by Aaron Peck
Disney movies, like today's release 'Bambi,' are popular on Blu-ray. Especially the animated classics. Blu-ray fans everywhere have been clamoring for Disney to release their catalogue titles in high definition. They've obliged by releasing a few titles every year, but I…er…we want more. Below is a list of the top ten Disney animated features that have yet to get a Blu-ray release, or even be announced. I realize I didn't put 'The Lion King' or 'Dumbo' on the list, but those have already been announced. These are the ones for which we're still waiting with bated breath for any sort of notice from Disney.
The Disney princesses Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Belle have all had their time to shine on Blu-ray, it's time for Cinderella to slip into the high definition glass slipper and finally receive the release it deserves. I always thought Cinderella was a charming little feature. Brightly colored, hilarious talking mice, and an unmatched Disney nostalgia. It's high time that this Disney princess came to Blu-ray.
9) 'The Rescuers'
And I'm talking about the original cut of the film. The recalled VHS cut that actually showed a topless lady in the background for a split second. Ok, I know that there's no way they're going to release that cut. Not in the PC world we live in now. Truth is I just really loved this movie when I was a kid. It was one of those movies that I watched over and over and couldn't get enough of. The adventures of Benard and Bianca are some of my most indelible Disney memories.
The bright, vibrant animation is going to lend itself perfectly to the format. I simply can't wait for this title to be announced. Not to mention the boisterous musical numbers coupled with the non-stop action, this high-def soundtrack is going to be killer. 'Hercules' is one of those Disney movies that you never think of as a classic, but once you think back on it, you end up realizing that it simply was a lot of fun.
7) 'The Black Cauldron'
'The Black Cauldron' was in fact the very first Disney animated feature to get a PG rating from the MPAA. It's a bit darker, and may not be for every kid. In truth it reminded me more of the darker animated tales that came from Don Bluth. Still, I'm waiting anxiously to hear about a release for this one.
6) 'The Jungle Book'
'The Jungle Book' has some of the most memorable Disney songs all in one place. Forget the way this is going to look (marvelous I suspect), but imagine how it's going to sound. All those famous songs from "The Bare Necessities" to "I Wan'na Be Like You" are going to sound fantastic if Disney decides to give them the 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio treatment.
5) 'Peter Pan'
I've got to go with this one for my wife. She's a Peter Pan nut, and she has me adoring the story now too. At first 'Peter Pan' was one of my least remembered and watched Disney movies as a kid. Since meeting my wife and finding out her affinity for the story by James Barrie, I've found myself becoming more and more enamored with Peter and his epic battles with Captain Hook.
Well this one is a no brainer right? I mean 'Aladdin' was right at the time where Disney was really understanding how well computer animation meshed with hand-drawn animation. This is one of those movies that is just going to look stellar in high definition. Like 'The Jungle Book,' 'Aladdin' is filled to the brim with rousing songs that have become etched into Americana. I can't imagine how great they'll sound once they're remastered for the format.
3) 'The Sword in the Stone'
Simply a personal favorite here. Even though 'Sword in the Stone' was one of the few Disney titles received with lukewarm box office returns, I still find that this numbers among my personal favorites. Who can forget the wizard's duel? One of my all-time favorite animated sequences ever put on film Just to have that scene alone preserved in high definition would be well worth the asking price.
2) 'The Little Mermaid'
I can't think of another title out there that people are jonesing for more than 'The Little Mermaid.' We've already had a few of the modern day Disney classics find their way to Blu-ray with the recent release of 'Beauty and the Beast,' and the forthcoming 'Lion King.' That leaves Ariel and her story of visiting the world above the ocean as one of the last modern day tent pole releases that Disney has stored away in their vault. (As with 'The Rescuers', I also wonder if 'The Little Mermaid' will have that enthusiastic priest...) Here's hoping that they announce this one soon.
1) 'Robin Hood'
I know it's a second tier Disney film. I know that there's hardly anything in Disneyland that pertains to this often forgotten film. I know that this is one of those Disney movies that people never really think of when they think of "the classics," but to me, this is a classic. I remember as a kid watching Disney's 'Robin Hood' four to five times a day. I remember wearing out my VHS copy of the movie as I rewound it over and over during the chase scene after Robin is discovered at the contest. Since this is my list, this is my number one pick. When 'Robin Hood' is finally released on Blu-ray that'll make this man truly merry.
I know I left out some movies that you most certainly love, but this is a top ten list, what's a guy to do? I would feel amiss if I didn't name some honorable mentions real fast like 'The Emperor's New Groove,' '101 Dalmatians,' 'Pocahontas,' 'Mulan,' 'The Great Mouse Detective,' and 'Tarzan.' Even now I've still left some out. I guess us Disney fans won't be truly happy until we have the entire collection of Disney animated features finally sitting on our shelves. Until then, this list is as good a start as any.