At Disney, Blu-ray Sales Team Is a Cast of Characters
By Brooks Barnes
The New York Times
August 27, 2008
Los Angeles--The Walt Disney Company is dispatching Pinocchio, Snow
White and a team of other characters in its effort to accelerate
consumer adoption of next-generation DVD technology.
Disney, like other media companies, is counting on high-definition
Blu-ray discs--and companion technology that connects them to the
Internet--to reinvigorate its highly profitable home entertainment
business. But so far, Blu-ray players are selling more slowly than
expected, apparently because people are not convinced they need a
better DVD experience.
So Disney is sending in the troops. The company will release five
"platinum" titles from its library in the Blu-ray format over the
next two years, hoping that classic animated movies will spur wider
The films are "Pinocchio," "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,"
"Fantasia," "Fantasia 2000" and "Beauty and the Beast." The company
had previously announced plans to introduce one such title, "Sleeping
All the DVDs will include unusual features geared toward a generation
that embraces interactivity and social networking. Viewers can watch
a movie in tandem with friends in other locations, while they chat
using a laptop or cellphone (the comments appear on the screen).
Viewers will also be able to compete against others around the world
at trivia or send what Disney is calling movie mail, video images of
themselves that appear within the context of the movie.
Such activities are possible because of a technology called BD Live
that connects Blu-ray discs with the Internet.