Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Back In The Vault, Ariel.

In yet another sign of the crumbling economy, Brooks Barnes writes in the NYT that the Walt Disney Company has decided to change its DVD business model. Could it be an end to The Vault?

With overcrowding and significant increases in costs for food and medical coverage, Disney can no longer afford to adequately care for the characters in The Vault. Disney's vault system, releasing characters for a limited time and then locking them away for 7 to 10 years, has drawn sharp criticism from rights groups and children wanting to watch a digitally remastered Pocahontas while they're still young enough to enjoy it.

During her 2007 release, Cinderella sat down for an exclusive interview with Lisa Ling to speak out against the conditions. She claimed characters were not properly monitored and that the cast of The Lion King had eaten most of the members of The Jungle Book and at least 32 Dalmatians. She also accused Disney of not providing Quasimodo with proper physical therapy and said Sleeping Beauty had been subjected to numerous tests for drug companies, namely, Ambien. When reached for comment, Disney sent a letter written by Pinocchio saying that he loved The Vault. Pressed for video showing Pinocchio reading his statement, Disney declined.

With the possible release of all the characters due to lacking funds, employment experts stress that this may be a difficult time for them. "The job market is tight right now and a lot of these characters lack employable skills. I'm afraid being able to talk to animals, or actually being an animal, isn't what companies are looking for in a recession. Most of them will probably end up on reality shows."

But according to Barnes' article, Disney won't be letting anyone loose before their scheduled release. The company simply wants to produce fewer discs and change packaging to cut costs.

Activist protests are anticipated in Orlando and Anaheim.

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