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Walt Disney Press Release: Disney Blu-Ray Title Wave Coming 2008


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#1 of 33 Ronald Epstein

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Posted August 16 2007 - 09:09 PM

WALT DISNEY STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES
THE DISNEY BLU-RAY TITLE WAVE COMING 2008

Burbank, CA, August 17, 2007 – Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (WDSHE) announced today more innovations in the Blu-ray format with the Studio’s first ever Platinum Blu-ray release, the Studio’s first BD-Live title, and full motion picture-in-picture Blu-ray bonus features.

The Studio announced the first animated Platinum coming to Blu-ray will be the timeless treasure Sleeping Beauty. Releasing Sleeping Beauty on Blu-ray marks a milestone for the format as these titles are not released until a format has been proven both technologically and in terms of consumer acceptance – and Disney’s animated releases in the past have been a major catalysis for any format’s growth. Pinocchio’s release on VHS and Snow White’s release on DVD marked major growth milestones for both of those formats. The Sleeping Beauty Blu-ray Disc release will also include a virtual castle and multi-player activities – both utilizing the BD-Live technology.

“The Platinum titles are the crown jewels of the Disney Studios and we do not take releasing them lightly on any format. The proven Blu-ray technology has allowed us to take our films to new heights, fully utilizing the larger capacity and interactive capabilities for an incredible all-new consumer experience,” commented Bob Chapek, President of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

In addition, WDSHE announced the special edition release of the action-adventure blockbuster National Treasure, which will become the Studio’s first BD-Live Blu-ray Disc title. In addition, the Studio will bring two of its treasured family classics to Blu-ray Disc, Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, both of which will feature full motion picture-in-picture bonus features,

“The strides that we’ve made with this format are just the tip of the iceberg and we are confident that consumers will be astounded by the level of entertainment that can only be achieved by using the maximum capacity of the Blu-ray Disc format. All of these wonderful titles will appeal to the ever growing Blu-ray market and we are extremely proud to offer these in the most pristine and robust presentations ever for Disney fans around the globe,” continued Chapek.

This exciting slate of Blu-ray Disc releases will begin with The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in spring 2008, followed by National Treasure in summer of 2008 and culminating with Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo and Sleeping Beauty in fall 2008.

Ronald J Epstein
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#2 of 33 Kris Z.

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Posted August 16 2007 - 11:14 PM

The most interesting thing to see is if Disney will do the original film versions of the old classics for Blu-Ray, or continue the manipulated, noise-reduced, digital look versions that are on DVD.

#3 of 33 Jim_K

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Posted August 16 2007 - 11:14 PM

Oh brother. This is press release worthy? Posted Image They consider 4 titles in 12 months a "title wave"? Are they serious?

Based on the 4 catalog titles we'll end up getting this year I wouldn't be surprised if this is Disney's entire 08 catalog title lineup.

I suddenly feel like a SACD collector.
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#4 of 33 Paul Arnette

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Posted August 17 2007 - 12:57 AM

I understand where you are coming from Jim, but you have to realize the reality of the HDM market too. I'm sure there will be other titles released next year, but Disney is wisely touting its more high-profile releases for next year in an effort to say to potential Blu-ray Disc buyers "This format is here to stay. Look at the great titles we have on tap for next year that will continue to push the limits of the technology". Frankly, I don't mind Disney's quality over quantity approach, but perhaps that is simply because I'm already trying to figure out how to buy all the BD titles that have been announced this year. Posted Image

Of greater interest to me are the sign-posts for Profile 1.1 and 2.0 that can be inferred from this press release. Of course, there's no guaranteeing anything, but if BD Live players will be out by Fall '08, this merely reinforces my decision to skip over Profile 1.1 players entirely.
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#5 of 33 Jason_V

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Posted August 17 2007 - 01:22 AM

I'm not complaining in the slightest. I might actually pick up Chronicles of Narnia now. Posted Image

One question, though: have we ever gotten an annoucement like this from any other studio? Narnia is a spring release, meaning at least 7 months away. This has got to be some kind of record. I half wonder if something else is driving this news right now...

