Mouse mints Blu-ray titles

Disney unveils upcoming slate

Rounding out the formal announcements of studio Blu-Ray titles at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show, Disney unveiled its slate, which includes 10 pics.

Among them are the studio’s computer-animated film “Dinosaur” and last year’s “Dark Water” along with movies that were among the first wave of the studio’s mini-disc titles for the PlayStation Portable, “Kill Bill Vol. 1” and “Hero.”

Although Disney did not announce any new theatrical titles for Blu-ray, the studio will follow the lead of most other studios and begin releasing its pics in Blu-ray simultaneously with or shortly after the DVD release of films coming this year, such as “Chicken Little” and “The Chronicles of Narnia.”

Disney’s Buena Vista Home Entertainment president Bob Chapek said the studio’s first Blu-ray titles will sport menus and interactive bonus features that can be accessed without leaving the running movie.

“We are in an era where the consumer has growing control over the delivery of their entertainment choices,” Chapek said. “Blu-ray Disc represents a significant change in the digital landscape and how the consumer not only views but interacts with their choices.”

Eagle Rock Entertainment also joined the growing list of Blu-ray Disc backers with an announcement of at least 20 titles on the format this year, including performance programs by artists including Usher and George Benson.

Warner, which initially announced its support for the rival and incompatible HD DVD format, is also releasing movies in Blu-ray, but identified only 15 titles for that format as compared to the 24 it announced for HD DVD the previous day. That’s because Blu-ray players will not be released as early as Toshiba’s first two HD DVD players, which are coming in March. For instance, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” was not among the Blu-ray titles, even though it was announced for HD DVD on April 11.

Paramount announced all the same titles for both Blu-ray and HD DVD, though the studio gave no specific dates.

Sony, Fox and Lionsgate, backing Blu-ray exclusively, previously announced their first titles.

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