Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Is "Zootopia" Coming to BluRay 3D?


In the midst of the home 3D market collapsing, the one company that has been the most difficult to figure out in terms of their support for the BluRay 3D format is Disney.  I have been getting e-mails from people who mention that Disney is changing their ways.  That they once were lost, but now they see (the 3D).  After backing off from the BluRay 3D support, we've seen a vast majority of their films get 3D releases on disk.  I want to say upfront this makes me happy, this is obviously a step in the right direction, but...I'm not completely sold on the idea Disney is back in this market.  I say this mainly because the movies they've released in the BluRay 3D format have not technically been Disney films: They've been movies from Pixar and Marvel.  Pixar, Marvel, and (now) Lucasfilm are owned by Disney, but they operate independently from the main studio.  They have resources to the Mouse's money, connections, and talent, but they largely control how their movies are made, seen, and released...largely.

This explains why "Inside Out" and "Ant-Man" have BluRay 3D releases.  This also explains why Lucasfilm announced upfront that "Stars Wars: The Force Awakens" will be getting a 3D release in the future (most likely in a massive collectors edition that will be way overpriced but...ah, who am I kidding, I'm still going to buy it).  When it comes to Disney themselves I have seen little evidence that they are changing their minds.  This is especially true when it comes to their animated features.  At this point they've not made a domestic 3D version of both "Frozen" and "Big Hero 6."  They also passed on the 3D release of "Maleficent" and "Need for Speed."  Three of these movies have either won Academy Awards or have been nominated, and the fact they can't seem to be bothered to release the films in their intended viewing format is maddening.  With that said, there is a chance that maybe - just maybe - things might be turning around.

As you are well aware, Disney's 55th animated feature "Zootopia" opened this weekend to glowing praise and unexpectedly good box office results.  It broke a few records, 3D tickets were a huge chunk of those sales, and it even had one of the biggest IMAX openings in history, proving almost everyone at IMAX wrong for turning their back on animated films because they felt families didn't pay premium ticket prices for cartoons (they obviously do as you can see).  The movie is being heavily advertised as being a 3D experience in all the ads.  My opinion is that the 3D is certainly good, but in terms of being a make-or-break visual experience...eh, maybe the 2D experience is just as good this time around.  I still want to own it in 3D and will import another disk if I have to.  We may not have to though as I discovered this on Best Buy's website...


Yep, that's a pre-order button for "Zootopia" on BluRay 3D!  I haven't found another store that is pre-ordering the title for 3D (including Amazon) and "Frozen" had pre-orders for a 3D version that ultimately never came out.  I'm going to be cautiously optimistic this time around.  Stores like Best Buy make a killing in pre-orders these days, and the last thing they want to do is have to refund people on a product that never came out.  If they have a BluRay 3D up for pre-order, then there might be a chance we'll see one.  In the meantime, if you DO want the title on 3D, it couldn't hurt to vote with your wallet and pre-order a copy now.  This will let them know you're interested in the product.  If it ultimately doesn't come out, the order is canceled with you being charged a penny, and we can move onto importing the steelbook release from Zavii!  And to wrap up what I said before, Disney needs to start releasing their own movies on BluRay 3D to completely convince me that they are back in the game.  So until "Zootopia" and "The Finest Hour" get 3D releases in America, they are still of questionable reliability in my book.

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