#6 of 33 DaViD Boulet

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Posted August 17 2007 - 01:49 AM

Jim,

this isn't the comphrensive list of Disney releases... just a few of the big-guns they plan to release.

I'd call their first catalog "classic" on BD like Sleeping Beauty, Narnia, and Nemo really BIG news items for HD releases.

Posted Image

Quote:
The most interesting thing to see is if Disney will do the original film versions of the old classics for Blu-Ray, or continue the manipulated, noise-reduced, digital look versions that are on DVD.

Agreed. Especially with the EE-ridden Sleeping Beauty that was also misframed on the last DVD version. So far Disney's Blu-ray releases have been INCREDIBLE in the sense of transparency-to-the-film but we have yet to see any of the "Lowry" digitally-cleaned "classic" titles come surface in 1080p.

Fingers crossed...
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#7 of 33 Robert Crawford

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Posted August 17 2007 - 02:09 AM

When it comes to new home video formats, patience is definitely a virtue for early adopters.Posted Image I'm very happy about this press release as I look forward to buying me that next generation of BR player this Fall to replace my current one.





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#8 of 33 ppltd

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Posted August 17 2007 - 02:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Arnette
IOf greater interest to me are the sign-posts for Profile 1.1 and 2.0 that can be inferred from this press release. Of course, there's no guaranteeing anything, but if BD Live players will be out by Fall '08, this merely reinforces my decision to skip over Profile 1.1 players entirely.
I am with you on that one. My current Panny 10a will have to sufice until 2.0. It is becoming a little costly to change out equipment every 6 months (this includes both formats).
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#9 of 33 ppltd

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Posted August 17 2007 - 02:24 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein
WALT DISNEY STUDIOS HOME ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES
THE DISNEY BLU-RAY TITLE WAVE COMING 2008
While these are certainly titles I will pick up, 'Title Wave' is pushing it a little too much.
Thomas Eisenmann(Last updated 09/30/11)

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#10 of 33 Jim_K

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Posted August 17 2007 - 02:29 AM

Well I am sorry for being a wet blanket, honest. Posted Image

I'm just a bit irritated with Disney's catalog output this year. I'm just not doing backflips for Narnia in the Spring of 08 when they were touting a Summer 07 BD release just a couple of months ago. I'm also a bit peeved that if I want Crimson Tide, Kill Bill or Pulp Fiction I'll have to import them from other regions at over $40 a pop (if they're not region coded that is). Then there's Sin City in their BD promo trailer. Why promote titles on a format you have no inclination to release in the near future?

I also want quality over quantity but really it's not like these titles are 50 year old films they have to restore. I have a hard time believing their resources can only handle a small handful of recent catalog films in a year (which is pretty much looking to be their output for 07).

Maybe it's the lack of worthwhile summer titles that has me in a foul mood over HDM. My attitude will probably improve by the end of September when there's actually titles I want in my hands (the ones that don't get cancelled or postponed indefinitely that is).

RANT OVER Posted Image

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#11 of 33 Edwin-S

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Posted August 17 2007 - 02:33 AM

A couple of nice title announcements in the press release; although, I wish they would have picked something other than Sleeping Beauty as their first animated classic offering.
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#12 of 33 Southpaw

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Posted August 17 2007 - 02:40 AM

Don't worry....they'll all get delayed. Posted Image

#13 of 33 Grant H

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Posted August 17 2007 - 02:51 AM

I'd like to know if Narnia will be the extended cut.
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#14 of 33 DaViD Boulet

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Posted August 17 2007 - 02:52 AM

Edwin,

Since Sleeping Beauty was Disney's an early cinemascope animated feature, that might be the reason why it's showing up on Blu-ray before titles like Snow White. Can you imagine the public outcry? "Why do I have black bars on the sides of my movie?!?"

Posted Image

Agreed that we've all been a bit bummed by some titles getting announced then pulled. I wonder if Disney has had to make new film-to-digital transfers given the high-scrutiny of HD media and perhaps there are some good reasons why some discs have been delayed?

