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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:15 pm 
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Gold Collection

Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:41 pm
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So, this morning it was brought to my attention that the Disney Movie Club Exclusives have been put on eBay; available for purchasing by non-members. “21.95 for one DVD and 3.95 for shipping and processing”…for a grand total of 26 dollars! Free shipping is offered whenever you purchase additional titles. I have to say that for individuals who are not wanting to join the club, this is an avenue to get these if you have been seeking them. However, I do feel that as a fellow fan, and someone who has the majority of these titles…you really need to be told what it is you are getting. Firstly, 26 dollars for a barebones DVD release is a bit steep in my opinion. Being a member of the club is still the best and most economical way to collect several of these vintage and rare titles. I personally, joined the club, mostly in an effort to have legitimate copies of unreleased titles, especially the uncommon theatrical releases and Wonderful World of Color telefilms. After years of dealing with bootleg vendors who mostly sold television and vhs copies/rips of these titles; it excited me to have a pressed DVD release that was authorized and manufactured by the company itself. It has often been mentioned that sales would help other, fan requested titles, eventually be released as well. It has provided a mixed bag..some releases are decent and others are just horrible. It just pisses me off that I have spent my hard earned money on sub-par releases that are of poor quality, not in their original format and are not even the requested titles that fans have been requesting for years!! ; all in the hopes of getting the titles we want released. Firstly, the releases of “Sammy the Way Out Seal”, “The Horse Without a Head” and “Johnny Shiloh” are the edited movie versions and NOT the actual Wonderful World of Color episodes with intros by Walt Disney. Both “Sammy the Way Out Seal” and “The Horse Without a Head” are in crumby condition; both seem to be ripped from a 1980’s vhs release. Also, some of the Exclusives are really out of left field…I mean, I can not imagine that there were thousands of fans waiting with bated breath for releases of “The Hunter and the Rockstar”, “Call It Courage”, “Double Switch”, “The Boy Who Flew With Condors”, and “Jumping Ship”……especially after ever petition, drive, and message board that I have ever put my name too or read has consistently begged to have “The Horsemasters”, “Escapade in Florence”, “The Prince and the Pauper”, “the Gallegher series”, “Willie and the Yank”, and other much more popular titles released… rather than the second tier releases we have been offered. With the recent passing of Annette Funicello, I am surprised that neither “The Horsemasters” nor “Escapade in Florence” were not released. It would have been great for her fans to have them available to purchase. Both of these films were meant to highlight her and Tommy Kirk, who were two of the studios biggest stars at the time. “The Prince and the Pauper "was one of the most opulent productions made by Disney and boasted 300 actors and 700 costumes; it is one of the contributing factors to the Emmy win of 1963 for The Wonderful World of Color. “Gallegher” was also nominated for an Emmy, and was so popular that 12!! episodes were made to showcase the character. It just bothers me that productions that had so much attention to detail and really helped to usher in higher standards for television films, are just sitting in a vault somewhere. The theatrical films that have been released through the DMC have been a mixed bag as well; some of them like “Emil and the Detectives”, “Almost Angels” and “The Sword and the Rose” are presented in decent condition, but, others such as “Westward Ho! The Wagons” (which was a Cinemascope film and is not presented as such!!!), “Kidnapped”, and “Charley and the Angel” are in horrible condition and seem to have been pulled from some dusty back room. At one time I was very pleased with the potential of the “Generation” line of on-demand DVD-r releases….however; they too were an unusual assortment of titles. “The Waltz King”, which in my opinion is one of the very best! Disney productions, theatrical or televised, was released in a format that was not the way it was originally broadcast (it is the European theatrical edit), and is a badly faded print that is an insult to the gorgeous location scenery and costumes. “Child of Glass”, which soooo many people have wanted released for year! has one of the worst images that I have seen on a DVD. I know that it seems as though I am just complaining over and over, but, I just can not understand why the titles that fans want released have not been, or they are in such poor condition. I can not encourage fans to purchase titles that honestly, are no better than the bootleg versions that have been circulating the internet for years. Perhaps the original masters to several of the most sought after titles have been lost, or the licensing fees are just too high. However, I feel that if they would LISTEN! to what fans want….there would be no problem. It is a simple law of economics..give people what they want and they will buy it. I have a sad suspicion that the lack of sales for some of these ridiculously chosen titles has put a stopper on our chances of getting the good releases. It seems as though campaign efforts are beginning to pay off for the fans of the Disney Afternoon and other highly sought after cartoon releases will be, as it seems that the Exclusives line are beginning to highlight and focus on that market.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:19 am 
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Walt Disney Treasure
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Some very honest thoughts (that I'm willing to share here), take them or leave them...

