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Urgent: looking for examples of DVD menu for class with "fancy" design and/or simple/practical design/layout


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#1 of 7 OFFLINE   hkmarie1

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Posted July 14 2012 - 10:48 AM

I have to write a report on DVD menu design. One menu design/layout I like, one menu design/layout I don't and why. I've reviewed the 5 DVDs I own (don't own a lot of DVDs cause I don't like watching a movie more then once) That's why the majority of the movies I watch are on my computer now. Now I have to go out and buy DVDs to analyze their menus then bring them both to class. Before I go out and buy random DVDs I think look good but have no idea what the menu design looks like I wanted to get menu opinions from other people on here. What DVD...with a good and or bad menu design/layout.... whether "fancy" or "simple" do you like/dislike and why? Thanks for the feedback

#2 of 7 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted July 14 2012 - 02:42 PM

The three that come to mind are older: The Matrix, since it was the demo reel at retail when DVD exploded. Toy Story, Due to its theming. And Harry Potter, because I remember it locking extras behind annoying "games".

#3 of 7 OFFLINE   hkmarie1

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Posted July 14 2012 - 02:48 PM

These are DVD menus you would consider good or bad...

#4 of 7 OFFLINE   TheBat

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Posted July 14 2012 - 02:55 PM

I have to write a report on DVD menu design. One menu design/layout I like, one menu design/layout I don't and why. I've reviewed the 5 DVDs I own (don't own a lot of DVDs cause I don't like watching a movie more then once) That's why the majority of the movies I watch are on my computer now. Now I have to go out and buy DVDs to analyze their menus then bring them both to class. Before I go out and buy random DVDs I think look good but have no idea what the menu design looks like I wanted to get menu opinions from other people on here. What DVD...with a good and or bad menu design/layout.... whether "fancy" or "simple" do you like/dislike and why? Thanks for the feedback

I would get the star wars films on dvd. they had 3 seperate menus for it. you hit a button and you would get a differnt load up each time. Jacob

#5 of 7 OFFLINE   David Weicker

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Posted July 14 2012 - 03:51 PM

Instead of actually going out and spending money, I would suggest you visit your local library. Most libraries have some type of dvd collection. You could take these suggestions, as well as randomly picking out a few others. I would suggest that you choose films from different eras, as newer films often have more complex menus, while older films may have a simpler menu. I'd also pick a few 'well-known, popular' films and some more obscure films. In this way, you should get a nice cross section of menu styles David

#6 of 7 OFFLINE   hkmarie1

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Posted July 14 2012 - 04:00 PM

good idea! Never thought about the library, thanks :)

#7 of 7 OFFLINE   Escapay

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Posted July 14 2012 - 06:02 PM

Here's some menus to look out for, in order of when the DVD came out. That should be an important factor to consider as well, since menus themselves got more sophisticated over time, then gradually became less important.
  • A Streetcar Named Desire (1997) - this was actually one of the earliest DVDs on the market, so the menu wasn't very well-done. I sold my DVD of it long ago, but DVDBeaver shows some screen caps for what they looked like. Pay attention to how Scene Selection as we know it today was vastly different in 1997 (at least for this disc). You had to select "Jump to a Scene," and rather than get the scene selection menus we're used to with each chapter, this menu screen only featured certain chapters (in Streetcar's case: chapters 4, 6, 10, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, & 26), and you'd have to select that, then chapter-skip ahead or back to whatever chapter you wanted.
  • Lawrence of Arabia: Limited Edition (2001) - this one has very beautiful animated montages for all the menus, from the main menu, to the set up, to even the scene selection (the individual screens for each chapter have a repeating clip from that scene). Even the menu transitions are animated and work very well with the theming of the menus. Make sure you find the 2001 two-disc DVD. When Sony re-released the two-disc DVD in 2008, they only kept the main menu animated, the other menus were just still images.
  • Any Classic "Doctor Who" DVD (2001-present) - the menus themselves aren't bad. They're all uniform, actually, which makes for easy navigation. Also, on earlier discs (I'd say pre-2006 or so), the icon could only move in certain directions. For example, the features on each menu are listed in bullet points. So you could only go up and down to select an option, which was great. It made looking for easter eggs easier, as those would need a left-or-right direction to find. If I clicked "left" on a certain bullet, and it didn't move, I knew I couldn't find the easter egg there. The only thing wrong with the menus were its UNSKIPPABLE 15-second introduction in which the TARDIS travels through the time vortex, before its doors opens up to show you the main menu. I didn't mind the introduction at first, but once BBC started adding trailers and idents before this menu, then it got tedious when the disc loaded. You had the perfunctory FBI warnings and such, the Warner Ident, the BBC Ident, the 2|e ident, then a "Doctor Who" or some other Brit show previewed, followed by that unskippable menu introduction.
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol (2002 & 2005) - both DVDs by Disney use the same menu, which is one of the most enjoyable I've ever watched. It's animated and includes an introduction by Kermit the Frog. Rather than immediately hit play, just let the menu continue, and Kermit will pop up now and again to talk to you, wondering why you haven't selected anything yet. The interactive video also extends to the Bonus Features menu for the disc. The same thing is done in their 2002 & 2005 DVDs for Muppet Treasure Island, this time hosted by Gonzo and Rizzo.
  • Alien Quadrilogy (2003) - very nicely-themed and easy to navigate, as you could choose between the original theatrical version of a film, or its new re-cut version. Looks very much like a screen someone would actually use within the movies. Also, each beginning menu corresponds to a stage in the xenomorph's development: Egg (Alien), Facehugger (Aliens), Chestburster (Alien 3), Warrior (Alien Resurrection), & Queen (Alien Quadrilogy Bonus Disc).
  • The Lion King: Platinum Edition (2003) - I don't know where to start. There's the various promos (thankfully skippable) that play. There's the two-minute-long unrealistic CGI introduction of Zazu flying throughout all of Africa, all of which precedes the main menu. Rather than just compile all the bonus features under a catch-all "Special Features" title that everyone else uses, Disc 1 splits them all across 4 lands: "Grasslands," "Tree of Life," Jungle," and "Elephant Graveyard." To add insult to injury, the audio commentary is hidden in the "Set Up" menu rather than listed as a bonus feature. And that's just Disc 1. Disc 2 is a labyrinth of features made all the more frustrating by the navigation system that required a grid in the DVD booklet to let you know where certain bonus features were.
  • The Princess Bride: Buttercup / Dread Pirate Edition (2006) - in the beginning, you're asked two questions: "Do you believe in true love?" or "Do you dare challenge the Dread Pirate Roberts?" Whichever one you pick, the menu is customized to that theme. Navigation itself is easily laid out as well. It goes well with the entire DVD package, as it was available either with a "Buttercup Edition" cover or a "Dread Pirate Edition" cover, with the two discs also themed likewise (Disc 1 was Buttercup, Disc 2 was Dread Pirate Roberts).
When comparing DVD menus, it's fun to think of the following: How long is the background music (if any)? Would it get annoying listening to the same 10-second loop play over and over? Likewise, is just the main menu animated? Or are the sub-menus animated as well? Are language/subtitle options gathered together, or separated? Columbia DVDs used to have separate menu pages for Audio Options & Subtitles. When selecting one, does it keep you on that menu or return you to the main menu? Is the menu 16:9 or 4:3? If it's 16:9, is it presented with black bars on 4:3 televisions, or has it been made 4:3 safe? One of the most ironic things in the DVD world is Disney's live-action catalogue. Some of their titles would be presented in 4:3 transfers that were either open-matte, pan & scan, or non-anamorphic widescreen. But the menus themselves were 16:9. I never quite understood that.




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