Disney inks new deal for DVD and Blu-ray releases – but don’t get excited

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A deal with Mill Creek Entertainment points a way back for Disney into the world of physical DVD and Blu-ray – but a closer look reveals much work still to do.

As things stand in Hollywood, there’s no studio that seems to care for its catalogue of titles less than Disney. Appreciating that all eyes for the company are on its Disney+ streaming platform, it still displays reticence to remaster and refresh the thousands of titles it holds the rights to. In much the same way its cinema business has become pretty much blockbuster exclusive, so its home entertainment division is far more focused on the more recent bigger films that it is even stuff like Con Air and The Rock.

And that’s before we get to the Fox catalogue, that it bought up at great expense and has done precious little with.

Anyway, this week offered a glimmer of promise in the US at least, with the announcement (and thanks to Mr Pledger for alerting me) that the studio has inked a deal with a company called Mill Creek Entertainment. This is a multi-year agreement that allows Mill Creek to take physical media rights for a whole host of Disney catalogue titles. So far so good.

Sadly though, we’re almost out of good news already where this particular story is concerned.

For a start, this doesn’t cover the UK, so we’re still stuck with what we’ve got here.

Then The Digital Bits over in the States has dug into this a little more, and discovered that it’s primarily a republishing deal. On the plus side, Mill Creek can distribute hundreds of Disney titles on DVD and Blu-ray, but on the downside, this doesn’t include any remasters or work on those titles. It’s just reissuing films on physical media that have previously been out, in pretty much the same way.

So sure, it’s good that they’re available, but don’t expect any 4K versions for instance (the deal doesn’t cover that). Also, as The Digital Bits has discovered, this is a deep catalogue deal, and not some of the more requested titles that Disney isn’t licensing (nor doing much with).

You can read The Digital Bits report here.

It’s better than nothing, certainly, but the hope is that it opens the door to a more extensive deal at some point in the future.

More, of course, as we hear it.

Image: BigStock

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