Business Models

Contrasting Disney Merchandise: Right and Wrong

Merchandise is one of the recurring themes here on the Animation Anomaly for the simple reason that it plays such a large role in making the technique profitable for so many people. (You can get away without it, but that’s a topic for another day.) The Walt Disney Company has a long and fruitful history of merchandise stretching all the way back to the early days of Mickey Mouse. Things have changed over the years though, and while the youth remains an ever important part of the Disney merchandise empire, the company has become ever more adroit at exploiting market segments that you’d never thought possible. Here’s a look at two competing lines of Disney merchandise that illustrate just how disparate the company can be.

The Wrong Way – Walt Disney Signature Pens

Let’s be honest, these aren’t quite as tacky as the ‘vintage’ office furniture that was bandied about a few years ago or even the line of wedding dresses the company offers, but it isn’t far off. Yes, that’s right, you can be the proud owner of a Disney pen! These however, are no ordinary pens that you can buy at any Wal-Mart. Nope, these are something else entirely. These, are the Walt Disney Signature [geddit?] collection. Behold!

The Sleeping Beauty

The Sleeping Beauty WDS collection
The Sleeping Beauty WDS collection

The Fantasia

The Fantasia WDS Collection
The Fantasia WDS Collection

And The Executive

The Executive WDS Collection
The Executive WDS Collection

The collection is being offered by noted manufacturer Monteverde. They’re a respected company and they make many fine products, but why, for the sake of all that is sane, would they offer products like these?

Who are these targeted at? What purpose do they serve? And what do they do for the Disney brand and the animation on which they are based? Well, the simple answers are that they are aimed at people with more money than sense (we’ll get to the details in a bit), they serve no purpose other than to endow the Disney brand with a sense of false caché, of vintage style that it never really had in the first place and that they don’t do anything for the films on which they are based.

The proof? The pen’s average cost is in and around the $300 mark, topping out at almost $2,300 for a three-piece limited-edition collection. That’s not to say they aren’t good pens, they are, but the price premium over the regular pens on which they are best makes them a laughable purchase.

These are pens that are designed to appeal to folks who think that they are buying into a genuine image (of Walt or otherwise) that doesn’t really exist. It’s deceptive and of course, the films (and Walt Disney himself) don’t benefit in any way at all. One could argue that such merchandise actually debases all three because pens have next to nothing to do with any of them. A tenuous connection could be made to Walt himself if you could prove that he actually used the same pen.

That is not the case, however, and these lines come off as Disney simply looking for the easy buck. They are exploiting fans rather than engaging in genuine business with them.

So now that you’ve seen the crappy Disney merchandise, let’s look at a much better effort.

The Right Way – Mickey Mouse Moleskine Notebooks

Via: Moleskine
Via: Moleskine

Although only a special edition, the Mickey Mouse Moleskine notebook represents a much better Disney merchandise strategy. Setting aside the fact the cost factor (they’re certainly a lot less than the pens that could be used to write in them), there are far more concrete reasons for Disney to market these.

First of all, the product they are based on is a perfect match. Moleskine notebooks are something that no budding artist, writer or erstwhile creative would be seen without. The company has made a tidy business out of its products’ artistic history and even ensures that every notebook comes with a history of the same. Plenty of  artists’ blogs are replete with scans from their journal and notebook pages.

Right, so the base product has merit, what about the Disney side of things? Well, it’s Mickey Mouse (everyone loves Mickey), but perhaps most importantly, it isn’t just his face slapped on the cover, instead it’s what Disney includes on the inside: instructions on how to draw Mickey.

Via: Moleskine
Via: Moleskine

Now they aren’t very comprehensive instructions but that’s not up for debate here. The point is that unlike the pens, these Moleskine books are aimed at people who might actually have an interest in something relevant to Disney; namely drawing/sketching/illustration, you name it. It might even be possible that such notebooks might draw people in who might not otherwise have thought of themselves as artists. That is a far-fetched notion, but it’s not entirely impossible either. Can you really see the pens encouraging people to start writing?

In other words, these notebooks are much more relevant to Disney fans. They are appealing, and although they are a premium product, that is something that most fans will be willing to pay for. Unlike the premium of the pens, which is massive, the premium for the notebooks is minimal, but the extra value that fans see is enormous.


So if you’re in any doubt (and I hope that you are not), ask yourself the question: Which product would you buy if cost was irrelevant? Would you really want a pen that has little connections to what its based on, or would you rather have something that at least makes a serious attempt to be true to its origins?

I know which one I would choose. Submit your answer with a comment below!

How the Brony Documentary Makers Should Handle Filesharing

Disclaimer: I am not a brony.
Disclaimer: I am not a brony.