Example: The Kill Bill DVDs were HORRIBLE, and even the HD promo trailer I saw looked "blurry" compared to the 35mm print I screened at my local theater.
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#15 of 33 BrettB

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Posted August 17 2007 - 03:00 AM

Awesome news. Timing I imagine has to do with the mall tour that's starting right now. Jim 'wet blanket' K, wow, Posted Image , I wish the titles were coming quicker as well but jeeze louise. I guess 50 or so years of drive-thru conditioning is gonna take it's toll on the art of patience. Posted Image

#16 of 33 MatthewA

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Posted August 17 2007 - 03:01 AM

As long as they don't fiddle with the colors, audio, original logos or aspect ratios, everything else is gravy.

Still, I think Sleeping Beauty ought to get more than a "virtual castle and multi-player activities." I didn't buy a PS3 to play games! Posted Image

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#17 of 33 Scott Jentsch

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Posted August 17 2007 - 03:05 AM

Pre-announcing titles for Fall 2008 seems a little premature, don't you think? I believe that 14-17 months is much longer than Disney usually uses to pre-announce their Platinum releases on DVD, isn't it?

Using hyperbole like "title wave" when you're referring to four movies doesn't help the situation any. Should circumstances cause them to reschedule any of these titles, such grandstanding can backfire in the press and the public.

That said, it is nice to see the Disney is opening their vaults, if just a little bit. I'm looking forward to Cars this fall (and maybe even Ratatouille), and Finding Nemo is a great title to release in HD. I've been holding off getting a Blu-ray player, but releasing titles like this will make it harder for me to wait!

How well classic animation will be presented in an HD format may be a pivotal moment for the technology.

Sleeping Beauty doesn't have the most vibrant colors and sharp 3-D rendering (a la the Pixar movies) that will make the HD image jump, so it will be a real test of adhering to the quality of the original product (and being willing to live with any flaws resulting from a nearly-50-year-old animated film). I've never seen any of the animated classics in a theater (at least in my memory anyway), so I don't know how close the current DVD editions are to the original product.

Has anyone seen a pristine (or at least a good-quality) print in a movie theater?

Now that I've had a chance to re-read the press release a few times when I posted it to The BigScreen Cinema Guide, there is more to this release than just the announcement of four movies.

Paul Arnette hit it on the head when he mentioned that these movies are a stake in the ground for players to support Profile 1.1 and 2.0!

National Treasure is going to be released in "Summer," most likely around the release of "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" on home video (although summer is six months after theatrical release, so that may not be the case). But let's say that "Summer" is somewhere between the calendar dates of June 21 and September 22.

That means that Disney is expecting Profile 2.0 compliant Blu-ray players in that timeframe? That's big news to me, and Disney has just set the bar for what features will be required for me to spend money on a Blu-ray player... Hopefully, some good news will come from CEDIA in September!
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#18 of 33 DaViD Boulet

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Posted August 17 2007 - 03:13 AM

Scott,

the original 65mm film elements for Sleeping Beauty are ASTONSHINGLY sharp and vibrant, and put the DVD to shame. Don't be fooled... lots of (well filmed) classic animation has clarity and detail that go well beyond 1920 x 1080 resolution.
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#19 of 33 Jason_V

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Posted August 17 2007 - 03:18 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Jentsch
Should circumstances cause them to reschedule any of these titles, such grandstanding can backfire in the press and the public.

I seriously doubt anyone outside of us die hards will even remember Disney used "title wave" in the press release 7 months before the first title might even be available.

#20 of 33 DaViD Boulet

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Posted August 17 2007 - 03:24 AM

hehe. I was thinking the same thing. And of course there will be many other Disney titles available by that time as well, even if they weren't mentioned in this press release or not.

I think Disney's point in this announcement was to demonstrate that they take BD very seriously, and are not going to be holding back their classic titles or their big-hits as they did with DVD.

Do you guys remember how it was eons before Disney finally agreed to release its big-budget and classic-animation on DVD? and then they weren't even 16x9!
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