Disney's exit from home video turns its back on the industry it helped build

Disney deciding to back out of the home video market is amazing given how they helped build it in the first place! Here's a short history of Disney making physical media such a big deal

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST - The classic fairy tale turned motion picture, "Beauty and the Beast" has the magical combination of humor, music, and romance that creates a timeless story that can be appreciated by generation after generation. A beautiful and spirited teenage girl named Belle discovers that you can't judge a book by its cover when she meets an enchanted prince desperately trapped in the body of a beast, in Walt Disney Pictures' magical animated musical, "Beauty and the Beast" airing
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST - The classic fairy tale turned motion picture, "Beauty and the Beast" has the magical combination of humor, music, and romance that creates a timeless story that can be appreciated by generation after generation. A beautiful and spirited teenage girl named Belle discovers that you can't judge a book by its cover when she meets an enchanted prince desperately trapped in the body of a beast, in Walt Disney Pictures' magical animated musical, "Beauty and the Beast" airing /
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The end of an era

Physical media isn’t totally dead, to be sure. There are some brands like Criterion, Arrow Video, Shout Factory and others keeping it alive with special sets. Criterion made a huge mark in 2022 by having a major set for Wall-E, the first Pixar movie showcased on the brand. However, with streaming taking over and Disney+ set up, the demand for home video isn’t as large as it once was.

It’s a shame because for classic Disney movie buffs, these physical sets weren’t just great for owning the movies but the extras. My family still has a few of the classic “clamshell” boxes, even if we don’t have a VCR these days. The artwork could be lovely, and it’s still fun to pop in a disc now and then. 

Also, as fun as streaming is, it can lack the charm of a DVD or Blu-Ray set with audio commentaries and the fun trivia notes and extras to make the movie shine more. It can also be much easier at times to pop in a disc and jump to your favorite part than handle streaming and the buffering issues at times. 

As it appears Disney is backing more and more out of the physical media landscape, it’s sad that a company that helped build the home market in the first place is letting go of the past and another reminder of the way the world of home video has changed.