Friday, August 2, 2013

So Much Space...


In this age of digital means of watching films and entertainment, some have worried (myself included) that physical media would be on its way out by around 2015. Blu-ray Disc has been around since 2006, but it's battled with the likes of Netflix and Vudu recently. Now, as an avid Disney fanatic, I've been noticing a decline in the quality of their Blu-ray releases... Even the prestigious Diamond Editions have been lacking in some way.

In 2011, we started seeing releases where an animated classic would be paired with its cash-grab direct-to-video sequel, taking up space and in some cases, possibly compromising the image quality of the first film whilst leaving not so much room for bonus features. It didn't help that they were titles that Disney didn't really give the tip-top bonus features treatment either.

Then slowly but surely, Disney put out some double-packs that had no bonus features at all such as The Emperor's New Groove and Lilo & Stitch's two-movie collections... You had to pop in the included DVDs to see some bonus features... Because the DVDs weren't updated! They were the same masters from the previous release! For instance, New Groove last hit DVD in 2005... The DVD in the combo pack has that version of the film, complete with previews from the era! Disney probably does this because DVD-only versions of films are becoming more and more of a rarity, so they figure... "Who is going to buy The Emperor's New Groove on DVD if Cinderella and Brave didn't sell enough units?"


Picture quality on the individual titles was erratic too, as evidenced by some recent releases and the right-around-the-corner release of The Sword in the Stone. Live action titles? Some have received very poor transfers, a lot of the sets just come off as cheap. Disney has been cranking so many films out left and right, but at the expense of good quality. Disney did do this for a good batch of films during the DVD era, but I've been thinking that Disney knows something that we don't know...

Enter Sony and Panasonic, who are working on a new physical media format... One that'll specialize in discs that can hold 300GB! That's right, discs holding 300GB! That trumps Blu-ray's usual 50GB with a lead hammer! Now... Think of how much Disney can cram onto a single disc for one of their animated features. Just think about it for a second...

Maybe Disney has been slacking on their recent Blu-rays because of this. Maybe they knew of this format for a little while, or had predicted that a greater physical media format would come about in the next couple of years.

On the other hand, Disney can put a ton of films on the same disc, which I really hope they don't do. I'd rather buy The Emperor's New Groove with boatloads of bonuses and The Sweatbox (pipe dream) than "The Emperor's New Groove plus 2-3 other movies!" That would just be cheap, and it won't make the individual classics or films stand-out.

Another opportunity they can take... Their television shows. Complete series of the Disney Afternoon shows, all of them! Wouldn't be it awesome to not only own all of DuckTales (and possibly the movie, which can only be obtained on a Region 1 DVD through the Disney Movie Club?) on one set, but also the other Disney Afternoon cartoons you never got on DVD? Or how about programming that's never seen a physical release? Archives? The list goes on and on... And on...

So much potential... Like cracking open a treasure chest...

2 comments:

  1. Hopefully you're right, because Disney's recent releases have been downright lackluster in practically every aspect. I hope once said format comes along they give their classic films the treatment they deserve, as opposed to packaging them with DTV cheapquels and no bonus features whatsoever.

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  2. I just find the films at thrift stores for 50 cents to one dollar and see if there are any bonus features after the credits. It is as good as they release on DVD.

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