Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment: Wikis


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Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (former corporate name: Buena Vista Home Entertainment[1]) is the home video distribution division of The Walt Disney Company. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment also operates as Buena Vista Home Entertainment. Disney began distributing videos under its own label in 1980, while Village Roadshow distributed the Disney home video titles in Australia throughout the 1980s.


Company structure

The company distributes DVDs under the labels Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, Touchstone Home Entertainment, Miramax Home Entertainment and Buena Vista Home Entertainment. With the advent of DVD, "Home Entertainment" replaced "Home Video" in label names.

MCA DiscoVision releases

Before Disney began releasing home video titles itself, it licensed some titles to MCA Discovision for their newly-developed disc format, later called Laserdisc. According to the Blam Entertainment Group website,[2] which has extensive details of DiscoVision releases, only seven Disney titles were actually released on DiscoVision. One of these was the feature film Kidnapped. The others were compilations of Disney shorts. The first titles released in 1978 included: On Vacation with Mickey Mouse and Friends (#D61-503), Kids is Kids (#D61-504), At Home with Donald Duck (#D61-505), Adventures of Chip 'n' Dale (#D61-506), and finally The Coyote's Lament (#D61-507) which was released in May 1979. Disney's agreement with MCA ended in December 1981.[3]

Walt Disney Home Video releases

In 1980, Disney established its own video distribution operation as part of Walt Disney Telecommunications and Non-Theatrical Company (WDTNT) with Jim Jimirro as its first president.[4] Home video was not considered to be a major market by Disney at the time. WDTNT also handled the marketing of other miscellaneous ancillary items such as short 8 mm films for home use.


First releases on Beta and VHS

One of the first VHS releases

Disney's first releases on tape were 13 titles that were licensed for rental to Fotomat on March 4, 1980,[5] initially in a four-city test (Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose), to be expanded nationwide by the end of 1980. The agreement specified rental fees ranging from $7.95 to $13.95. This first batch of titles on VHS and Beta included 10 live action movies: Pete's Dragon (#10), The Black Hole (#11), The Love Bug (#12), Escape to Witch Mountain (#13), Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (#14), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (#15), Bedknobs and Broomsticks (#16), The North Avenue Irregulars (#17), The Apple Dumpling Gang (#18), and Hot Lead and Cold Feet (#19); and three of the compilations of short cartoons previously released by DiscoVision: On Vacation with Mickey Mouse and Friends (#20), Kids is Kids starring Donald Duck (#21), and Adventures of Chip 'n' Dale (#22). Later, on December 30, 1980, Mary Poppins (#23) was added to make 14 titles in all.

Authorized Rental Dealers

No new titles were released for half a year after Mary Poppins, but Walt Disney Home Video announced an expanded program for "Authorized Rental Dealers" in December 1980, and began to expand its dealer network during the first part of 1981.[6] From January 1 to March 31, 1981, Disney had a "License One — Get One Free" promotion to encourage dealers to sign up. They also offered free rental use of a 7-minute Mickey Mouse Disco videocassette for customers who rented any title from an Authorized Rental Dealer from February through May 1981.

Disney was unusual among the major studios in offering a program for authorized rentals. Most of the other studios involved in the videocassette market at the time were trying to find ways to stop dealers from renting out their movie tapes. Magnetic Video (with titles from 20th Century Fox and others) ceased doing business with Fotomat after Fotomat began renting Magnetic Video cassettes without authorization.[7] Disney's rental cassettes in blue cases looked completely different from sale cassettes, which were in white cases. This was designed to make it easy for Disney representatives to tell if dealers were violating their dealer agreements by renting out cassettes intended for sale.

Animated features

One of the first of the 15 untouchable animated films on videocassette.

The first of the Disney animated features canon to be released on videocassette was Dumbo on June 28, 1981,[8] for rental only. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was released for rental and sale at the same time. Alice in Wonderland was released on October 15, 1981, for rental only.[9] The other 15 animated features weren't on video due to only being released in theaters for re-release, as well as Walt Disney himself saying that he never wanted his films on the small screen.

First Walt Disney Home Video laser videodiscs and animated features for sale

A logo used by Walt Disney Home Video between 1978 and 1986.

