Monday, May 6, 2013
[UPDATE] Four In August
A few weeks ago, Disney quietly put it out there that Oliver & Company was coming to Blu-ray on August 6th, which was almost in line with some predictions I made a while ago. Since Oliver was one of those Disney animated films released on DVD only between 2009 and 2010, I figured it would get a release sometime this year since Pete's Dragon and The Great Mouse Detective got Blu-ray releases last year that were essentially upgrades of their previous DVD editions with the same cover artwork and edition names to boot. Also, Oliver turns 25.
Oliver & Company, in my eyes, certainly isn't one of Disney's better animated classics though it's an important one. It was a safe way for Disney to regain their audience after the suits had seen how well Don Bluth's An American Tail did at the box office two years earlier. That very film was a record breaker for the animation industry, and it was released at a time when the higher ups didn't see much of a future for Disney's feature animation (imagine that!) despite Roy E. Disney's insistence to keep the studio afloat. It appealed to audiences back in 1988, as it had attitude, 80s pop music-styled songs and a rather grungy animation style. Nowadays it's a fun watch, but definitely not all there in the story department and a lot of it is forgettable aside from the good songs. Its record-breaking success at the domestic box office enabled the studio to keep going.
So with its August 6th release date, I figured that Disney would put two or three more titles out on the same day since they've picked up this new routine where they'll release multiple classics on the same day. This started in August 2012 with The Aristocats, the Rescuers films and Pocahontas alongside other titles. Disney repeated this two months ago with the releases of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan and Brother Bear. A week earlier, the non-canon Who Framed Roger Rabbit hit Blu-ray.
Now, Disney has announced that The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh will be hitting Blu-ray, but not on August 6th... But rather August 27th. I would've assumed that it would hit store the same day as Oliver, but it looks like Disney is willing to release multiple classics the same month but not on the same day. The Digital Bits also report that Robin Hood is being prepared for a Blu-ray release here in the states, since the film is turning 40 this autumn and it's already available in other countries. It's possible that Disney will also release The Sword in the Stone on Blu-ray around this time, since that film is turning 50 this year and it's so similar to Robin Hood in many ways.
That being said, those two, Oliver and Winnie would round off a strong August. Bedknobs and Broomsticks and The Black Cauldron are the last two post-2008 DVD only releases that are due for a Blu-ray release, so we may end up seeing those two in October. It would be perfect for Cauldron too, since Disney seems to like promoting that film as a Halloween film as evidenced by the 2000 and 2010 DVD releases.
Anyways, I'm glad both of these titles are coming and I hope to hear about any other August Blu-ray titles soon. Updates shall come!
Update! Sword and Robin Confirmed For August 6th!
Disney has confirmed that The Sword in the Stone and Robin Hood have been confirmed for an August 6th release!
The cover for The Sword in the Stone is lovely, fresh and once again... It's simple and great. I also like how the "50th" and "40th" Anniversary headers are great because they don't use some generic fountain, instead they're stylized to look like the middle ages... Goes perfectly with the settings of both films. Disney didn't seem to bother creating brand new artwork for Robin Hood, instead modifying the cover used for the 2006 Most Wanted Edition DVD.
Either way, I'm excited to pick up all four of them in a couple of months!