disney.com now streams 'Finding Nemo.'
Disney.com now streams Finding Nemo. Disney.com

It's free, but don't expect a full-immersion cinema experience.

The movies are available through a "watch now" link on the upper-right side of the Disney.com Web site. I had to sit through an ad for Cocoa Pebbles cereal, then an equally high-fructose introductory Disney promotional video. And the window showing the movie is surrounded by an encrustation of further garish ads.

But ads clearly pay some of the bills here, and streaming video takes a lot of bandwidth and server horsepower, so I can't complain too much. (Especially since my own paycheck comes from ad revenue.)

I didn't see much in the way of Snow White-era classics on the schedule, but presumably this is just for openers:

• Monsters Inc. airs on ABC June 14 and is available online June 16-20.

• Haunted Mansion airs on TV June 28 and online June 30-July 4.

• Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen is on TV July 5 and online July 7-11.

• Princess Diaries 2 is on TV July 12 and online July 14-18.

• Freaky Friday is on TV July 19 and online July 21-25.

• Peter Pan is on TV August 2 and online August 4-8.

Disney also is showing Camp Rock online on June 23.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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