The fandom that surrounds My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has been discussed here on the blog before with the show’s creators and network rightfully being praised for their interaction with it. This was doubly evident once it became known that the show was attracting fans that were, well, far outside the show’s intended demographic. The result was the coining of the term ‘brony’ (bro+pony) and the proliferation of these fans throughout the internet and beyond. Bronies have since spawned many websites, forums and even conventions dedicated to their favourite show.

The phenomenon spurred the creation of a documentary about it after actor John de Lancie became acquainted with it thanks to a role on the show. As with many contemporary projects, a Kickstarter campaign was launched and it quickly reached its initial funding goal. Subsequent stretch goals resulted in a grand total of $322,022 being raised from 2,621 backers.

It was therefore with some dismay (and sadness) that the producers noticed that the completed documentary was available on internet filesharing sites almost immediately after its release to Kickstarter backers:

You may have heard that we are shutting down production. For clarification, this refers to canceling plans to invest more time and money into releasing a disc with additional material and segments that have already been shot but didn’t make it into the film. We have many great stories that just didn’t fit into the flow of what we were creating with the film but thought the Brony community would really enjoy seeing. Because the piracy within the Brony community is rampant and pervasive we’ve come to the conclusion that investing any more time and energy would be not be worthwhile.

So with additional work on the documentary being stopped due to ‘piracy’, how could the brony documentary makers respond to this in a way that not only enables them to continue the additional work, but also attract new fans who may be willing to pay for it?

Dump Kickstarter

First and foremost, this does not mean that they should neglect the people who have funded it through the service. Those that donated with the recognition that they would receive rewards have a legal right to what they were promised. That said, many commentators on the post announcing the stoppage were vocal in their support for an additional campaign to fund the extra features.

That does not make a lot of sense insofar that it is taking another drink from the same trough. Although backers are willing to pay for additional extra features, why would you need to pre-sell it to them? Surely those that will donate will buy them once they are completed? The vast success of the original campaign already proves that the demand exists. In any case, the additional costs that Kickstarter imposes would only serve to lower the funds available to create the features in the first place.

Fix the Downloads

The documentary was made available to all backers who donated more than $30 as a digital download. Since then, it has been released to the general public in three DRM-free formats. The reason it has been made available so quickly is that manufacturing takes time, and the producers (naturally) want the film to be out there as soon as possible.

The only problem is that the download is just the film, nothing more and nothing less. Did I mentioned it costs $12.99? Yeah, that too. Why is that a problem? If you are faced with a choice for something (legality aside for a minute), would you rather cough up $12.99 or $0.00? You’d plump for the latter I’m sure. Here’s a screenshot of the torrent as of writing:

TPB Bronie docu-1

All told, you’re look at under 400 people being involved with this torrent. That’s well below the 2,621 that backed it, and certainly a pittance of the 5,000+ that attend the BronyCon convention. That suggest that the numbers involved are relatively small compared to the size of the overall Brony community. The legal method also does not account for cases like this:

TPB Bronie docu-4

Understandably there are costs associated with digital downloads but there is a convenient way to eliminate those that are discussed further down.

The Discs

As part of the Kickstarter campaign, the rewards included a copy of the documentary on physical media (Blu-Ray and DVD). Those are (as of writing) being produced by the fabricator. However, there is (as of writing) no listing on Amazon (or eBay) for the disc and there is unlikely to be one until it is finished.

The problem with such a situation is that with a release date that is not readily apparent, potential viewers are unlikely to know that it will be available on physical media unless they do some research. Amazon has the ability to feature products for pre-sale, why wasn’t the documentary installed there before now?

Although the main issue is that viewers are moving away from physical anyway, there is an apparent failure on the part of the producers to adequately think out their release plan. As noted with Wreck-It-Ralph, releasing a film in digital format prior to the physical media will do you no good whatsoever. That’s not to say the discs should not go ahead, but that an effort but an extra effort will likely be required.

How to Help the Brony Documentary Make Money

With all the above in mind, it’s time to look at ways that the situation can be improved for everyone involved.

Why not put it on bittorrent?

The first question to answer is why shouldn’t the film be available in bittorrent? There are numerous advantages; namely the elimination of any costs associated with hosting, as individual users do that. They also pay for the bandwidth too, so there’s two significant costs immediately eliminated.

So if your major costs are removed, any monies you do receive will be almost total profit, right? Yes! Of course. So the simple solution is to find a way to extract money from people who view the documentary via bittorrent. Why not include a donation link in the video? Why not include the film’s website where you can sell them things?

Sell Some Merchandise

Via:  The documentary website
Via: The documentary website

Right now there is not a single shred of merchandise available relating to the film. Yes there are copyright issues surrounding the My Little Pony show itself, but not the documentary surrounding it. The film has a distinctive (if unremarkable) logo that could and should be plastered on t-shirts, hats and everything else that companies like to flog these days.

