Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Magic Lives On...


Though I don't plan to go a completely different direction here, I felt I dedicate a good chunk of this place to my #1 hobby: Collecting videocassettes of Disney films, both animated and live-action. It's been something I've been doing for nearly seven years now and much of my YouTube channel is centered around that.

As a big collector, I look into all the little things about these videocassettes. Some might look at that and say, "What's the big deal?" and so... Well, it is a big deal if you collect and look for these little things. I see it as being no different from another collection. I also collect vinyl records, as I've shown many times on YouTube (both successfully and unsuccessfully), and I notice that people in those circles tend to look for tiny details to find out which variation or pressing they have. I do the same for my tapes.


Over the years, a lot of people have come out of the woodwork to reveal their passion for Disney videocassettes made in the 1980s and 1990s. Many 90s children look back on these videocassettes with fond memories. I remember when YouTube wasn't the go-to place for other people's collections of Disney videocassettes. There were a few videos here and there. When I got a YouTube account way back in 2006, I was considering showing my tapes, but I didn't have the means to do it. Then in October 2007, a good friend of mine and I decided to film a few videos of it and show it on YouTube. I was young, they weren't anything professional, just a taste of what my collection was like...



Anyways, I followed that up with more videos as I kept collecting and such. When I got my new channel in February of 2010, I started over and simply showed all my tapes while explaining some of the histories behind them and such. I sought to improve the videos and focus on the history of the home video division and the films themselves, in my upcoming series. More on this later...

So why do I collect the videocassettes of these films when you can own them on DVD and Blu-ray? Well, the videocassettes have always fascinated me. I grew up with them, I grew up in the good old days where you didn't access movies through menus and you had to fast forward through the previews. When you were a kid, the previews were often a required viewing, one way or the other.

At the same time, the packaging fascinates me and all the different lines that some titles were issued under. The animated classics are a fantastic example. The first line was The Classics (or Walt Disney Classics) in 1984, and that was replaced by the Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection in 1994. Then came the Walt Disney Gold Classic Collection in 2000, when these films were starting to hit DVD for the first time, and then so on... Platinum Editions, Diamond Editions, Special Editions...

Back to the previews... The previews on these tapes give you a good look at how Disney was back in the day. Take this chestnut for example...



Now how about that? Look at those titles they're hyping up! Though we get some live action classics like 20,000 Leagues Under the SeaMary Poppins and of course three animated titles. We also get such "classics" like The Devil and Max Devlin and... Condorman.

This promo was produced back in 1982. At the time, only three animated features from the Disney animated classics "canon" were available on home video: Dumbo, Alice in Wonderland and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. At the time, Disney was trying to push their contemporary image with films like Condorman and such. In fact, they continued to do that when films like Tron, Tex and Something Wicked this Way Comes hit theaters. This is when Disney was moving into PG territory (back before PG-13 was invented) before Touchstone, so it's an interesting era to look into.

Again, this is just one example of many. I'll be looking into all of this for my YouTube series... As of now, I've only gotten around to doing three "test" episodes. They serve as a glimpse to what the series will be about. They are amateurish, yes. They are a bit embarrassing, yes, but... Whenever the final product comes, it'll be miles above these tests. In the mean time, check them out and see what you think.







Of course I did these last summer. They aren't the best of quality, but they are basically a preview of what's coming. If you have comments or suggestions for the series, fire away! I'm all for suggestions. I'm not sure when this project will ever come to fruition, but I'm hoping it happens soon.

As for everything else about these cassettes, more on that later...

1 comment:

  1. I think it's great you collect the tapes. I collect Disney movies too, but I have been doing so with dvd/blu ray. This post reminded me that I grew up with videos and all the things that made them great. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete