Thursday, November 12, 2009

An honest letter to Disney RE: DVD and Blu-Ray

Russell seems as perturbed as I am about the Up DVDs

To Buena Vista Home Entertainment:

Hey guys. You oughta know by now that when it comes to most things Disney, I'm a big fan. I love a great deal of your work and the Disney connection has gotten me some truly wonderful friends. 

So it really hurts me when you make me feel ripped off and devalued. 

How? With the packaging of the Up DVDs. 

Up is my absolute favorite movie of the year, so I was very excited to buy it this week. Then, when I watched the disc, I was sorely disappointed at how you skimped on the extras.

Let me backtrack a bit: The Pixar DVDs have been among my favorites in my collection, not just because of the movies themselves but for the excellent, comprehensive packages of extras. All the Pixar movies, from Toy Story through The Incredibles had outstanding packages of extras.

Then along comes this high-def format called Blu-Ray. And then you started skimping on the extras for regular ol' DVD while still loading the Blu-Rays with content. Unfair. Unjust. Greedy, even. 

The Cars and Ratatouille Blu-Rays had all kinds of goodies while the DVDs had hardly anything. I know some features only work on Blu-Ray, but it seems to me a lot of what was on those Blu-Rays could have gone on the DVDs too. Why should we be shortchanged because we couldn't invest in a high-def system yet?

Then WALL-E came along and you seemed to wise up. Both the Blu-Ray and the DVD had very nice extras packages. All seemed right with the world. 

Now, along come the Up DVDs and the configuration is rather maddening. There are three editions: 

1. A single-disc DVD which is pretty bare bones

2. A double-disc DVD with a few extras

3. A 4-disc Blu-Ray set.

The Blu-Ray was obviously out for me, so I figured this would be like WALL-E: get the two-disc set with more extras. Well, as it turns, out the second-disc of the DVD set is nothing more than a "digital copy" of the film, which I will never use.  Sorry, but I think watching movies on iPods and the like is pointless. 

Meanwhile, the Blu-Ray is stocked with all kinds of nice bonuses that aren't on the DVDs, like:

*Geriatric Hero. History behind the creation of our old guy. All of these documentaries are interview oriented with sketches and film clips to supplement.
*Canine Companions. In depth analysis on the breed choices, training and dog behavior studied to get the dogs in the film to be more - dog like.
*Russel Wild Explorer. Covers the reasons for his character to have the loss and why he was "egg" shaped as opposed to other sketch ideas.
*Kevin (bird). Nice reference to the Swiss Family Robinson ostrich; covered the hardest part of any of these animation films - the feathers.
*Homemakers Pixar. Enjoyed the work that went into them studying sub-floors and lighting options in making this look so real in the house.
*Balloons and Flight. Tells the now famous number of balloons used; some interesting dirigible history; shows the Pixar group using that local Bay Area air service I keep seeing fly around here (research stuff).
*Composing for Characters. Have to be into the musical/scoring stuff for this one. 

Now why on God's green Earth couldn't you have put those on an actual second disc? I can't think of any good reason. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to have the commentary and the few extras I have, but I still feel cheated  - especially since, with sales prices, the Blu-Ray is actually CHEAPER than the two-disc DVD set. That is nothing less than galling. 

Forget it, guys. You are endlessly pimping Blu-Ray, but when you pull this crap, that just ticks me off. I'm not convinced Blu-Ray has a long future anyway, and these kinds of shenanigans only make me LESS inclined to support it. Surely that wasn't in your plan.

All I can say say is if you pull this BS with Toy Story 3 next year, I think you'll find a lot of unhappy Sids, Scuds and Zurgs out there. 


Sir Critic

1 comment:

Scott Copeland said...

No to mention I had to sit through what has to be the worst trailer ever to get to the movie. Man does Santa Buddies look awful. Wouldn't the Ponyo ad have made more sense instead?