About the Column

Admit it. You do it a lot. You ask yourself: Why Did Disney DO That?!? Maybe you ask others, too. Maybe you gather in groups, gnaw on turkey legs, and ponder what Disney does. But any such gab sessions inevitably lead to confusion and perhaps frustration. Because none of us have the answers. Disney has the answers, but it's not telling. The Mouse justifies its actions either with "it's part of our business plan" or the even more nebulous "it's part of Walt's vision". You deserve better. In his column, Lee Beatens will uncover the truth. Or at least deliver some entertaining rants.

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FROM: Why Did Disney DO That?!? Published As Necessary

Lion King 1 1/2 Extras Review

So Lion King 1 1/2 is out and you can't decide whether to buy the standard DVD or bump up to the blu ray. Which one gives you the most bang for your buck? Lee delves in and solves the mystery.




So which is better? DVD or BluRay? Well, most people (who are on the bandwagon) would jump right in at this point and loudly proclaim BluRay as the clear and better choice. Why, they say from on high, it has more storage capacity. It has better sound. And you can’t live without the better picture quality.

lion king dvd lion king blu ray


Yes I can. And I’ll tell you why. But I’m going to do it out of order:




So which version of Dolby or THX or frapa-zippity are we at now? I don’t know about you, but I stopped being able to detect the audible differences between DVD and BluRay years ago! Decades of time spent in the construction industry has rendered me thankful I can hear at all, so telling me I’ll be able to hear 1.3% better in this format over another just doesn’t thrill me.


So you can imagine how much more money I’m willing to spend for such incremental increases!


Picture Quality


Ah, digital (insert your own techno-jargon here). Pixels and Pixie Dust can only take the visual impact of movies on home entertainment systems so far. OK, so now we can see the mole on the lower thigh of our favorite starlet, but I think we could have lived without that revelation, don’t you?


And just how clear do we need things to be? Whatever happened to story being King? And if clarity is the only reason you’re buying BluRay, has it been worth the extra $8.00 to $10.00?


Storage Capacity


This is the feature of BluRay that I remember Disney pounding away at when the technology first came out. They went on and on about how much more content they would be able to put on each disc. I think it was something like 3 or even as high as 5 times over DVD!


So I’ve patiently waited for that flood of new features and extras on BluRay. And waited. Waited. Still waiting.




And now we come to Lion King 1 ½ on BluRay. I bet you thought I’d forgotten where I was going with this, didn’t you?


To make my point (and I do have one), I’d like to list the extras on the BluRay release:


  • Timon & Pumbaa’s Vacation Safari
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Timon: Behind the Legend
  • Before the Beginning: The Making of Lion King 1 ½
  • Grazing In The Grass Music Video


And now here are the extras from the original (and presumably lowly) DVD release:


  • Deleted Scenes
  • Hidden Mickeys Treasure Hunt game
  • "Who Wants To Be King Of The Jungle?" trivia game
  • Timon & Pumbaa's Virtual Safari 1.5
  • "The Making Of The Lion King 1 1/2"
  • Timon: Beyond The Legend (Biography mockumentary)
  • "Grazing In The Grass" Music Video starring Raven
  • Find the Face game


Now try real hard and see if you can determine which of the releases has more extras. The old format of DVD that sucks, or the revolutionary new format of BluRay that rocks. Take your time. I’ll wait.


Yup. DVD wins hands down. The BluRay tried to fake us out with the ‘Vacation Safari’ addition, but it’s no ‘Virtual Safari’. All Disney did was delete all 4 of the interactive games, which were the best parts of the original DVD extras.


Why did Disney DO that?!?


Presumably, it must cost too much to transfer such games over to the BluRay format. So it’s easier to hope that no one will remember the last release.


Well, Disney didn’t figure on me!


I not only remember the original Lion King 1 ½ DVD release, but also the original 2-disc DVD releases of all the Disney classics. These too are being re-released on BluRay with most of the extras missing.


And no amount of posturing over image quality is going to make me miss those extras less.


So come on Disney: It’s time to make good on the promises about BluRay capacity!




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