Disney’s dizzying recent u-turn on its support for physical media continues apace with the announcement today that the studio’s very first animated feature, 1937’s Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, is going to be released on 4K Blu-ray for the first time on October 10.
What’s more, Disney has confirmed that the image going onto the Snow White 4K Blu-ray is part of its ongoing major asset restoration programme, and so will be derived from all-new scans of the film’s original nitrate negative. All under the supervision of Disney Animation experts Eric Goldberg (who Disney describes as ‘one of the modern masters of Disney animation) and Michael Giaimo, production designer of Wish, Frozen, Frozen 2 and Pocahontas.
This same team and approach were responsible for the first 4K Blu-ray release to benefit from Disney’s 100th Anniversary restoration program, 1950’s Cinderella – and when that title came out earlier this year it was widely acclaimed as delivering by far the most beautiful and authentic presentation of that Disney classic since it first appeared in cinemas. So hopes have to be high that the newly announced Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs remaster will deliver similarly stellar results.
As with Cinderella, the Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs 4K Blu-ray will be released across the US in collectible ‘O-sleeve’ packaging (essentially meaning the main disc box is shipped inside an outer cardboard sleeve/case), but with special retail exclusive editions also available. For instance, Best Buy will be offering a special steel book Disney 100 edition to go with the one it created for Cinderella, while Walmart will be offering special Disney100 Edition slipcovers along with a Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs collectible pin.
Looking through the technical information Disney has provided on the Snow White 4K Blu-ray release, we’re looking at an 83-minute run time encoded in 4K and HDR10 (Disney isn’t a fan of using Dolby Vision on its physical media releases) onto a 66GB disc. The use of a 66GB disc rather than a 100GB one shouldn’t be an issue here given the film’s short running time.
The lead US audio track, meanwhile, will feature an English 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus mix – though it also appears that there’s also an English 2.0 Dolby Digital mix on there if you want to listen in something closer to the film’s original audio format.
Disney hasn’t yet provided details of the extra features we can expect to find on the Snow White 4K Blu-ray, but I’ve asked the studio to share that information when they can and will update this story when I hear more.
The Snow White 4K disc release joins a sudden slew of other recent physical media releases and announcements from Disney in suggesting that after years of upsetting film fans by arguably seeming to take its physical media business less seriously than its streaming service ambitions, the studio is now realising that there’s still potential gold in them there physical media hills – if only they put enough effort in to giving fans the sort of premium experiences they crave.
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