Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
FormerlyBuena Vista Home Video (1988–1993)
Buena Vista Home Video, Inc. (1993–1997)
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryHome entertainment
FoundedMarch 31, 1988; 34 years ago (1988-03-31)
Headquarters,
United States
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Tony Chambers (EVP, Theatrical Distribution)
ProductsHome media, digital distribution
ParentThe Walt Disney Studios (1988–2018)
Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International (2018–2020)
Disney Platform Distribution (2020–present)
WebsiteDisney Movies At Home
Footnotes / references
[1][2]

Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc.,[1] doing business as Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, is the home entertainment distribution arm of The Walt Disney Company. The division handles the distribution of Disney's films, television series, and other audiovisual content across several home media formats, such as Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray discs, DVDs, and digital media, under various brand labels around the world.

The division was legally incorporated as Buena Vista Home Video in March 1988. It was renamed to its current legal name in 1997.[3] The division adopted the current Walt Disney Studios-branding in its public name in 2007, but retained the Buena Vista-branding within its legal corporate name.[4]

History

Background

Before Disney began releasing home video titles itself, it licensed some titles to MCA's DiscoVision label for their newly developed disc format, later called LaserDisc. Disney's agreement with MCA ended in December 1981.[5]

In 1980, Disney established its own video distribution operation as part of Walt Disney Telecommunications and Non-Theatrical Company (WDTNT) with Jim Jimirro as its first president.[6] Home video was not considered to be a major market by Disney at the time. WDTNT Co. also handled marketing of other miscellaneous ancillary items such as short 8 mm films for home movies.

The very first VHS release from Disney
The very first VHS release from Disney

Disney's first releases on videotape were 13 titles that were licensed for rental to Fotomat on March 4, 1980,[7] initially in a four-city test (Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose), to be expanded nationwide by the end of 1980. The agreement specified rental fees ranging from $7.95 to $13.95.

Disney was unusual among the major studios in offering a program for authorized rentals. Most of the other studios involved in the videocassette market at the time were trying to find ways to stop dealers from renting out their movie tapes. Magnetic Video (with titles from 20th Century Fox and others) ceased doing business with Fotomat after Fotomat began renting Magnetic Video cassettes without authorization.[8]

In the late 1980s, Disney began seeking other outlets to distribute its video, and signed deals with mass-merchant retailers such as Target, Caldor, and Walmart. Around this time, the studio began partnering with major retailers for advertising campaigns.[9]

Buena Vista Home Video

The name Buena Vista Home Video originated as a label of WDTNT in 1984, originally used to distribute tapes of Hopalong Cassidy. Soon, BVHV became the label utilized for a variety of miscellaneous content; such content included animation not created by Disney (such as Rocky and Bullwinkle and Alvin and the Chipmunks), concerts and other adult music titles, and various special-interest programs, including The Very Best of The Ed Sullivan Show. Eventually, Buena Vista Home Video was incorporated on March 31, 1988.[1] The "Buena Vista" name was adopted from Buena Vista Pictures Distribution,[4] who also acted as copyright holder for tapes released directly under the BVHE banner.

In November 1992, Buena Vista Home Video entered into a worldwide joint venture with Jim Henson Productions to form Jim Henson Video, which distributed Henson-owned material, including various Muppet productions; the company had previously distributed Muppet content in the United States from 1983 to 1985 under the Muppet Home Video label.[10] This lasted until late 1997. The following year, the label moved to Sony Pictures' Columbia TriStar Home Video division.

In July 1993, Buena Vista Home Video signed a multimillion-dollar multiyear North American licensing deal with DIC Entertainment. The deal included over 1,000 half-hours worth of animated content from DIC, alongside the creation of a dedicated home video label and interactive and multimedia opportunities. This deal lasted until 2000, following DIC's sale by Disney,[11] with DIC later signing a deal with Lions Gate Home Entertainment in May the following year.[12]

In April 1996, due to ongoing realignment stemming from Disney's merger with Capital Cities/ABC, Buena Vista Home Video was transferred out of the Disney Television and Telecommunications group to The Walt Disney Studios.[13] In August 1996, Disney and Tokuma Shoten Publishing entered a deal wherein Buena Vista Home Video would acquire the worldwide home media distribution rights to the Studio Ghibli animated films.[14][15] Disney would go on to produce the English dubs and distribute 15 of Ghibli's films, through the Walt Disney Pictures, Buena Vista Home Video, Miramax and Touchstone Pictures banners.[16] Buena Vista Home Video was renamed Buena Vista Home Entertainment in 1997.[3]

In 2005, Roger Corman-owned production company New Concorde signed a distribution deal with Buena Vista Home Entertainment, giving BVHE home video distribution rights to 400 Corman-produced films, including the pre-1984 New World Pictures library until 2008.[17][18][19][20]

As part of a broader company-wide effort, Buena Vista Home Entertainment dropped the "Buena Vista" branding in 2007 and was renamed as Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.[4] However, the division retained Buena Vista as its legal corporate name. In July 2017, GKIDS and Shout! Factory acquired the North America home video rights of the Studio Ghibli films from Disney. However, Disney still handles home video distribution of the company's films in Japan, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Philippines.[21][22] In March 2019, Disney acquired 21st Century Fox, and after 20th Century Fox was renamed to 20th Century Studios in January 2020, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment was folded into Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment a few months later that year.

