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Looks like another petition is in order....Disney goes fullscreen only?


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59 replies to this topic

#1 of 60 LukeB

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Posted March 27 2002 - 04:20 AM

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image It does appear that the upcoming DVD releases for "Max Keeble's Big Move" and "Snow Dogs" will be Pan & Scan only...with no widescreen versions. This isn't merely going on what was stated at Amazon but word from Disney themselves. Now, I don't know if you care about these two films, but think of what this means for the DVD format if the studio with the largest amount of live-action family films is determining that people are no longer interested in seeing the entire movie.

As you may know, I run a Disney DVD website and I think we have to make it clear to Disney that we will not buy MAR-only releases. For the past few years, Disney has been very good at releasing their films in original aspect ratio, and this is just no time to start cutting up their films. They are sitting on a huge amount of unreleased catalogue titles (many of which are among my most-awaited DVD purchases) and these 2 releases do not bare well for their DVD fates.

Someone needs to start a petition...I really hate to see this format being dumbed-down for the people who do not understand widescreen and it just seems that this very thing is happening. I think it's ridiculous from the studio's standpoint to not release an OAR DVD which would clearly make money from those who established this DVD format and care for the proper treatment of ALL films, from "Snow Dogs" to "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" to "Citizen Kane".

I don't know what this means for the enigmatic April family film DVD releases, which Disney has not released any specs on whatsoever. This really aggravates me so much, knowing that their unreleased "family films" might very well get the 1.33:1 shaft. What do they attribute these numbers to? The fact that people prefer Fullscreen or the fact that the Fullscreen discs had no designation as such, and people had to look for the versions with the "Widescreen" banners on them? The fact that many stores only stocked the Fullscreen versions or the fact that at online stores where both were available, widescreen versions always outsold the Fullscreen versions?

This is not a good sign for the DVD format and hopefully we can bring Disney to their senses.

#2 of 60 Dave_P.

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Posted March 27 2002 - 05:01 AM

Unfortunately it certainly looks as if we're beginning to lose the OAR battle. I guess it was just a matter of time. I'm starting to miss the good old laserdisc days.

#3 of 60 Rob Dwyer

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Posted March 27 2002 - 05:32 AM

this is just proof...

BEWARE OF THE POWER OF STUPID PEOPLE IN LARGE GROUPS

Sigh. And believe it or not, I did like Snow Dogs. So much for buying that one!

#4 of 60 Joshua Clinard

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Posted March 27 2002 - 05:56 AM

Where do you get your information? According to the Disney Video Finder, which is where Disney first releases the specs of any DVD, Max Keeble's Big Movie will be released with both Full Frame and Widescreen on the same disc. There is no aspect ratio information yet for Snow Dogs.

I think it's just paranoia. I do not think that Disney would release any movies in Full Frame only. They have released everyone of thier films in widescreen since early 2000. This includes direct to video animated titles intended for children, so I do not think that Disney is dropping the Ball on these movies, which are intended for an older audience then say, The Little Mermaid II, or Cinderella II.

#5 of 60 GlennH

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Posted March 27 2002 - 06:11 AM

I'm not doubting what you're saying, but where has Disney indicated that this will happen? I don't want to jump the gun if it's only unsubtantiated rumor.

That said, it really does seem that this trickle is turning into a torrent and we seem relatively powerless to stop it. How can it be that as more and more people (i.e., families) buy widescreen TV sets the choices of widescreen movies starts to dry up.

I just don't see the logic in all of it. If they only put out an OAR DVD of SNOW DOGS do they really think their sales will suffer. There are many, many DVDs that are only available in OAR and people buy them in great quantity.

I used to think it was okay if both versions were available (hey, choice should be good, right?) but now I pretty much go hardline. Providing this choice leads to problems like no widescreen version for rent, inequitable sales figures because some retailers don't support widescreen, etc. Then that leads to the false impression that people don't want widescreen enough. Then that leads to no widescreen choice. Thus, it is now my opinion that OAR should be the one and only choice for any movie. Period.

#6 of 60 Philip Hamm

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Posted March 27 2002 - 06:14 AM

Quote:
They have released everyone of thier films in widescreen since early 2000.
And they were a widescreen pioneer in the LaserDisc days. I don't believe that Disney would do this.
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#7 of 60 Dave_P.

