People with Up

What do the films How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Up have in common? Besides (despite?) featuring unapologetic curmudgeons as primary characters, they both represent accessibility landmarks: Grinch was the first commercially-released DVD to have a closed-captioned option, and Up is the first to have the audio-described (DVS) track available for sale on iTunes. Of course, you don’t have to be blind to appreciate the DVS version–it could find the same drive-time audience as audio books, which means there would be more DVS-only versions of movies available, which would benefit blind people…yeah, we could live with that.

Amended to add: apparently more careful research than mine (thank you, codeman) has raised doubts about Grinch; with luck, an equally befuddled future investigator will find clearer documentation for the historic value of Up.

AccessTech News: Disney-Pixar’s “Up” Released with Descriptive Narration on Blu-ray, DVD and for Download on iTunes

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7 Responses to People with Up

  1. codeman38 says:

    Unfortunately, the DVD of Up available from Netflix, Redbox and Blockbuster is a special rental-only version which– and I am seriously not making this up– completely lacks not only descriptive video but also closed captioning.

    Yeah, saying I was disappointed after I got the disc from Netflix and stuck it in my player would be a major understatement.

    (Thankfully, the local indie rental shop has a retail copy, which I will totally be renting as soon as it comes in.)

  2. codeman38 says:

    Oh, and apparently? The lack of captioning on the rental version was intentional. According to TheFarmerJoe on Twitter, Disney management viewed it as a bonus feature. ::facepalm::

  3. Joe Clark says:

    Dude, “commercially-released film[s]” have had captioning since circa 1982. Would you like me to tell you the titles of the very first ones? Because I was there at the time and I know those titles.

  4. You’re right…corrected to say the first commercially released DVD with captioning.

  5. codeman38 says:

    Technically, that’s not right either– Twister was released much earlier than Grinch, and I know for a fact that it had captioning.

    However, if I recall correctly, Grinch was the first commercially-released DVD with audio description.

  6. codeman38 says:

    …and I fail at research. According to Joe Clark’s site, Basic Instinct and Disney’s Dinosaur did it a month before.

  7. codeman38 says:

    …Actually, I really fail at research. Those are the dates that the DVDs were reviewed. Upon further research, the audio-described version of Basic Instinct came out at the same time as Twister!

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