Distribution

The company currently distributes digital media, Blu-ray discs and DVDs under many labels around the world.[23]

Moratorium practices

Disney is notable for implementing a longtime moratorium practice on its film library, known in the industry as the "Disney Vault".[24] Disney has stated that this practice of moratorium is done to both control their market and to allow the studio's films to be reissued for subsequent generations of viewers.[25] This practice was extended to the 20th Century Fox library, after its acquisition by Disney in 2019.[24]

Animated features

Main article: Walt Disney Classics

Disney released Robin Hood on videocassette for the first time in 1984.
Disney released Robin Hood on videocassette for the first time in 1984.

The first Disney animated feature to be released on videocassette was Dumbo on June 28, 1981,[26] for rental only. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was released for rental and sale at the same time. Alice in Wonderland was released on October 15, 1981, for rental only.[27] Fun and Fancy Free was released in 1982 as 'Fun and Fancy Free' Featuring: Mickey and the Beanstalk, to capitalize on the best-known segment of the film.

Walt Disney Home Video

Their agreement with DiscoVision having ended in 1981, Disney began releasing LaserDiscs under the Walt Disney Home Video label to their own network of distributors and dealers. The first five titles were shipped in June 1982: The Black Hole, The Love Bug, Escape to Witch Mountain, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Cartoons, Collection One. Five more titles shipped in July: Pete's Dragon, Dumbo, Davy Crockett and the River Pirates, The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, and Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Cartoons, Collection Two.[5]

Disney released more cartoon compilations (pre-Walt Disney Cartoon Classics in 1983) in late 1981, including Goofy Over Sports and A Tale of Two Critters.

Dumbo was released for sale on tape in summer 1982, while Alice in Wonderland was released for sale in November 1982.[28] The next major animated feature to be released (excluding the "package" anthology features) was Robin Hood on December 3, 1984, starting the Walt Disney Classics collection. By 1982, all the video releases were for sale and rental, along with newer releases, but at high prices.

July 16, 1985 saw the home video premiere of Pinocchio which became the bestselling video of that year. Later, the Making Your Dreams Come True promotion started on November 6, 1985 with repackaged live action titles. In addition, Dumbo was released on the same day.

Disney DVD

The Disney DVD logo.
The Disney DVD logo.

Disney DVD is the brand name under which Buena Vista Home Entertainment releases its Disney-branded motion pictures. Disney began working on title releases for DVDs in 1997, although they were not released in this format in the UK until early 1998. Disney's first U.S. DVD release was Mary Poppins on March 1, 1998. VHS releases ceased with Bambi II, which was released on February 7, 2006.[29]

Disney Blu-ray

The Disney Blu-ray logo.
The Disney Blu-ray logo.

Disney Blu-ray is the brand name under which Buena Vista Home Entertainment releases its Disney-branded motion pictures in high-definition. In late 2006, Disney began releasing titles, like the Pirates of the Caribbean films, the National Treasure films, and the first two Narnia films on Blu-ray.

In late 2010, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment began releasing their 3D movies in the Blu-ray 3D format, starting with A Christmas Carol and Alice in Wonderland. In 2017, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment quietly discontinued releasing new titles in the format in North America, presumably due to the declining interest in the 3D format at home in the region. Despite this, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has continued releasing new titles in the format in other regions.

Disney Second Screen

Main article: Disney Second Screen

A new feature that was included in the Diamond Edition of Bambi on March 1, 2011,[30] "Disney Second Screen" is a feature accessible via a computer or iPad app download that provides additional content as the user views the film.[31] Disney Second Screen syncs along with the movie, and as the film plays, interactive elements such as trivia, photo galleries, and animated flipbooks appear on the iPad or computer screen.[32] The service was discontinued since October 2, 2016. [33]

