Sunday, June 2, 2013

What's The Deal?


Time and time again I've stated my views on what Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has been doing... I've complained endlessly about the fact that they are packaging the non-Diamond Edition animated classics with their direct-to-video sequels. I've ranted about the treatment that certain films get on the format and countless other things...

On my last rant on the 2-movie bundles (which focused on the inconsistencies of the cover artwork of each different release), I admitted that I'll probably buy them anyways since... Well... It's still the Disney classics in high definition, crappy sequel inclusion or not. It's possible that Blu-ray may be replaced by something in less than 5 years, so a better release down the road may be out of the question. So I finally said, "I'll cave in and get them" despite my attitude towards the way they are being packaged and presented.


In a few days, three Disney animated films come to Blu-ray for the first time. You probably know what they are... They also happen to be 2 Movie Collections: The Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Lilo & Stitch. All three are packaged with their respective DTV sequels, inevitably.

What are the problems with these three releases?

1. The Emperor's New Groove and Lilo & Stitch have no bonus features. Yes, you heard that right... Absolutely none. Zero. Nada...

2. Atlantis: The Lost Empire has questionable picture quality. Blu-ray.com's Kenneth Brown gave it a 3.5 out of 5 in his review, a cut below the usual for a Disney animated feature. It's also a CAPS film produced from 1999 to 2001! And yet it's picture quality is just okay enough?! This should be 4.5 out of 5 good! Heck, even Treasure Planet, problems and all, still got a better score and looked very good. This is a bit inexcusable... Even for Home on the Range it wasn't right. Also, the Atlantis Blu-ray has a good portion of the bonus features that were from the stellar Collector's Edition DVD...

This all makes no sense to me, especially since the next batch of Disney Blu-rays coming after these three releases (The Sword in the Stone, Robin Hood and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh) are going to have bonus features! Some of them even have brand new bonus features!

The Emperor's New Groove might not have been a huge hit at the box office for Disney, but it was a home video hit. Disney delivered the goods with the 2001 Collector's Edition DVD, showing that they wouldn't slack off on one of their then-recent films... Even if it flopped! Treasure Planet's original DVD, anyone?

Special Edition? Yeah right!

Lilo & Stitch was a big hit film for Disney and it spawned a massive franchise... The lack of bonus features is just shocking and puzzling! I mean, the last DVD release of Lilo & Stitch was a 2-disc set with tons of bonus features! They couldn't port anything, not one thing, over from that set?!

Yet they had no problem doing it for Atlantis. What... The... Hell...

It makes no sense, literally. It makes no sense. It's another woe in Disney Home Entertainment's recent history. Why skimp on these two films but everything else gets at least one bonus feature? I understand that these companies are cutting back, but porting features from DVDs shouldn't be too, too hard or expensive I assume. I mean, they can do it for Atlantis, Robin Hood, Sword and Pooh, they can sure as hell do it for Groove and Lilo. I'm also well aware that both releases' included DVDs contain bonuses (because they are reprints of earlier editions, rather than brand new ones), but still. Bonuses should be on the Blu-ray. Inexcusable...

Unless they have better editions for both films planned, I can kind of see why, though it still gives physical media fans the shaft. With digital media pretty much taking over the world of home entertainment, I don't see Disney re-releasing any of their films on Blu-ray in the next 5 years... That is, if Blu-ray is still a choice format by 2018 or whatever. Well I hope it is, because I'm a physical media kinda guy! If some digital format comes along that stores bonus features with a movie in a special little file, then I'd somewhat understand. Maybe Disney is predicting that, or knows something we don't know...

But in the mean time, leaving features off of these two films' respective Blu-ray editions is just... Wrong. Some features may be on the DVDs, but they should be on the Blu-ray disc. Questionable picture quality? Also wrong, these are the Disney animated classics! All of the films should get great picture quality, an excellent selection of bonus features and more! No low quality cash cow direct-to-video sequel that's only for kids should even be allowed to share a BD-50 disc with the classic, making hardly any room for more bonuses and also possibly compromising the picture quality on the original!

What they're doing now is the antithesis of what they used to do for their films. On Blu-ray no less! They're scaling back, big time. Anything that's not a Platinum these days? Crumby treatment at best. Packaging the films with their direct-to-video sequels was insulting enough, but this is a new low...

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment... What are you doing?

Update: Blu-ray.com's review of the Emperor's New Groove double pack is now in, and the picture quality on the original film is given the same score that Atlantis was given...

4 comments:

  1. Well, they say there aren't any bonuses on the Blu-Ray disc, but there are on the DVDs. And considering almost all of them would be in SD anyways, I'm not really complaining here.

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    1. The DVDs have bonuses because they're using the original prints (trailers and all). But I think the bonuses in question should be on the Blu-ray anyways plus every other feature that's not on the DVD that's being used for the set. For instance, ENG's DVD doesn't have all the features that the 2000 Collector's Edition has.

      Not having them on the BD at all just doesn't make any sense to me.

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    2. Either way, you're still getting much more bonus features, than their European copies (if they will be released here anytime soon...)

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  2. Pathetic. Simply Pathetic. I agree that I don't like the double packs, it's just annoying. I'm actually surpised Lilo doesn't come with all 4(?) movies.
    Luckily I own a lot of them on DVD, which I am ok with having (as long as I have some sort of disc copy I am happy).

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