Friday, May 22, 2009

Come on, Disney. Work with us here.

Does anyone know for sure that Disney is still using that silly "buy it now because it's going back in the vault forever!" policy toward selling its movies?

I thought it was still in effect, but I just discovered, through, that I can still buy a DVD of "The Little Mermaid" from Which was good news, actually, because William is dying to see "TLM" but I couldn't even land a copy at the local used bookstore, much less buy a new one.

In fact, I'd been getting really annoyed with Disney because I couldn't buy several DVDs that William has asked for because they just plain aren't selling them right now. Those movies are supposedly locked up in that "vault," and silly me for not realizing before I even got pregnant that I should have snatched up all these random Disney movies on DVD anyway. I mean, I'm not really a big Disney person myself, so I didn't buy all the movies just for myself (well, except for "Lady and the Tramp" because I am very sentimental toward it and "Sleeping Beauty," same thing). And we didn't show any movies to William when he was a baby. So he just started asking to see some of these movies within the last year or so, and then...we couldn't get ahold of them.

I vaguely recalled the "going back in the vault" paranoia that emanated from all those commercials heralding the release of this movie or that movie on DVD, and so I asked at the local Disney store. Sure enough, the saleswoman confirmed that they're just not selling certain movies. Bah, I say. William's all into the princess movies right now, but he wasn't even around four or five years ago. Like I was going to buy movies in anticipation of a baby that may or may not have even been born! And what if he doesn't like princesses and princess movies when he's a jaded five-year-old who doesn't want to be caught doing girly stuff?

Of course, it's mostly the ones that I'd want to get that I can't get. I can easily get the straight-to-video also-ran "The Little Mermaid III" or something equally Rocky-esque, but I can't buy the original movie, which I remember actually being a cute movie with fun music.

I realize that Disney uses that policy to drive up sales and create demand, but in my case, they're actually losing money. And I can't believe I'm the only mother who would happily drop some money on "The Little Mermaid" or "Cinderella" or "Beauty and the Beast" right now for my preschooler but probably won't in a few years when the preschooler is older and would rather watch the more sophisticated Pixar movies anyway. I did get lucky and happen into a used "Cinderella" DVD a couple of days ago, much to William's delight. But the Disney company didn't get any profit from the sale. McKay's bookstore did.


JenFen said...

Yes, they still use the vault and the only reason you can still get Little Mermaid at Amazon is because it only recently went into the vault (Jan 09). Those that have long since gone away are much more harder to come by. And while yes Disney could continue to get your $20 as well as others by keeping them available all the time, when I worked at the video store the going price for a movie that been in the vault for several years was upwards of $200 (and yest customers were sometimes willing to pay it). Then years down the road when they release a restored version, everyone gobbles it up because it is not always going to be accessible and is like a shiny new toy. Very clever of Disney but how do you explain that to a 3 year old who just wants to watch Cinderella?

I started grabbing up the ones that I liked when Joe and I got married (Lady and Tramp among them) but a lot of them are on VHS and not DVD and forget those that the kids enjoy that I might not have thought to buy.

BTW - too bad we don't live closer because guess what Jadyn picked out for her 3rd birthday party theme - none other than the Little Mermaid. : )

Elizabeth said...

You should check I sold a couple of Disney VHS tapes that way and I'm pretty sure people are selling dvds there too.

Mae said...

Do they have them at your local library? Or could you get them on interlibrary loan?

I know little kids like to watch the movie they're currently into incessantly, so it's nice to have your own copy, but he could watch incessantly for a couple of weeks, return it, get it a while later. Nice breaks for Mama and Dada, maybe?