-Some of the titles that were going to be part of the "Generations Collection" (Sammy, Double Switch, Hunter/Rockstar) at the last minute turned into DMC titles. I have no idea why this was, just that the powers that be made this call.

-The powers that be at Disney Home Entertainment have slowly changed their priorities over the years. Much of this is due to change in leadership (Roy's dead, Dick Cook is gone, Bob Iger is in charge, etc.). Where as previous Disney regiems seemed more interested in making the film and tv productions of the past available for fans, the current leadership is too caught up in Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars to give anytime to Davy Crocket or Annette. I've gotten this from multiple sources from the company, both in personal correspondence and in news articles, Bob Iger does not care about vintage Disney. He is far more interested in all the franchises he has been bringing into the Disney family. With that being the feeling at the very top, it kind of strongly flavor feelings on the issue going down the ranks.

-Fan campaign can and does work, however there are something that are out of the hands of the fans (unless suddenly such campaign had millions of Disney fans behind them). Frankly, we are probably only ever going to get sub-[ar release for a great many of these vintage titles. Yes, I agree, they can and should do better. Yes, I agree, they charge too much. But it is what it is. I personally find it gratifying to have had the small impact we have had with Open Vault Disney. And yes, we've had an impact. And if 2,000-3,000 fans can do what has been done, just image what 20,000-30,000 fans can do?

-The DVD-on-Demand things ticks me off, but I'm at an loss. I keep reading about the crazy money Warner has been making with the Warner Archive Collection and am left wondering why Disney isn't doing the same? Based on my experience and the few things I do know, we can chalk it up to another Disney designed failure. I don't think they wanted it to do well. Disney as of late seems to have a habit of half-hearted doing something that they really don't want to do, and then when it fails due to it not being done right, they quickly go "See, we knew it would not work!" and then go back to the things they actually wanted to do all along. Bob Iger believes in the future of digital streaming and "new" titles, so that is where the focus is.

I have long held a belief that the modern Disney Company holds a kind of arrogance about how they conduct business that I fear may be correct. Basically, as Disney, they can just about whatever they want and people will still go to their theme parks, watch their movies and buy their stuff because they are "Disney." In my experience, a great many of the same fans that end up frustrated with Disney are the same ones that allow such frustrations to continue. Until fans stop spending money of Disney (I can't see that happening), expect DIsney to keep doing a less then amazing job in certain areas, like DVD and Blu-ray productions for vintage titles.

-Music rights trip up far too many titles. Many times these things can cost a good million to clear at least. No studio, Disney or otherwise, want to spend more money on a title then that they will make back up in sales. It's kind of a catch-22. Fans want titles released and many of the folks at the various Home Entertainment want to release things, but they may not feel that they'd get their money back after paying high music rights. But then those same fans are normally not willing to have their titles altered, which is the only way a number of titles will ever get released. So, these titles collect dust as a result.

-Most DMC titles have a limited printing of around 30,000. It's far easier to make your money back and still have deep sales on titles with 100,000 then for 30,000 titles. I promise this does lead to higher prices for DMC titles. The slight sales (let be honest, even DMC titles from the DMC are not the cheapest) that the DMC holds is made up from the money they make on other titles and of course the original membership commitments.

-While I agree buying DMC titles from the DMC is the best option right now, I can't begin to tell you how many Open Vault Disney members were frustrated (and directed said frustration in my direction) about the need to join a club to buy the titles they wanted. So, I have to say that this is actually good thing. It can only add to the number of sales for these titles, which can only help our cause.

