Is Disney Done With 4K Ultra HD?
For a whole generation of folks, the idea of “popping in the disk” seems quaint. Antique. Old fashioned.
And for the majority of viewers, a rumored move away from physical format releases of movies won’t hurt one bit.
But for those who swear by the 4K Ultra HD versions of popular films, the news seems sad and hard.
The Rumor and Speculation: 4K Ultra HD
Early last week, I started to receive word from retail and industry sources that Disney had made an internal decision to suspend the 4K Ultra HD release of live-action catalog titles from both their own vaults and those of their newly acquired 20th Century Fox label…
I’ve now checked with multiple reliable sources on the matter. And I have indeed been able to essentially confirm the rumor… While Disney has been aggressive with their animated, Star Wars, and Marvel 4K catalog releases, they’ve made almost no effort to promote any of them, even going so far as to not send out review product to critics. In most cases, they never even issued proper press releases for these titles.
What is a bit odd is that, with Home Alone and Hocus Pocus set to arrive on physical 4K next month, the studio’s 4K catalog disc plan seems to have ended right there.
Why The Move Away From Ultra HD?
Now, why exactly is this happening (besides the obvious – how many people have 4K Ultra HD players)?
Bill explained, “Some of this may be due to the pandemic, but most of it seems to be the studio’s determination from top to bottom to focus on building Disney+, along with an almost complete lack of appreciation for the live-action film legacies of both Disney and Fox among the company’s executives.”
However, and in addition to the Star Wars and Marvel films, there does seem to be an opening for Disney to release films like James Cameron’s Avatar in the format.
But, again, much of this still remains relegated to rumor.
Notable Fox films not yet released on physical 4K include The Sound of Music, The Grapes of Wrath, Miracle on 34th Street, Patton, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Fight Club.
Disney favorites not yet available on physical 4K include The Nightmare Before Christmas and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, as well as the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Grown-up favorites from Disney’s Touchstone Pictures label include such films as Splash, Pretty Woman, Sister Act, Con Air, and Armageddon.
We’ll keep an eye on this development and keep you up to date.