Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Disney to Release Classics on Blu-Ray, Interactive Elements Involved

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 interest. The films are “Pinocchio,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Fantasia,” “Fantasia 2000” and “Beauty and the Beast.” 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.

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