Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (previously known as Walt Disney Home Video and Walt Disney Home Entertainment) is the flagship label of Buena Vista Home Entertainment, the home video distribution division of The Walt Disney Company. Informally, Walt Disney Home Entertainment is sometimes used as a synonym for Buena Vista Home Entertainment. Disney began distributing videos under its own label in 1980.
- Robin Hood (December 6, 1984) 228VS (October 14, 1986) 228V (July 12, 1991) 1189
- Pinocchio (July 16, 1985) 239 V (October 14, 1986) 239 V (March 26, 1993) 239
- Dumbo (November 6, 1985) [this version used the 1983 WDHV logo] 24 V (October 14, 1986) 24 V (July 12, 1991) 024
- The Sword in the Stone (March 25, 1986) 229 V (October 14, 1986) 229 V (September 28, 1989) 229 (July 12, 1991) 229
- Alice in Wonderland (May 27, 1986) 36 V (October 14, 1986) 36 V (July 12, 1991) 036
- Sleeping Beauty (October 14, 1986) 476
- Lady and the Tramp (October 6, 1987) 650
- Cinderella (October 4, 1988)
- Bambi (September 28, 1989) 024
- The Little Mermaid (May 18, 1990) 913
- Peter Pan (September 21, 1990)
- The Jungle Book (May 3, 1991) 024
- The Rescuers Down Under (September 20, 1991)
- Fantasia (November 1, 1991)
- 101 Dalmatians (April 10, 1992)
- The Great Mouse Detective (July 17, 1992)
- The Rescuers (September 18, 1992)
- Beauty and the Beast (October 30, 1992)
- Aladdin (October 1, 1993)
- The Fox and the Hound (March 4, 1994)
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (October 28, 1994)
- Mary Poppins (October 28, 1994), (August 26, 1997) and (March 31, 1998)
- Dumbo (October 28, 1994)
- Alice in Wonderland (October 28, 1994) and (July 13, 1999)
- Robin Hood (October 28, 1994) and (July 13, 1999)
- The Sword in the Stone (October 28, 1994)
- Pete's Dragon (October 28, 1994)
- Bedknobs and Broomsticks (October 28, 1994)
- The Three Caballeros (October 28, 1994)
- So Dear to My Heart (October 28, 1994)
- The Lion King (March 3, 1995)
- Cinderella (October 4, 1995)
- Pocahontas (February 28, 1996)
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (March 27, 1996)
- The Aristocats (April 24, 1996)
- Oliver & Company (September 24, 1996)
- Bambi (February 4, 1997)
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (March 4, 1997)
- Fun and Fancy Free (July 15, 1997)
- Sleeping Beauty (September 16, 1997)
- Old Yeller (October 7, 1997)
- The Jungle Book (October 14, 1997)
- Hercules (February 3, 1998)
- Peter Pan (March 3, 1998)
- The Little Mermaid (March 31, 1998)
- Melody Time (June 2, 1998)
- The Black Cauldron (August 4, 1998)
- Lady and the Tramp (September 15, 1998)
- The Rescuers (March 23, 1999)
- Mulan (February 2, 1999)
- 101 Dalmatians (March 9, 1999)
- The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (May 25, 1999)
MCA DiscoVision releases
Before Disney began releasing home video titles itself, it licensed some titles to MCA Discovision for their newly-developed disc format, later called Laserdisc. According to the Blam Entertainment Group website, </ref> which has extensive details of DiscoVision releases, only seven Disney titles were actually released on DiscoVision. One of these was the feature film Kidnapped, priced at $15.95. The others were compilations of Disney shorts at $9.95 each. The first titles were released in 1978 including On Vacation with Mickey Mouse and Friends (#D61-503). This title and the other animated releases all had running times of 46 or 47 minutes and originally were episodes of the Disney television show. According to Blam, the other six titles were Kids is Kids (#D61-504), At Home with Donald Duck (#D61-505), Adventures of Chip 'n' Dale (#D61-506), and finally The Coyote's Lament (#D61-507) which was released in May 1979. Disney's agreement with MCA ended in December 1981.
Walt Disney Home Video releases
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. Home video was not considered to be a major market by Disney at the time. WDTNT also handled the marketing of other miscellaneous ancillary items such as short 8 mm films for home use.
