Saturday, October 6, 2012
Keeping Up With Disney
Yet again another rambling about Disney's home entertainment division and how the Diamond Edition collection is being handled... This will be moot by the time we get another schedule of sorts or announcements, but I figured I'd keep up with what's going on and share some more thoughts... Also, disregard the Diamond Edition babble in this article.
Right now, it's clear that a lot of the European wings of Disney's home entertainment division have dropped three titles from the Diamond Edition collection: Pinocchio, Peter Pan and One Hundred and One Dalmatians. A good friend of mine and one who tracks Disney's home media events who goes by the name Lnds500 (Blu-ray.com / Twitter) and I thought that this meant that Disney was dropping these titles from the Diamond line in every country. I believed this theory, since Disney might want to get the titles out quick if Blu-ray is to be replaced with something like online streaming or something else. (They keep touting All Access for a reason)
One Hundred and One Dalmatians is already available throughout Europe as a "Special Edition", but with all of the bonus features from the 2008 Platinum Edition DVD. Peter Pan is out next month, we're getting it on February 5th as the next Diamond Edition. Before I get the "dropped titles" mumbo jumbo out of the way, I just have one question: When will we get One Hundred and One Dalmatians? Will we have to wait until 2014? Or will it not be released as a Diamond Edition here in the states? Again, it's very odd that Disney dropped it from the Diamond line in other countries and not here. Or maybe they will?
Anyways, after The Little Mermaid debuts in October 2013, here's my guess at what the current line-up will be:
Spring 2014 - One Hundred and One Dalmatians
If it's still a Diamond title, I figure they'd have to get it out sooner. Why make us wait so long when the Blu-ray is already available?
Fall 2014 - Aladdin
Released on home media twice, and in October no less. Some have suggested that Disney may give Aladdin the 3D theatrical re-release treatment before releasing it on Blu-ray. Whenever I talk to others about Disney's 3D re-release plans, I always get "They should do that with Aladdin!" as a response. Since they are converting Mermaid and already did so with Renaissance favorites Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King, it does make sense to convert this one too.
Spring 2015 - The Jungle Book
The first time The Jungle Book has been a spring release since its initial home video release in 1991. No anniversary date this year, so it'll be a spring release.
Fall 2015 - Sleeping Beauty
Possible, but Sleeping Beauty already got an excellent Blu-ray release as a Platinum Edition. Since it's still under that Platinum/Diamond banner, it may get an upgrade with more bonuses but it will probably keep the same transfer.
Spring 2016 - Pinocchio
See Sleeping Beauty above. This one should also have the corrected audio error. Disney did send corrected discs to consumers, but this time, it won't have to be this way.
But... What if (and I suggested this before) they were to release two Diamond Edition titles the same day to get them out faster? Since Dalmatians is available, why not release it the same day as Mermaid? The Jungle Book and Aladdin can come out side-by-side in spring 2014 and the last two in fall 2014. That would be easier and quicker. It may go against the grain, but they could do it...
Disney has been rather weird with this line. The Platinum Editions all came out with no re-shuffling or hassle, but this line has had some hiccups along the way. The original press release from September 2009 doesn't include Aladdin but has the Fantasia 2-film collection, because at the time, that was going to be a Diamond Edition. After a while, it was dropped, the "Fantasia World" disc (you can only imagine how disappointed I was when it wasn't on there) also got the ax and the title was released months after its intended release date as a stand-alone set. Aladdin popped up on the insert inside Lady and the Tramp (despite the fact that the film was not on the press release) that normally announces the next two Diamond Editions and it was scheduled to be the Q1 2013 Diamond title, and now it's not going to be that.
Anyways, the real reason I brought this up is because I honestly don't want to wait until spring 2014 or later to get One Hundred and One Dalmatians. I was okay with Disney dropping titles from the line, and was hoping with that, they could get them out quicker and faster but still give them the same prestigious treatment. I'm okay with waiting for Aladdin, because a very good Blu-ray isn't available elsewhere. Then again, Disney has done this before with certain titles. The restored Pinocchio was released as a special edition in the UK in 2003, but we had to wait until 2009 to get it. The 2003 French DVD of The Black Cauldron is another great example, as we had to wait till 2010 to get the version of the film with that transfer on DVD.
I just hope that Disney doesn't pull this with other titles, releasing them overseas and then waiting a year or two to release them stateside. It seems that they will do this with Dalmatians...
Do you think Disney will stick to the regular Platinum/Diamond schedule? Will they drop titles from the US line? Will they change things up a bit? What do you think?