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Kevin Krock, editor
The MousePlanet Home Theater Video News - 2/16/01
I've received a couple of emails about some severe problems that some folks have experienced with Disney's "Dinosaur" DVDs. Apparently, DVD players are skipping chapters right after the FBI warning, and the disc is un-watchable. The emails were specific to the 2-disc Collector's Edition, but based on info around the net, it sounds like the problem has affected not only "Dinosaur" but also "The Kid" and "Scary Movie." Disney has admitted that there is a problem, and they have issued the following statement:

"Buena Vista Home Entertainment is aware of and very concerned about the DVD hardware/software incompatibility issues that the home entertainment industry currently is experiencing. Like other studios, we have been working diligently to minimize such problems and will continue aggressively to eliminate these problems in the future. We believe any solution ultimately will require a partnership between hardware and software manufacturers. In the meantime, we will ensure that all of our consumers are 100% satisfied with any product that is affected by these issues. The Walt Disney Company is committed to its customers and fans to deliver a quality of excellence across all formats that is synonymous with its name."

Statement issued by Robert Chapek
President of Buena Vista Home Entertainment

From what I've been able to find out, the problem with the discs is isolated to certain DVD players which may not follow the DVD hardware specifications 100%. The players that The DVD File has cited as having problems include: Samsung, GE/Thompson/RCA, JVC, Sanyo/ Fisher and Philips. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell if your player will have problems...

So, you can wait for a while and hope that Disney fixes the problem somehow (I've heard that there are plans to remaster these discs, but no time frame has been given), or you can buy them and try them now. If it doesn't work, you can always return it to the place of purchase or call the Buena Vista's Customer Relations Hotline (1-800-723-4763) and ask for a refund or replacement. As more info becomes available, I'll keep you updated.

I've also tracked down a couple of Disney DVD release dates of interest:

  • May 1 - "The Emperor's New Groove" will be released as Standard and Collector's Editions, but no specific information on bonus features has been provided yet.
  • June 5 - "Oliver & Company" and "So Dear to my Heart" will be released as Gold Collector's Editions, but no specific information on bonus features has been provided yet.

To cap off the news, here's Disney's press release for the October Platinum Collectors Edition DVD release of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs":

snowwhitepromo.gif (12401 bytes)
 Promotional Art Disney

The One That Started It All!
"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"
to Make Long-Awaited DVD Debut

BURBANK, Calif. -- Feb. 6, 2001 --The Walt Disney Company will launch its long-awaited Platinum Collection of DVDs with the release of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" in October, it was announced today by Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group.

"Soon, families and movie lovers everywhere will be able to enjoy this greatest of animated masterpieces through the magic of Disney DVD," Cook said. "The 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' DVD will be the ultimate way to experience this landmark film. This amazing treasure trove will include bonus features, behind-the-scenes programs, production features, audio commentaries and much more, providing the most complete package ever assembled for this animated classic.

"The DVD release of the 1937 classic `Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' marks a new, historic milestone in entertainment history. Walt Disney Home Video is proud to present this beloved film's Disney DVD debut on Oct. 9, 2001."

Each October, Walt Disney Home Video will release, for a limited time only, a legendary "Platinum Collection" classic, fully restored for the ultimate entertainment experience.

The Disney Platinum Collection will include "Snow White," "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," "The Lion King," "Bambi," "The Jungle Book," "Cinderella," "The Little Mermaid," "Lady and the Tramp" and "101 Dalmatians."

Beginning in 2001 with "Snow White," Disney will release one title from the Platinum Collection on DVD and VHS each fall. The release of each title will be supported by a worldwide marketing effort that will include cross-promotion initiatives by Disney's various business units, including Theme Parks and Resorts, Disney Consumer Products, ABC Inc., Disney Channel, Radio Disney, and Walt Disney Internet Group, as well as Disney promotional partners such as McDonald's.

"Through the magic of today's modern digital advancements, the artists at Disney have created a home entertainment experience that will change the way families have watched films," Cook said. "The best way to celebrate a film-making breakthrough is to reveal it in its most magical form ever."

Snow White, the wicked Queen, Bashful, Sneezy, Doc, Happy, Grumpy, Sleepy and of course Dopey are icons for generations of families. The film's music is also beloved to audiences worldwide. Such songs as "Some Day My Prince Will Come," "Heigh Ho" and "Whistle While You Work" are classics.

"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" is the only animated film to be included in the prestigious U.S. National Film Registry, and the film delivered an Academy Award(R) for Walt Disney (1938, Honorary, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs") who was also presented with seven miniature Oscars(R) for each of the famous dwarfs.

"We believe that DVD represents a huge opportunity for our company," Cook said. "Just as with the VHS format, which saw incredible growth of video unit sales as VCR penetration rose, DVD demand will surge as penetration levels hit critical mass. As people change over to DVD, they will augment their existing video libraries with discs in the new format."

Walt Disney Home Video is distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment Inc., a recognized leader in the home entertainment industry for more than 15 years and a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Buena Vista Home Entertainment is the marketing, sales and distribution company for all Walt Disney, Touchstone, Hollywood Pictures, Miramax and Buena Vista videocassette and DVD product.

It sounds really promising, and I hope they deliver! As soon as I get more specific info on the bonus material, I'll let you know.

That's it for now, but stay tuned for more!

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