Nothing says try new technology as much as a release of *Disney* classics in that format, and if anything will drive me to Blu-ray it well could be the original Fantasia. The animation-live-action mix is one of six animated films from the Disney (NYSE: DIS) vault picked to help sell Blu-ray players; the other "platinum" titles the NYT reports will be released over the next two years are Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, previously announced Sleeping Beauty and Fantasia 2000. The DVDs go a step further than the usual gimmicks by incorporating BD-Live, a technology we've written about before that meshes the disc and the internet. That equals interactivityor at least the potential for it. Examples include virtual viewing parties with laptop or mobile chat comments showing up on screen and global trivia contests. The NYT also mentions something Disney calls "movie mail" that allows user video to show up within the "context of the movie."
The goal is to move Blu-ray past the early adopters, Bob Chapek, president of Disney's home entertainment unit, told the Times: "BD-Live is not a niche product. ... We see mass adoption of the technology." It's the same philosophy Disney used to push adoption of the original DVDs by releasing Snow White; it's been off the list since 2001.
But BD-LIve isn't for the masses when it comes to cost; players require ethernet ports and are more expensive than straight Blu-ray.
By Staci D. Kramer