Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Diamond Edition
October 1, 2009

Out next week (October 6) is Disney’s newest re-release of a classic animated film: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Diamond Edition. Before I talk about the extras, I want to note a couple of interesting things about how the package is being presented and sold.

First, there’s the schedule. Only the Blu-ray version ($39.99) will be released this month. The standard DVD edition is due out November 24, almost two months later, with a list price of $29.99.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Diamond Edition cover
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Diamond Edition (Blu-ray looking
like DVD package)
Buy this DVD

(This isn’t the first time Disney’s messed with release dates in order to attempt to drive customers to the more expensive Blu-ray format. Last time, with Bolt, it was only two days early, though.)

More interesting to me is the cover format. In addition to the typical Blu-ray design, they’ve released the same content (2 Blu-ray discs and one DVD) in a design that looks like the usual DVD package, as shown here.

This version comes with a sticker on it that says “Great Value! This Combo Pack also includes a Blu-ray of the movie! Limited Time!” The combo pack has been used on several recent Disney movie releases, shipping a single DVD disc with the movie with the Blu-ray in order to convince families to “prepare for the future”. The only people inconvenienced are those who want to view the extras on their regular DVD player, a group I’m part of.

Snow White is legitimately a classic, the first full-length animated movie, and I’m sure the cleanup looks amazing. (It’s also, according to Disney, “the first film ever to have a motion picture soundtrack, as well as the first film that uses music to advance the story.”) I’m curious to watch the story of an old woman jealous of her step-daughter’s beauty again, even though it plays into all kinds of female stereotypes, including the biggest of all: waiting for a prince to rescue you. I’ll just have to wait two months to enjoy the background material.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Diamond Edition cover
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Diamond Edition (Blu-ray package)
Buy this DVD

The Blu-ray extras include:

  • The Magic Mirror, a guide through the special features. “The host for an incredibly immersive experience … will recognize viewing patterns, knows where the audience has left off and will even suggest where to navigate next.” (Because DVDs weren’t interactive enough, I guess.)
  • DisneyView. “Utilizing Disney Blu-ray technology, acclaimed Disney artist Toby Bluth was able to draw beyond the borders of the classic full frame cinema and fill the otherwise dark edges of the screen with beautiful custom imagery, giving audiences a new view of the animated classic favorite.” Homemade widescreen!
  • Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. Uses BD-Live to set up a “personal message from [a] favorite princess” who will then call you on the phone. Creepy! Although great to bribe kids with, I imagine. “Clean up your room, or you won’t hear from Jasmine!”
  • A couple of games. Does anyone play DVD games? Don’t we have video game systems and handhelds and cellphones for this?
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Diamond Edition cover
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Diamond Edition (Standard DVD)
Buy this DVD

These will be on both the Blu-ray and the later DVD special edition:

  • “Snow White Returns” thanks to recently found storyboards that “suggest a brand new Snow White featurette that never got made.”
  • “The One That Started It All” reveals how Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “forever changed the world of movies and the world at large.”
  • Karaoke sing-along to “Heigh-Ho”

The single-disc DVD extras (all editions) are as follows:

  • Audio commentary with Walt Disney, hosted by John Canemaker (an animation historian; this commentary also appeared on the last re-release of Snow White, the Platinum Edition)
  • An “all-new music video” of “Someday My Prince Will Come” from Tiffany Thornton (no idea who she is, I’m assuming one of Disney’s latest teen packages they want to give a music career to)
  • Sneak peak of The Princess and the Frog, Disney’s Christmas movie release

In case you were wondering, the “Diamond Collection” is a new designation for “The Walt Disney Studio’s most prestigious animated classics.” 14 movies will be released over the next 7 years, featuring “groundbreaking, state-of-the-art immersive bonus content and … unprecedented levels of interactivity, personalization, and customization, only made possible by Blu-ray technology.”

10 Responses  
Alan Coil writes:  

Remember when the Barbie doll had a voice chip that said, Math is hard.”? That’s how my brain is when I try to process all this new technology and the terms that are its vocabulary. “Blu-Ray”, “Special Edition DVD”, “single-disc DVD extras”…KA-BOOM…my head explodes.

I want my VHS tapes back.

Eric Gimlin writes:  

At the risk of being pedantic: Snow White is NOT the first full-length animated movie. It’s just the first American one.

Nothing has convinced me it’s worth bothering with Blu-Ray; DVD is good enough. Maybe I’ll change my mind later, but I don’t have and don’t even want a “big-screen” TV; 30 inches or whatever mine is still seems huge to me. (Perhaps I’m just getting older and cranky. :-) )

Reeve writes:  

Eric is right (this is the first one). However, the Disney company has a history of twisting their own history in order to make themselves look better. They’ve also claimed that not only was Steamboat Willie the first cartoon with synchronized sound, but that it was the first Mickey cartoon ever, when in fact two silent ones had been made before it.

Johanna writes:  

Oh, well, if it’s not American, it doesn’t count, obviously! (Animation history is full of undiscovered facts for me. Thanks for sharing another one.)

Alan Coil writes:  

I needed a new television, so I spent way too much money and got a 44-inch high def, only to discover it isn’t big enough! I want more! Bigger is better! I need 100 inches or more!

Thom writes:  

It’s not worth watching a blu-ray movie on anything less than a 200 inch, Alan.

Newest Disney Diamond Edition Is Bambi, Due March 2011 » DVDs Worth Watching writes:  

[…] April 19 for $29.99. (This staggered release schedule is also part of the process, as they did with Snow White’s Diamond release.) Unlike the other two releases, the Bambi set is only two discs, one Blu-ray and one DVD. (The […]

Doreen writes:  

I agree with Eric about tv size.
Mine is about 30 inches or so (I’ve never measured it)and the movie looks GREAT!
I think the movie was brilliant!The colour was superb and the story of course a classic love story that all girls everywhere relate to! thanks for letting me write this
Doreen D.

*Princess Knight Book 1 — Recommended » Manga Worth Reading writes:  

[…] adventure. Here are just a few of the references I found in this book: the Disney films Cinderella, Snow White, and Pinocchio, William Tell, Captain Blood, Hamlet, and Swan Lake. It’s fun to watch Tezuka […]

Disney Announces Wreck-It Ralph Available Digitally a Month Before Disc Releases » DVDs Worth Watching writes:  

[…] to be affected down the road. They did it with DVD and Blu-ray, staggering releases for Bolt and Snow White to bring out the Blu-ray first. Now, with the announcement of the home video release of Wreck-It […]


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