First releases on Beta and VHS
Disney's first releases on tape were 13 titles that were licensed for rental to Fotomat on March 4, 1980, 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. This first batch of titles on VHS and Beta included 10 live action movies: Pete's Dragon (#10), The Black Hole (#11), The Love Bug (#12), Escape to Witch Mountain (#13), Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (#14), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (#15), Bedknobs and Broomsticks (#16), The North Avenue Irregulars (#17), The Apple Dumpling Gang (#18), and Hot Lead and Cold Feet (#19); and three of the compilations of short cartoons previously released by DiscoVision: On Vacation with Mickey Mouse and Friends (#20), Kids is Kids starring Donald Duck (#21), and Adventures of Chip 'n' Dale (#22). Later, on December 30, 1980, Mary Poppins (#23) was added to make 14 titles in all.
Authorized Rental Dealers
No new titles were released for half a year after Mary Poppins, but Walt Disney Home Video announced an expanded program for "Authorized Rental Dealers" in December 1980 and it began to expand its dealer network during the first part of 1981. For a fee of about $65 to Disney, retailers were able to get a 13-week license to rent a videocassette to consumers at whatever price they could get. From January 1 to March 31, 1981, Disney had a "License One & Get One Free" promotion to encourage dealers to sign up. They also offered free rental use of a 7-minute Mickey Mouse Disco videocassette for customers who rented any title from an Authorized Rental Dealer from February through May 1981.
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. Disney's rental cassettes in blue cases looked completely different from sale cassettes, which were in white cases. This was designed to make it easy for Disney representatives to tell if dealers were violating their dealer agreements by renting out cassettes intended for sale.
The first of the Disney animated features canon to be released on videocassette was Dumbo on June 28, 1981, for rental only. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was released for sale at the same time. Alice in Wonderland was released on October 15, 1981, for rental only. This was when all the classic Disney films where available on VHS in the early 80's, before then they were on laserdisc and super8mm reels in the 40's-70's. Walt's films had always influenced audiences throughout the years and he claimed that he wanted them to experience the magic of Disney at home on their TV. Disney re-releases at theaters were for 6 years the most to celebrate their anniversary. After they stopped showing, they would rebroadcast on television at Christmas.
First Walt Disney Home Video laser videodiscs and Animated Features for Sale
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.
Dumbo was released for sale on tape ($84.95) in summer 1982, while Alice in Wonderland (also $84.95) was released for sale in November 1982. The next major animated feature to be released (excluding the "package" anthology features) was Robin Hood on December 6, 1984 ($79.95), 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 ($79.95). After the price was lowered to $29.95 in late 1985 to encourage more consumer sales, Pinocchio became the bestselling video of that year. The prices on other videos available at the time had their price reduced to $29.95 as well.
Disney DVD is the brand name under which Buena Vista Home Entertainment releases its Disney-branded motion pictures. In the late 1990s Disney began releasing titles on DVD, with VHS releases phased after Bambi II in 2006 (for non-exclusive releases) and Cars in 2007 (for Disney Movie Club exclusives).
- Main article: Walt Disney Platinum Editions
The Platinum Editions are a line of special edition DVDs released by Disney. Originally, the line was comprised of the company's ten best-selling VHS titles and would be released in October of each year. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first film to receive this honor in 2001. The two following titles, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King were released into IMAX theaters during the holiday season before its October DVD release. Due to underperforming box office results, this tradition was terminated after Aladdin. In May 2003, Disney announced that they would be adding the next four best-selling titles to the collection. Starting in 2005, a Platinum Edition was released in October and February/March. Another tradition practiced for these released are gift sets. These gift sets contain supplements such as original animation sketches, a film frame, and a companion's book. The current list of Platinum Editions includes: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin, Bambi, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and The Jungle Book, which was released in October 2007. The original plan for the Platinum Editions was that they would be released ten years after they are put in the Disney Vault. Since then, this time has been shortened to seven years.
- 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.
- Walt Disney Home Video produced the Disney Sing-Along Songs collection of videos for young children in association with Harry Arends and Phil Savenick. The series first hit stores on October 14, 1986.