Shows like Adventure Time have been excellent at providing fans with things they desire and represent the contemporary way of connecting with fans and giving them a reason to buy. Why don’t the documentary makers consider this? Fans have already paid for the film, why wouldn’t they also pay for merchandise supporting it?

Reaching outside of the fandom

The documentary has garnered some media attention but that alone will not attract non-fans and non-bronies alone. People who are not intently interested in the topic matter are unlikely, maybe even unwilling, to cough up money to view it. The advantage of it being freely available is that anyone can watch it, with the result being that people outside the brony sphere are much more likely to either become involved themselves or at least take a more positive attitude to the phenomenon.

Larger audience for conventions and festivals

Films usually require large audiences to achieve success and one of the ways they accomplish this is through festival and convention screenings. Such events are sometimes accompanied by the presence of the filmmakers themselves. If the film is freely available online, such screenings will be more popular (fans always like the personal dimension), raising the profile of the film and greatly improving the opportunity to make money.


It’s always disheartening when something does not turn out as anticipated. It happens to everyone and this documentary is no exception. The important thing to remember is that when faced with a situation like this there is more than one way to respond. The music industry found out the hard way that taking a hard line is certainly the one to avoid. Thankfully the producers do not appear willing to go down that road, but it is nonetheless disheartening to see them not consider the many proven alternative that are available to them.


Cyanide And Happiness Opt Out of Old Model For Animated Show

Via: Cyanide & Happiness
Via: Cyanide and Happiness

For those not familiar with Cyanide and Happiness, it’s a webcomic that often focus on black comedy and sardonic humour with a distinct hint of questionable morals. The series is a collaborative effort and has become one of the most successful webcomics since its launch in 2004. As with many creative properties of this nature, a move beyond the static world of comics and into the dynamic world of animation is a natural one that has been on the cards for some time. The difference is how the creators approached it and what they learned from the process.

The Traditional Route

Initially, the creators (Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, Matt Melvin and Dave McElfatrick) ventured down the traditional avenue for developing an animated project: they talked to some TV networks. This tried and trusted method has been used by countless people since creator driven shows came back into vogue just over 20 years ago. As a result, this seemed like a sensible option. As Rob outlays:

…it feels kinda natural for us to get back into animation, because we all started out as amateur animators when we were kids. Because of that, over the years we’ve built up a wealth of ideas that don’t really work as comics; they need to be animated.

However, what the group discovered as they jumped through the many negotiation hoops was that the way networks operate and how the web operates are entirely different. As Kris explains:

We walked away from the first two due to rights and creative control issues.

As you may be aware, when a network acquires the show, they assume control over it. The vast majority of the time, they will hire the creator to ensure that his or her vision makes it to the screen. This arrangement benefits both parties and almost always passes without incident. However, anyone who is familiar with the saga of Ren & Stimpy and John Kricfalusi will know that creators are merely an employee on their own show and can be removed by the network for almost any reason.

The C&H guys weren’t too comfortable with this. They inhabit a realm (the internet) where the creators have complete and total control over what they create (although not necessarily how it received or distributed.) Not liking the idea of losing control, they have started to look at alternatives to this traditional route.

The Alternative Route

As with many similar projects over the last year or so, haute couture site Kickstarter is mentioned as the likely platform from which they will launch the alternative series. Although that aspect is an indicator, it is what they hope to actually produce:

We’ll be using Kickstarter to raise money for production. We firmly believe the entertainment industry is changing, and the Internet will eventually become the only way people watch shows.

This route will involve raising funds, deciding on what exactly to produce (length, no. of episodes, etc.) no details of which are available yet. Nonetheless the move represents only the latest in a wave of properties that have become popular on the internet and have shown a reluctance to relinquish some of the freedoms that the platform offers.

Via: Cyanide & Happiness
Via: Cyanide and Happiness

Why Their Decision is Significant

While it is tempting to brush off the C&H decision as merely the latest in a long line of internet phenomenons whose creators are unwilling to bend to the demands of traditional business models, that isn’t the case. The decision to go the alternative route was not rushed by any stretch of the imagination. Rob:

The four of us traveled to LA twice, and spent many more days in phone calls with over a dozen networks. A few of the discussions got pretty involved, lasting months and even years.

And Kris:

…we’ve been negotiating a Cyanide and Happiness TV show with a cable network for a while now. What you guys may not know is that this is actually the latest of three TV show talks we’ve been in. We walked away from the first two due to rights and creative control issues. We thought that we could settle those issues in the third deal, but things didn’t quite work out as we hoped.

Today, we are letting you all know that we’ve officially walked away from this TV deal as well, for similar reasons as the first two.

