- May 29, 2006
BD Live will be priority for Disney
Launches feature with Sleeping Beauty, builds family awareness campaign
By Susanne Ault -- Video Business, 6/10/2008
JUNE 10 | LOS ANGELES—Web-enabled BD Live interactivity will be a priority at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, following its Oct. 7 Blu-ray Disc release of Sleeping Beauty, and the studio will back the initiative with a publicity campaign aimed at educating families.
At a Monday night launch party for the title here, studio president Bob Chapek said all forthcoming Disney-branded Blu-ray releases would include BD Live elements. That spans all titles within the Pixar and Walt Disney Studios theatrical and catalog stable, likely including the fourth-quarter Blu-ray release of Pixar’s Wall-E, which premieres on the big screen on June 27. Disney-distributed titles from such content partners as ABC, Touchstone and Miramax would not be held to the same standards, but might also feature BD Live.
Oct. 28 DVD premiere release Tinker Bell also will offer BD Live on Blu-ray.
“We are making our entrance grand,” Chapek said of the studio’s BD Live launch. “Every subsequent Disney title will have BD Live. [This may] push the studios to reach new heights that have never been before imagined.”
Sleeping Beauty is shaping up as one of the most comprehensive BD Live titles yet, featuring in-movie chatting, personalized video messaging, online gaming and e-commerce features. To this point, many of the major studios' first such releases have included one or two Web-enabled extras such as the online fighter game on Lionsgate’s War Blu-ray release.
With ‘Movie Chat,’ BD Live networked users will be able to watch Sleeping Beauty together and chat in real-time using such devices as PCs, iPhones or Blackberrys. Users also will be able to record messages of themselves, superimpose the video within Sleeping Beauty and then send the clip to other BD Live networked players.
The featured ‘Movie Challenge’ will be a Sleeping Beauty trivia game in which people will face off while watching the movie together. Game players accumulate points that can be redeemed at the “Disney Movie Rewards Live” shop for such items as themed wallpaper and ringtones.
Disney’s signature content targets families, but that demographic is not known for being the most technologically advanced. Chapek said Disney recognizes obstacles in encouraging families to embrace BD Live features such as online gaming and in-movie chatting.
However, Chapek told VB after the presentation that Disney will soon organize a publicity campaign that will educate families about BD Live’s value. That initiative will dovetail with Disney’s long-running mall tour, which has drummed up Blu-ray advantages to family shoppers nationwide.
“You will see BD Live demos across the country,” said Chapek. “We will talk about [BD Live] benefits. This is not just technology for technology’s sake.”
Chapek declined to specify a rollout date or exact locations for the BD Live family campaign. But it should have a similar sensibility to Disney’s mall tour, which focused on showcasing Blu-ray as innovative and magical, like people’s favorite Disneyland ride.