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Muppet Christmas Carol on DVD?

Discussion in 'Muppet Merchandise' started by dlphntat, Apr 16, 2002.

  1. Jessie

    Jessie Well-Known Member


    I wrote Disney a letter saying that I wanted full screen & wide screen to help you guys out, but will someone explain to me why exactly full screen is bad? What's wrong with it?
  2. smcguire

    smcguire Well-Known Member

    Re: ?

    Thanks for sending in a letter, Jessie! Why full screen is bad is covered in the article linked on the front page of MuppetCentral.

    But in a nutshell, the original movie was wider than a TV screen; to make the movie full screen to "fit" on your TV screen, they have to chop away 30% of the picture. In a Muppet movie, that means you'll probably be missing some of the visual jokes that go on on the sides of the movie because the full screen will only be able to focus on the main action.

    Also, it's disrespectful to the folks who created the movie - their vision covered the entire picture, not just the part that fits in a square. Would you like your artwork to be sold with 30% of it missing? I wouldn't...

    Finally, someday we'll all have widescreen TVs... and when that happens, since DVDs are supposed to last forever, folks will complain about the black bars on the side of the picture and you'll wish you had the whole movie to fill it up! Best to plan for the future.

    Okay, that actually wasn't a nutshell. :) Hope this makes sense to you... I do realize that some folks don't like how the widescreen makes the picture kind of small. That's why releasing the movies in both formats would be best... everyone's happy!

    --Scott McGuire
  3. smcguire

    smcguire Well-Known Member

    Oops, I forgot to comment on this earlier. Sorry, it seems I have a comment on everything, don't I?

    Anyway, I've got several friends with kids, and they say their kids aren't bothered by widescreen at all. As long as the content entertains them, they're happy!

    So of course I told all my friends with kids to call Disney and tell them that.

  4. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member


    I'd be glad to help you out.

    Full frame (the way Disney is planning to release the films) is the normal setting for the average television program. The image takes up the entire screen.

    Now, films are very different. A movie screen is much wider than a TV. To fit the movie on a TV screen, they literally chop off the sides of the film. If there is a character in the far left of the frame, oh well - he gets cut out. Sometimes they even stretch the image to squish everything on the screen. This is not how these films were meant to be seen, but a common practice.

    Since the era of Laserdiscs and now DVDs, widescreen versions of these films are included on the disc. In order to fit the whole image, black bars appear on the top and bottom of the TV screen. This version is encoded to be anamorphic; this means if it is viewed on a widescreen (rectangular) television, the black bars will not appear.

    However, with the cropped version, gray bars will appear on the left and right. The world of television is moving toward the widescreen format and in this decade our new TVs will eventually be widescreen. Our old square-ish TVs will be seen as we look at black and white monitors. By including both versions, all sides are satisfied. Disney is simply being lazy and targeting this release for only children and I think it’s a shame.

    Hope this helps
  5. Jessie

    Jessie Well-Known Member

    Jamie & Scott

    Thanks for the explaination. I get what you're saying now--I was watching Atlantis on DVD fullscreen and it cuts off a part on the food wagon that says "Today's Special: Shut up and Eat"--so I understand why both are better. :0)
  6. Muppeholic

    Muppeholic Member

    I have a 4 year old and she doesn't mind the black bars on Widescreen at all. . . . and we have a SMALL t.v. compared to some of our friends (21 inches I think).

    I e-mailed to the DisneyInfo@DisneyHelp.com to register my disappointment and the inaccuracy of their assumption about families and kids not wanting Widescreen. (I also included my name, e-mail, and snail mail address to prove that I wasn't the same person making a "100 different calls") Here's what my e-mail said:

    "My family, which includes a 4 year old child, was elated to learn of the upcoming release of "Muppet Treasure Island" and Muppet Christmas Carol" on DVD. However I am disappointed in the decision that Disney has made to release them in a Full-Frame format only. Apparantly this decision was based on some complaints from families that don't want to watch DVD movies on widescreen because they find the black bars distracting.

    That is the exact opposite of the way my family feels! In fact, my personal opinion is that if I'm not getting Widescreen I don't need to upgrade from a VHS tape. Most families (including ours) can not afford to "upgrade" unless their getting something additional or different from the VHS tape version they have. Therefore, I am purposely avoiding purchasing movies that are being sold on DVD in a Full-Frame format when they were released in the theatres in a Widescreen format. Too much of the "essence" of the film is lost in my point of view when this happens especially when I already have a VHS tape with the Full-Frame format.

    Also, I feel it is also my duty to other Disney consumers that even people without families watch and purchase family movies. I have many friends in that category that will only purchase Widescreen Format DVDs to view on their large screen televisions.

    I feel the best solution to the problem would be to supply both the Widescreen and Full-Screen Formats on DVD like the movies I have purchased below. (I have also included some reasons to why I prefer Widescreen.) This way all your customers will be happy because they will be able to choose the screen format they prefer.

    Bug's Life - there are things you are able to see in Widescreen that are not shown at all in full-screen. This point also emphatically applies to movies with special effects and large landscape scenes.

    Mulan - more impressive over-all on Widescreen than full-screen. Especially the more "cinematic" (landscape) and battle type sequences. The impact of many scenes are less effective on the full-screen format.

    I have also purchased Snow White and the 7 Dwarves, James and the Giant Peach, Dumbo, Lady and the Tramp, and Nightmare Before Christmas on DVD solely because they were in Widescreen (or "Original Theatrical Aspect Ratio") and the VHS copies that I had were not.

    Again I'd like Disney to reconsider and offer both versions to satisfy all your customers. I'll not purchase any DVD unles they are in Widescreen or "Original Theatrical Aspect Ratio" format. "

    This is the e-mail response I got from disney:

    "Thank you for your email.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns with us. Your comments will be passed along to our Marketing Department for their future consideration.

    Get news and offers about Walt Disney videos and DVDs! Click here and register to receive the Disney Video DVD Insider Newsletter. http://disney.go.com/DisneyVideos/registrationb""

    I signed the on-line petition too because I don't know if the "Marketing Department" will actually look at it.
  7. scarecroe

    scarecroe Well-Known Member

    Way to go "Muppeholic" :)

    Every Muppet fan should write a letter to Disney just like this. I hope everyone who reads this board, *has* sent such a letter.
  8. Muppeholic

    Muppeholic Member

    Thanks, Scarecrow!

    I find writing difficult, especially coherently, so it took a long time to compose. (I tend to bop around from subject to subject with no notice . . . drives dh crazy!)

    I also sent the message about the Full-Frame format to those non-family friends of mine that only buy Widescreen too. Hopefully, they'll act on it as well. :D

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