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Posted March 27 2002 - 06:34 AM

The Image website, which is pretty accurate with it's info, lists it as Pan & Scan as well. Posted Image

#8 of 60 Jesse Skeen

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Posted March 27 2002 - 06:58 AM

Disney has an 800 number for their video department- 1-800-72-DISNEY- I don't know the story behind these 2 titles but it would still be a good idea to let them know pan and scan is not acceptable. I was planning on getting Max Keeble; I heard that would either be both formats on the same disc or 2 separate releases.
The attitude there is pretty strange though; I called a long time ago to express my disgust at how they delayed their laserdisc releases several months after the VHS and they talked to me like they thought I was a bootlegger!

*Added note for those who may not know- Di$ney was notorious for delaying laserdiscs because they feared they would be used for making copies, since laserdiscs did not have Macrovision copy protection. To prevent the market from being flooded with illegal VHS copies, they chose to punish the entire laserdisc community by simply delaying the releases while the bootleggers simply copied the VHS tapes using Macrovision eliminators!
Home video oddities, old commercials and other junk: http://www.youtube.com/user/eyeh8nbc

#9 of 60 Joshua Clinard

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Posted March 27 2002 - 07:23 AM

I called that number and asked about these two titles. The nice lady told me that the decision has not been made yet. I did put in a request that they release them both in Widescreen though. I encourage you to do the same. In fact, tell them that you want all DVD's in Widescreen, and that you appreciate thier output so far.

#10 of 60 LukeB

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Posted March 27 2002 - 07:34 AM

Trust me, guys, I want to believe it's not true as much as everyone, since it's so uncharacteristic of Disney. And TRUST me, I know Disney's DVD past and how for a long time now they have supported OAR releases.

Heck, I even have a site that contains a complete listing of every Disney DVD listed. But this information is not just speculation.

I know that the Max Keeble page says both 1.85:1 and 1.33:1, and DVD File reported that, but it appears that sometime recently a decision has been made to change Disney's typical Pro-OAR stance and refrain even from doing dual releases.

I encourage you all to go to Disney's site and email them telling them you won't buy MAR-only DVDs. Try not to be too technical because it doesn't seem that the people on the site really know what's going on, but be firm in telling them that we will not buy that which is not OAR. This is disappointing indeed, especially with the dozens of recently-announced live action titles, like "Angels in the Outfield", "Hocus Pocus", "Muppet Treasure Island", "Cheetah", etc., etc.

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

#11 of 60 LukeB

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Posted March 27 2002 - 07:35 AM

And yes, I would definitely encourage all supporters of OAR to call this number:
1-800-72-DISNEY

That is probably our best bet to get the message across, and is more effective than any petition or email can be. An email and a phone call really can't do anything but good.

#12 of 60 Joshua Clinard

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Posted March 27 2002 - 08:35 AM

I don't think the sales rep would lie. If a decision has not been made, then a decision has not been made. Don't read too much into this. I believe that Luke has simply been misinformed.

#13 of 60 Damin J Toell

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Posted March 27 2002 - 08:41 AM

hasn't it been shown in the past to be Disney policy to list all DVDs on their website as 1.33:1 until final specs are announced later on? i believe this problem was run into with the Vault Disney titles (Swiss Family Robinson, etc.), which were all originally listed as 1.33:1 by default.

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#14 of 60 Douglas R

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Posted March 27 2002 - 09:57 AM

I wouldn't be surprised to see Disney going down the pan & scan route. Despite reasonable acceptance of widescreen in the UK, they issued Lady & the Tramp and Sleeping Beauty in pan & scan format only.

#15 of 60 LukeB

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Posted March 27 2002 - 10:28 AM

Quote:
I don't think the sales rep would lie. If a decision has not been made, then a decision has not been made. Don't read too much into this. I believe that Luke has simply been misinformed.


Don't believe it if you want to. I don't want to believe it either.

Quote:
hasn't it been shown in the past to be Disney policy to list all DVDs on their website as 1.33:1 until final specs are announced later on? i believe this problem was run into with the Vault Disney titles (Swiss Family Robinson, etc.), which were all originally listed as 1.33:1 by default.


Yes, I am very aware of this. I am probably more aware of this than most are. This information is NOT being taken from Disney's own website, but from Disney's own support people. Plus an Image Announcement notice, Amazon, and more. Individually, not definitive sources...but together, you'd be lying to yourself to think that these are going to be 16 x 9 only releases.