Ultra HD Blu-ray

Disney began releasing their new films on Ultra HD Blu-ray starting with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on August 22, 2017.[34][35] Christopher Nolan's The Prestige was Disney's first catalog release on UHD, under the Touchstone label on December 19, 2017.[36]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "BUENA VISTA HOME ENTERTAINMENT, INC. C1399345". California Business Search. State of California. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  2. ^ Magiera, Marcy (December 11, 2013). "MacPherson, Marinelli, Tarantino Inducted Into Variety's Home Entertainment Hall of Fame". Variety. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "BUENA VISTA HOME ENTERTAINMENT, INC". Corporation & Business Entity Database. New York Department of State. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Fixmer, Andy (April 25, 2007). "Disney to Drop Buena Vista Brand Name, People Say (Update1)". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on September 18, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Disney Releases 10 Titles on Laser Videodisc". Videodisc/Videotex. Meckler Publishing. 2 (3): 175. Summer 1982.
  6. ^ Froke, Marlowe (December 12, 1989). "Oral History Collection – James P. Jimirro" (Interview transcript). The Cable Center. Retrieved September 19, 2006.
  7. ^ "Walt Disney – Fotomat Announce Video Tape Programming Pact". Dow Jones News Service – Ticker. March 3, 1980.
  8. ^ Kopp, George (February 14, 1981). "Magnetic Video Decision Awaited: Firm's Cassette Rental Policy Expected in 3–4 Weeks". Billboard.
  9. ^ Eisner, Michael; Schwartz, Tony (1998). Work in Progress: Risking Failure, Surviving Success. New York: Random House. pp. 186-191. ISBN 0375500715. OCLC 39919327.
  10. ^ "Henson Video line debuts Jan. 29 with eight titles". Variety. November 11, 1992. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  11. ^ "Disney signs licensing deal for DIC library". United Press International. July 7, 1993. Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  12. ^ "DIC Teams With Lions Gate In Home Video Deal". Animation World Network.
  13. ^ "Roth, Iger Assume Expanded Responsibilities at the Walt Disney Company". PRNewswire. April 16, 1996. Retrieved March 11, 2013.
  14. ^ Pollack, Andrew (July 24, 1996). "Disney in Pact for Films of the Top Animator in Japan". The New York Times. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  15. ^ Hill, Jim (April 14, 2020). "The Making of Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited Away" -- Part 1". jimhillmedia.com. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  16. ^ Spiegel, Josh (May 27, 2020). "The long, ugly history between Disney and Studio Ghibli". polygon.com. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  17. ^ "Mouse mixes with B pix". Variety. September 7, 2005. Retrieved September 25, 2021.
  18. ^ "Disney strikes DVD deal with Roger Corman". United Press International. September 8, 2005. Retrieved September 25, 2021.
  19. ^ "Roger Corman joins Disney in DVD pact". The Denver Post. December 17, 2005. Retrieved September 25, 2021.
  20. ^ "Buena Vista Acquires Corman Library". ICv2. September 11, 2005. Retrieved September 25, 2021.
  21. ^ Marechal, AJ (September 7, 2011). "GKids to release Miyazaki toons in U.S." Variety. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  22. ^ D'Anastasio, Cecilia (August 10, 2017). "GKIDS Takes Over U.S. Studio Ghibli Distribution From Disney". kotaku.com. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  23. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (July 18, 2019). "ESPN's Justin Connolly to Lead Combined Disney Sales Team". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
  24. ^ a b Zoller-Seitz, Matt (October 24, 2019). "Disney Is Quietly Placing Classic Fox Movies Into Its Vault, and That's Worrying". Vulture.com. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  25. ^ "Buena Vista Home Entertainment: A Very Lucky Accident Indeed". Animation World Network. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  26. ^ "(Title unknown)". Billboard. August 15, 1981.
  27. ^ "Disney releasing six video titles". The Globe and Mail (United Press International). October 14, 1981. p. 15.
  28. ^ Wollman, Jane (September 16, 1982). "A wider selection in children's video". The New York Times.
  29. ^ K. Arnold, Thomas (April 5, 2007). "Studios keep spotlight on DVD". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  30. ^ Landy, Tom (December 10, 2010). "'Bambi (Two-Disc Diamond Edition)' Blu-ray Fully Detailed". High Def Digest. Retrieved December 20, 2010.
  31. ^ Snider, Mike (February 24, 2011). "Second Screen creates a 'Bambi' for multitaskers". USA Today. Retrieved February 25, 2011.
  32. ^ "Disney to Bow a New iPad and PC App with the Bambi Diamond Edition (Blu-ray)". BD-Live News. December 10, 2010. Archived from the original on March 17, 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  33. ^ "Redirect to Disney Studio Help". Internet Archive of Redirect. Archived from the original on October 2, 2016.
  34. ^ Landy, Tom (July 4, 2017). "James Gunn's 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Coming in August". High-Def Digest. Archived from the original on July 7, 2017. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  35. ^ Katzmeier, David (June 9, 2017). "'Guardians of the Galaxy 2' could be Disney's first 4K Blu-ray". CNET. Archived from the original on August 11, 2017. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
  36. ^ The Prestige 4K Blu-ray, retrieved June 24, 2018