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Disney Announces Blu-ray Platinum Release Schedule

Posted on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008 9:47 AM

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Disney's second animated feature, Pinocchio, hasn't been seen on home video since 2002, but it's coming to Blu-ray high definition in Spring 2009.

As I mentioned in yesterday's Journal article When You Buy a Blu-ray Player, Demand BD-Live, Disney has announced that they will be releasing some "Platinum Edition" titles on Blu-ray high definition disc in the next two years. The "Platinum Edition" moniker has always been used by Disney to signify the jewels in the Disney crown, and releasing them on the new format is a sign of how much weight the studio is putting behind the new home video format.

The first Platinum Edition title, Sleeping Beauty, will be released on October 7, 2008. The new announcements are for:

Spring 2009
Snow White and the Seven DwarfsFall 2009
Fantasia 2000

Beauty and the BeastFall 2010

As far as I can tell from the press release (below) and other coverage of Disney's plans for the Blu-ray format, all of these titles will feature BD-Live functionality, which uses the network connection on your Blu-ray player to deliver enhanced content related to the movie. Disney is planning real-time chat functions so you can communicate with far-flung friends and family while watching the same movie at the same time, trivia quizzes, and other features that take advantage of the BD-Live functionality.

Many Blu-ray players available today do not have BD-Live capability, so your player may not be able to take advantage of these upcoming features. Even if that's the case, I know many Disney fans who are looking forward to seeing these movies in high definition picture and sound!

If you haven't yet purchased a Blu-ray player, be sure to read the aforementioned When You Buy a Blu-ray Player, Demand BD-Live and also Looking to Buy a Blu-ray Player? Wait a Few Weeks. Here's Why.

The full press release from Disney appears below.

Press Release

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Announces Expansive Slate of Upcoming Platinum Editions

Pinocchio * Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs * Fantasia * Fantasia 2000 * Beauty and the Beast Each Available For the first time on Blu-ray(TM) Hi-Def

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Launching Disney's New BD-Live Network - Worldwide - Fall 2009!

BERLIN, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (WDSHE) proudly unveils five additions to the celebrated Platinum Collection of animated features to be released on DVD and for the first time ever on Disney Blu-ray Hi-Def. These include some of Disney's most beloved classics, Pinocchio, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Fantasia 2000 and Beauty and the Beast. Each will be available for a limited time only, in new multi-disc sets featuring rarely seen footage and an array of new bonus features.

Fittingly the one that started it all for Walt Disney, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first feature length animated film ever made, will be the title that will mark a new era in home entertainment around the world, launching Disney's worldwide BD-Live Network, a revolutionary technological breakthrough in home entertainment that will connect family and friends, allowing unprecedented interactivity and ease, from anywhere in the world.

Disney's BD-Live Network will be initially launched in the U.S. only, with the first Platinum Edition Blu-ray release, Sleeping Beauty 50th Anniversary Platinum Edition, available on October 7, 2008.

Bob Chapek, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Worldwide President, commented, "We are excited to announce a magical slate of Platinum titles for the first time on Blu-ray high definition, this celebrated collection of animated features demonstrates Disney's commitment to deliver great content."

"The landscape for the Blu-ray format is very healthy, and we believe that the enhanced movie experiences that the format provides, such as Disney's BD-Live network, offer consumers the chance to reinvent the experience of watching movies in their homes, and the interactivity and connectivity that is being provided will truly make the family room relevant again," continues Mr. Chapek.

Gordon Ho is Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (WDSHE) adds, "Disney's BD-Live experience will enrich and deepen the overall consumer experience, and we are delighted that, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will be the one that will launch Disney's BD-Live network worldwide."

The Platinum release roll-out will be:

Pinocchio, the beloved story of a wooden puppet who wants to become a real boy, comes to Platinum Edition DVD and Disney Blu-ray in spring 2009. Disney's second full-length animated movie, Pinocchio won two Oscars(R), one for Best Score and another for the unforgettable song "When You Wish upon a Star." It returns for the first time since 2002.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, honored with a special Academy Award(R) for screen innovation this movie has been unavailable since 2001. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Platinum Edition will be released in the fall of 2009.

Walt Disney's experimental masterpiece Fantasia won two honorary Oscars for its innovative use of animation and music. Most recently released in 2000, the restored and remastered Fantasia Platinum Edition will be available in 2010. Alongside this release, a newly restored and remastered Fantasia 2000 Platinum Edition, will be available. Fantasia 2000 begins where its predecessor, Fantasia, left off, with seven completely new segments and the return of the popular "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," featuring breathtaking images coupled with classical music favorites.

In conjunction with these releases, Destino, the unfinished animated feature film created by Walt Disney and famed surrealist painter Salvador Dali will release. Begun in 1946, it was rediscovered in 2003 and completed by Walt's nephew, Roy E. Disney. The collaboration between these two legendary artists will be available to own for the first time along with an all-new feature-length documentary that examines the surprising partnership between Dali and Disney.

Beauty and the Beast, the only animated film ever nominated for an Academy Award(R) for Best Picture, earned a breathtaking six Academy Award(R) nominations and won two Oscars(R). Beauty in the Beast Platinum Edition will be available in fall 2010.

About Platinum Editions

Walt Disney Home Entertainment Platinum Editions is an exclusive collection of The Walt Disney Company's greatest films on Blu-ray Hi-Def and DVD. Each release is restored and includes state-of-the-art bonus features to ensure the ultimate entertainment experience.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, a recognized leader in the home entertainment industry, is the marketing, sales and distribution company for Walt Disney, Touchstone, Hollywood Pictures, Miramax and Buena Vista product, which includes DVD, Blu-ray Disc(TM) and electronic distribution. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment is a division of The Walt Disney Studios.

Source: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

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