-I can't speck for fans outside of Open Vault Disney, but only the Disney Afternoon-era fans seem willing to do what needs to be done to get their titles out, and it is starting to show finally. It frustrates me as there are a number of Walt-era titles I still want, but the support is just not there. I don't know what it is, but I fear that Walt-era titles (outside of DAC and major films like "Popins") wills tart to fade away. Our best hope should this happen is that Disney will ultimately let the rights to these titles expire so that fans can sell the copies themselves.

-For me, bootleg is not an option for one simple fact: it's not honest. It is a major reason I started Open Vault Disney and why I do what I do. I'd rather spend $50 on a legal copy of a title from the studio then $10 for a bootleg of the same title. I have too many friends in the film industry, I know how important those royalty check are to them. That does not at all mean I'm happy with the studios all the time or disagree with many of the frustrated feelings I run into. I'm just feel that honesty should also be plan number one.

-I'm poor and don't have the resources to run Open Vault DIsney the way it needs to be run. It needs better advertising, but I can't tell you how many times in the last 3 years I had to walk away from that better advertising because it cost way more then I had to spend on it. I'm also leaning the ropes of how to run something like this as I go along. I'll be honest, I really wish someone else with more money, more time and better connections was running something like Open Vault Disney. However, no one stood up to do so and I'm the kind of guy that if I believe in something enough, if no one else will take care of it, I will. So I will continue to do the best I can with what I have and hope it's enough. Honestly, even if we closed shop today, I'm very proud of what we've accomplished and don't feel it is anything tobe ashamed of at all. That said, I look forward to accomplishing more!

-Instead of ranting on a Disney fan site where the right people may or may not see it (they probably won't), I always have to encourage writing many letters and e-mails to Disney Home Entertainment. My point all along has been if enough people do that at the same time, I promise they will get the message, Disney still likes making money.

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All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.

-Walt Disney


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:07 am 
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Gold Collection

Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:41 pm
Posts: 192
I totally agree with everything you are saying Jason, and I think the work that you have accomplished should most definitely be commended....however, if sales are not what they were hoping for, it is because, they are selected shoddy titles...as I said in my initial post...some of the selections are just......horrible. Honestly, who selects the titles that get released? It is almost as if they pull up a list of Disney films and just close their eyes and select films. They are not the requested titles fans have wanted, and are many times in poor condition. It is confusing whenever DMC releases a title like "The Magnificent Rebel", or "Atta Girl Kelly!" that has a nice picture, good sound and....*gasp* the original introductions by Walt Disney!, and then releases "Sammy The Way Out Seal", which is faded and looks horrible. I just want to let fans know what they are getting when they throw their money out there...it is not fair for Disney to expect people to shell out money for legitimate dvd releases, that are of no better quality that public domain films that are available at Wal Mart. I honestly do not know what the answer is...perhaps it is a lost cause, because as you said the amount of interest and marketability is not there.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:17 pm 
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Special Edition

Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:24 pm
Posts: 495
Both of you are completely, totally and utterly W-R-O-N-G!!! :angry:

Nothing you two have said is based in fact--what you two have just said is nothing more than mere personal, overly-biased opinions! :angry:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:46 pm 
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Gold Collection

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I would like to know what is "completely and utterly wrong".


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:30 pm 
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Walt Disney Treasure
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Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2003 8:31 pm
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Location: Utah
disneyphilip wrote:
Both of you are completely, totally and utterly W-R-O-N-G!!! :angry:

Nothing you two have said is based in fact--what you two have just said is nothing more than mere personal, overly-biased opinions! :angry:


Aren't you an angry individual, truth be told justcuttinhair and milojthatch couldn't be more right, it is a mixed bag of popular films and rather unknown titles. Also the quality of the releases some are great restored releases in their OAR others look like there has been no restoration at all in terrible Pan&Scan states. If you are so heavily in belief that this is not the case please explain why instead of ranting like an individual in desperate need of anger management classes.

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