#16 of 60 DarrenA

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Posted March 27 2002 - 10:34 AM

Quote:
I wouldn't be surprised to see Disney going down the pan & scan route. Despite reasonable acceptance of widescreen in the UK, they issued Lady & the Tramp and Sleeping Beauty in pan & scan format only.

This must be in the UK only as Sleeping Beauty has not even been released here in the States on DVD yet, and Lady and the Tramp is definitely in widescreen on DVD.
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#17 of 60 LukeB

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Posted March 27 2002 - 10:37 AM

Quote:
This must be in the UK only as Sleeping Beauty has not even been released here in the States on DVD yet, and Lady and the Tramp is definitely in widescreen on DVD.


Yes, he was referring to the UK. His point was that it wouldn't be surprising to him if these horrible trends were carried over to the US.

#18 of 60 Daniel L

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Posted March 27 2002 - 10:54 AM

Don't panic until this is confirmed by legitimate sources. Just because some "support person" that wants to remain anonymous says the Snow Dogs is pan and scan, doesn't make it a fact. They're trying to cover their ass if they're wrong. This is SOP for any studio unless you can catch them with confirmed facts...

The reality with Disney, and all studios, is that one branch rarely knows what the other is doing. The Disney Web sites, both consumer and retail, only have information from what the marketing department gives them. (The running time on Snow Dogs is listed as 139 for crying out loud.)

Those marketers, and sales reps for that matter, wouldn't know specs unless Michael Eisner came up to them and tatooed them to thier ass. Hell, he probably wouldn't know either. It's not thier job.

As for Image & Amazon both stating that the disc is pan and scam, that doesn't make it so. They work with what the Disney marketers give them, and if they don't know, Image and Amazon doesn't know. (Hell, when Rescuers was released on LD a few yeas back, Image never updated their specs that it was widescreen.)

If there are going to be two releases of Snow Dogs, both widescreen and pan & scam, it wouldn't be stunning if the announcement was a last minute deal. Remember the Titans wasn't announced in pan & scam until three weeks before the street date.

So before you go ranting about starting another pointless HTF petion drive, take a deep breath, relax and wait for an official word about the situation.

Daniel L

#19 of 60 LukeB

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Posted March 27 2002 - 11:00 AM

Quote:
Don't panic until this is confirmed by legitimate sources. Just because some "support person" that wants to remain anonymous says the Snow Dogs is pan and scan, doesn't make it a fact. They're trying to cover their ass if they're wrong. This is SOP for any studio unless you can catch them with confirmed facts...


I hope you are right and that every place is wrong - the majority of places listing the two DVDs don't have aspect ratio information, for in the very press release, no aspect ratio was mentioned. Same goes for all of the April and May Disney/Buena Vista DVD releases. Which is unusual.

Quote:
So before you go ranting about starting another pointless HTF petion drive, take a deep breath, relax and wait for an official word about the situation.

My intention were not to rant and start another pointless petition. Frankly, I think we're at a stage where petitions are going to accomplish nothing...a letter/email/phone campaign would get the message across sooner. But it's not my intention to do a big campaign and get Disney to release widescreen version and feel like my life has meaning.

I just want the issue to be brought to attention now, where there are still a few weeks before the DVD releases where hopefully, Disney can recognize the importance of the OAR market that got the DVD format off and running. I know Disney has traditionally been OAR, and this thread is more about these two recent titles...it's basically about having another studio to dread for MAR-only releases, and the amount of unreleased catalogue titles that I can only HOPE are in OAR.

#20 of 60 Robert Cook

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Posted March 27 2002 - 11:25 AM

This is a little late, but here are some basic comments about the general situation with Disney in the US, for those who may not be familiar with it.

Disney have always released VHS videos in 1.33, with only a few titles, such as Lady and the Tramp and Sleeping Beauty, in widescreen OAR, in addition to their more widely released MAR editions. On LD and DVD, however, they have generally done the exact opposite, even going as far as accurately distinguishing between aspect ratios like 1.66 and 1.85 (presumably according to the directors' wishes in a number of cases), and 2.20 and 2.35.

If they were to change their DVD policy, it would be very disturbing, because they've been one of the most consistent supporters of OAR on high quality media, as far as I can tell. With that said, they have released at least one MAR-only DVD I can think of, George of the Jungle (live action), so there is a precedent here. I think they realize that many animation fans would not accept MAR DVDs from them, but their live-action "family films" might be fair game. I hope this is not the case, obviously because it could continue the trend we've been seeing in the industry, and even propel it.


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