This isn’t an entirely out of the blue shocker, but it’s big news nonetheless that Disney has struck an extensive agreement with Netflix that will ensure the Mouse House’s live-action and animated theatrical feature films end up first on the streaming service  beginning in 2016. This means that in three years, Netflix will become the first window for Disney films after Blu-ray, essentially. The deal also has immediate reprecussions as catalogue titles and direct-to-video films will stream exclusively on the service as well.

If you enjoyed seeing Disney films on Netflix while their Starz deal was still in play, this will be a welcome surprise. It’s an interesting deal, considering Disney and ABC are part of the studio trust that started the competing service Hulu, and it’s definitely a nice feather in Netflix’s cap amongst the war for media delivery going on between them, Google, Apple, Amazon, and the others. It’s a complicated landscape out there, with a lot of deals inked for very specific windows that are still just now being figured out.

Press release below via Deadline

Beverly Hills, Ca. and Burbank, Ca. –December 4, 2012— Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq:NFLX) and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) today announced a new multi-year licensing agreement that will make Netflix the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for first-run live-action and animated feature films from The Walt Disney Studios.

Beginning with its 2016 theatrically released feature films, new Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Disneynature titles will be made available for Netflix members to watch instantly in the pay TV window on multiple platforms, including television, tablets, computers and mobile phones. Also included in the agreement are high-profile Disney direct-to-video new releases, which will be made available on Netflix starting in 2013.

Separately, Disney and Netflix have reached agreement on a multi-year catalog deal that today brings to U.S. Netflix members such beloved Disney movies such as “Dumbo,” “Pocahontas” and “Alice in Wonderland.”

“Disney and Netflix have shared a long and mutually beneficial relationship and this deal will bring to our subscribers, in the first pay TV window, some of the highest-quality, most imaginative family films being made today,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix. “It’s a bold leap forward for Internet television and we are incredibly pleased and proud this iconic family brand is teaming with Netflix to make it happen.”

“With this cutting-edge agreement, we are thrilled to take our highly valued relationship with Netflix to the next level by adding Disney’s premier films to their programming line-up,” said Janice Marinelli, President, Disney-ABC Domestic Television. “Netflix continues to meet the demands of its subscribers in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, and we are delighted that they will have much earlier access to our top-quality and entertaining slate,” she continued.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.