Their agreement with DiscoVision having ended in 1981, Disney began releasing Laserdiscs under the Walt Disney Home Video label to their own network of distributors and dealers. The first five titles were shipped in June 1982: The Black Hole, The Love Bug, Escape to Witch Mountain, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Cartoons, Collection One. Five more titles shipped in July: Pete's Dragon, Dumbo, Davy Crockett and the River Pirates, The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, and Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Cartoons, Collection Two.[3]

Disney released more cartoon compilations (pre-Walt Disney Cartoon Classics in 1983) in late 1981, including Goofy Over Sports and A Tale of Two Critters.

Dumbo was released for sale on tape in summer 1982, while Alice in Wonderland was released for sale in November 1982.[10] The next major animated feature to be released (excluding the "package" anthology features) was Robin Hood on December 6, 1984, starting the Walt Disney Classics collection. By 1982, all the video releases were for sale and rental, along with newer releases, but at high prices.

To market these new video releases, the company produced an exclusive promo seen after various Disney video films. The promo was nicknamed "Walt Disney and You" by fans on account of the customized tune in the promo. The promo also featured clips from the various releases and ended with a video-freeze of the then-current Walt Disney Home Video opening sequence (known as the "Neon Mickey"; a screenshot from this can be seen above).

July 16, 1985 saw the home video premiere of Pinocchio which became the bestselling video of that year.

Disney later produced the Disney Sing-Along Songs collection of videos for young children in association with Harry Arends and Phil Savenick. The series first hit stores on December 23, 1986.

Disney DVD

Disney DVD is the brand name under which Buena Vista Home Entertainment releases its Disney-branded motion pictures. In 1997, Disney began releasing titles on DVD, with VHS releases phased out after Bambi II was released in 2006. The brand launched a loyalty program called Disney Movie Rewards in October 2006. Participants can collect points by mailing in ticket stubs from seeing Disney movies in theaters and Magic Codes from Disney DVD purchases. The points can be redeemed for prizes like games, books, and collectibles.[11]

Platinum Editions

The Platinum Editions are a line of special edition DVDs released by Disney. Originally, the line comprised the company's ten best-selling VHS titles and was released in October of each year. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first film to receive this honor in 2001. The two following titles, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King were released in IMAX and other giant screen theaters during the holiday season before its October DVD release. Due to underperforming box office results, this tradition was terminated after Aladdin. In May 2003, Disney announced that they would be adding the next four best-selling titles to the collection. Starting in 2005, a Platinum Edition was released in October and February/March. Another tradition practiced for these released are gift sets. These gift sets contain supplements such as original animation sketches, a film frame, and a companion's book.
The current list of Platinum Editions includes: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin, Bambi, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, The Jungle Book, 101 Dalmatians, Sleeping Beauty, and Pinocchio. The original plan for the Platinum Editions was that they would be released ten years after they are put in the Disney Vault. Since then, this time has been shortened to seven years.

Diamond Editions

Disney has announced that with the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in Fall 2009, it will start the line of Diamond series. The Diamond Editions will feature the 14 best-selling titles from the Platinum Editions. [12][13]

Disney Blu-ray

Disney Blu-ray is the brand name under which Buena Vista Home Entertainment releases its Disney-branded motion pictures in High-Definition. In late 2006/early 2007, Disney began releasing titles, like the Pirates of the Caribbean films and the National Treasure films, on Blu-ray Disc.

Notable releases

The brand name first used by Walt Disney Home Video on their American home video releases of Disney animated features was Walt Disney Classics. The first title arrived in stores on December 6, 1984. With the October 28, 1994 release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the existing titles in the Classics series became part of the new Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection and the Classics line was retired. The Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection was released by Walt Disney Home Video from 1994 to 1999. It was followed by The Walt Disney Gold Classics Collection, which ran from 2000 to 2001. All Gold Classics titles were released in VHS and DVD formats except Toy Story, which was released on VHS only. Starting in October of 2001, the Platinum Editions are a line of DVDs and Blu-ray Discs released by Walt Disney Home Entertainment. The series features restored digital versions of several of the most popular Disney animated features. [14]

Following are the movies that have been released in the various collections, with the original release date in each category:

Movie Title Classics Masterpiece Gold Platinum
101 Dalmatians April 10, 1992 March 9, 1999 March 4, 2008
A Bug's Life August 1, 2000
A Goofy Movie June 20, 2000
Aladdin October 1, 1993 October 5, 2004
Alice in Wonderland May 28, 1986 October 28, 1994 July 4, 2000
Bambi September 28, 1989 February 4, 1997 March 1, 2005
Beauty and the Beast October 30, 1992 October 8, 2002
Bedknobs and Broomsticks October 28, 1994 March 20, 2001
Cinderella October 4, 1988 October 4, 1995 October 4, 2005
Dumbo December 3, 1985 October 28, 1994
Fantasia November 1, 1991 March 9, 2010
Fantasia 2000 March 9, 2010
Fun and Fancy Free July 15, 1997 June 20, 2000
Hercules February 3, 1998 August 1, 2000
Lady and the Tramp October 6, 1987 September 15, 1998 February 28, 2006
Make Mine Music June 6, 2000
Mary Poppins October 28, 1994 July 4, 2000
Melody Time June 2, 1998 June 6, 2000
Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas November 7, 2000
Mulan February 2, 1999 February 1, 2000
Oliver & Company September 25, 1996
Peter Pan September 21, 1990 March 3, 1998 March 6, 2007
Pete's Dragon October 28, 1994 January 16, 2001
Pinocchio July 16, 1985 March 7, 2000 March 10, 2009
Pocahontas February 28, 1996 June 6, 2000
Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World September 5, 2000
Robin Hood December 6, 1984 October 28, 1994 July 4, 2000
Saludos Amigos May 2, 2000
Sleeping Beauty October 14, 1986 September 16, 1997 October 7, 2008
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs October 28, 1994 October 9, 2001
So Dear to My Heart October 28, 1994
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad May 25, 1999 October 3, 2000
The Aristocats April 24, 1996 April 4, 2000
The Black Cauldron August 4, 1998 October 3, 2000
The Fox and the Hound March 4, 1994 May 2, 2000
The Great Mouse Detective July 17, 1992
The Hunchback of Notre Dame March 4, 1997
The Jungle Book May 3, 1991 October 14, 1997 October 2, 2007
The Lion King March 3, 1995 October 7, 2003
The Little Mermaid May 18, 1990 March 31, 1998 October 3, 2006
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh March 27, 1996
The Rescuers September 18, 1992 March 23, 1999
The Rescuers Down Under September 20, 1991 August 1, 2000
The Sword in the Stone March 24, 1986 October 28, 1994 March 20, 2001
The Three Caballeros October 28, 1994 May 2, 2000
Toy Story January 11, 2000

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Fixmer, Andy (25 April 2007). "Disney to Drop Buena Vista Brand Name, People Say". Bloomberg Television. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a0MG17nO.PG8&refer=home. Retrieved 2007-08-08.  
  2. ^ Young, Blaine. "MCA DiscoVision". Blam Entertainment Group. http://www.blamld.com/DiscoVision. Retrieved 2006-09-19.  
  3. ^ a b "Disney Releases 10 Titles on Laser Videodisc". VIDEODISC/VIDEOTEX (Meckler Publishing) 2 (3): 175. Summer 1982.  
  4. ^ Froke, Marlowe (December 12, 1989). "Oral History Collection - James P. Jimirro" (Interview transcript). The Cable Center. http://www.cablecenter.org/education/library/oralHistoryDetails.cfm?id=233. Retrieved 2006-09-19.  
  5. ^ "Walt Disney - Fotomat Announce Video Tape Programming Pact". Dow Jones News Service - Ticker. March 3, 1980.  
  6. ^ "Studios hamstrung as rentals of videocassettes trim profits". Wall Street Journal. March 27, 1981.  
  7. ^ Kopp, George (February 14, 1981). "Magnetic Video Decision Awaited: Firm's Cassette Rental Policy Expected in 3-4 Weeks". Billboard.  
  8. ^ "(Title unknown)". Billboard. August 15, 1981.  
  9. ^ "Disney releasing six video titles". The Globe and Mail (United Press International). October 14, 1981. p. 15.  
  10. ^ Wollman, Jane (September 16, 1982). "A wider selection in children's video". The New York Times.  
  11. ^ Arnold, Thomas K (April 5, 2007). "Studios keep spotlight on DVD". The Hollywood Reporter.  
  12. ^ http://www.ultimatedisney.com/snowwhite-diamond-pressrelease-1006.html
  13. ^ http://www.ultimatedisney.com/diamondcollection-pressrelease-0910.html
  14. ^ http://www.ultimatedisney.com/releasetypes.htm

External links


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