Disney decorates over aspect ratio problem

New Disney View expands blu-ray viewing experience

Disney has come up with an inventive way of getting round the 4:3 (1.33:1) ratio problem on Blu-ray – by adding decorative bars on the sides of its movies.

The 70th Anniversary edition of Pinocchio, out today, is the first to get this treatment, which Disney is saying will 'expand your viewing experience beyond the original aspect ratio of the film!'

Disney View

The new 'Disney View' is only available on blu-ray versions of the movie and replaces the normal black bars you get when watching content with a 4:3 aspect ratio on a widescreen television.

For those who want to watch Pinnochio as Disney originally intended, the decorative bars can be replaced by plain old black ones.

The Disney View option has been created by animator Toby Bluth, and consists of 16 sets of still images that run throughout the film. Bluth has defended the added decoration, explaining: "There aren't any panels that distract from the film. They are like theatrical set pieces framing the action."

While the new-look may enrage film purists, it has to be better than using a pan-and-scan option to watch the film.

On another note, according to the British Video Association, Pinocchio is officially the one thousandth Blu-ray to be released in the UK.

Via Home Cinema Choice

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Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, T3.com and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.