As much as the streaming revolution has given us instant access to more film and TV content than ever before, it's also fair to say that rights-holders absolutely did not anticipate the global pivot from physical media to non-tangible digital media "ownership."
As a result, there are thorny legal issues involved when renegotiating the re-release of a film or TV series for a new medium, especially as existing contracts often don't cover distribution on future media.
The knock-on effect of this is that a number of beloved movies and shows are left a generation or two (or three!) behind, confined to a defunct, outdated media form without any sign they might soon get the glossy HD treatment.
To access most of these films - legally, anyway - you'll need to either source an out-of-print Blu-ray at considerable cost, dig out your dusty old DVD, or perhaps even rely on a grotty VHS. There's no way to easily access them.
Clearly each of these films and TV series - some of them massive critical and commercial hits, no less - are important enough that they should be allowed to flourish on streaming and high-definition disc formats.
Leaving them to fester on older, lower-quality VHS and DVD is nothing short of sacrilege...
Ron Howard's 1985 sci-fi comedy classic Cocoon won two Oscars (Best Supporting Actor for Don Ameche and Best Visual Effects) and was the sixth-highest-grossing film released that year, and yet, is a major pain in the ass to track down if you don't live in Europe.
For starters, the film isn't available to stream anywhere in the world - though its sequel, Cocoon: The Return, is inexplicably available on Disney+ - and the 2010 Blu-ray release is out-of-print, often selling second-hand for as much as $100.
Though a newer Blu-ray release is still available in Europe, international punters would need to pay import fees and have a Blu-ray player capable of playing Region 2 discs, which is quite the faff for a film which, per its popularity, should be readily available with a few quick clicks.
Depressingly, the easiest way to watch the movie legally outside of Europe is to buy a second-hand copy of the early 2000s DVD release, though considering the film's striking, Oscar-winning visual effects, you couldn't be blamed for craving a higher-fidelity release.
An investigation into Cocoon's home video banishment suggests the issue may be related to expired musical rights, though this is just one of many possible reams of legal red tape that need to be sorted through.