Oftentimes web success stories receive a bit of a drubbing for their propensity to misunderstand traditional models, but not the C&H guys. To their credit, they understand where the networks are coming from:

Every single one of these deals, after much back and forth, eventually came down to the same basic problem: Television networks don’t want to take much risk when it comes to new shows. Nor should they have to. It’s entirely their investment; we’re just the writers. This manifests itself in a lot of scary ways when you read a typical TV contract. Stuff like giving up the rights to existing characters in order to feature them in the show, no final say on what gets removed or changed, even potentially being fired as writers from our own show. Not to mention the fact that good shows get cancelled all the time.

What is interesting though, and something that they picked up on while undertaking the entire adventure, is that they realised that what the networks were attempting to produce and what the C&H guys felt they needed to produce were too entirely different things:

As Rob notes, TV networks undertake a significant amount of risk when it comes to a TV show. They must invest a lot of time, money and resources and the payoff will not become known until vast amounts of all three have been spent. In a capitalistic society, risks like those are generally undertaken with the acknowledgement that whatever rewards (or pitfalls) that are to be had belong to the person or entity undertaking the risk.

That’s a fair arrangement that has underpinned the nature of business in free economies since day dot. The C&H guys simply discovered the entertainment version and what it entails, read: giving up the rights to your creation.

What makes their decision significant is that they also realised that they don’t need a traditional network to get an animated Cyanide and Happiness series off the ground (Kris):

We’re starting to realize that TV as an industry just isn’t compatible with what we want to do with our animation: deliver it conveniently to a global audience, something we’ve been doing all along with our comics these past eight years. That’s just the nature of television versus the Internet, I suppose.

Why You Should Pay Attention

The developments that are about to happen would be significant anyway, but you should pay particular attention to them for the following reasons:

This WILL Set the Pattern For Future Projects

Plenty of people have run successful [animated] Kickstarter projects. Plenty of people have created successful animated web series. However, we are about to see how someone can successfully leverage a successful existing property into a Kickstarter project into a web series.

What the C&H decision will do is cement the pattern for creators wishing to create their own animated series. Plenty of animators are trying their hand but few consider the following:

  • the need to be a goal-oriented creator
  • the need for a fanbase to build with
  • the knowledge that a demand for an animated series exists
  • the huge amounts of energy needed to create a series

With a successful campaign and series, expect many to mimic Cyanide and Happiness. My money is on creators needing to (not having to, needing to) develop a fanbase prior to attempting an animated series. Even those that have pulled off an entirely new series, such as Cartoon Hangover’s Bravest Warriors have not been shy about leveraging any connection to an existing, successful property and its fanbase (in this case, Pen Ward and Adventure Time.)


Networks have been clever at leveraging fanbases to drive ratings and merchandise sales but when it comes down to it, few actually respect them. Consider delays in getting DVD boxsets out, issuing takedowns to fan creations and actively blocking access to online streaming. Yup, networks love fans, but only for their money.

In contrast, the Cyanide and Happiness guys practically love their fans. As Kris explains:

We firmly believe the entertainment industry is changing, and the Internet will eventually become the only way people watch shows. Especially the people that make up our awesome fanbase. The Internet is already the largest network, available when you think about it. Why go anywhere else?…..The prospect of doing an uncensored, unaltered Cyanide and Happiness Show and giving it directly to the fans is an incredible opportunity. We’re really excited to see how far we can take things.

Look at that! They actually considered their fans in their decisions. They anticipated that if all their fans are already on the internet, why go to TV just because?

That represents the other facet to the emerging internet generation: the desire not to alienate the very fans that support them. Take heed, because fandoms created on the internet have been known to desert their favourite things when they feel they are being unnecessarily trodden upon. Digg is (and should be) the poster child for this.


Lastly there is the audience itself. It’s widely acknowledged that they are moving not so much online as they are acquiring content from the internet. The television set remains the dominant screen when it comes to consumer’s entertainment source but how the content gets to that screen is changing.

Services like Netflix, Amazon, Boxee and others are shifting audiences away from a schedule-based viewing regime to an on-demand one that conforms to consumer’s unique schedules. A Cyanide and Happiness show broadcast on a cable network may have had the potential to reach millions, but if the show’s fans mainly congregate online whenever they choose, it is quite unlikely that they will switch to tuning in at a particular time.

The decision to remain online serves the needs of the C&H audience and won’t hinder the show’s ability to reach new fans either, seeing as the people most likely to start watching are already online. Sooner or later, those new viewers that reside on the fringes will be brought into the fold.

What this proves is that it is foolish to chase after an audience you only think you need. This consideration of the audience beyond the fanbase will dictate how and where new web series’ emerge and proliferate. This is the biggest one to keep and eye on because it is, as of 2013, the only one that does not have a recognised strategy behind it.

Only 14 Months Late, ‘A Monster in Paris’ Finally Reaches America

Amazon_A Monster in Paris BR cover

You may or may not be familiar with A Monster in Paris. It’s an animated film produced by Luc Besson that never seemed to make it to American shores despite a limited release in Canada (and a proper English dub too.) It was first mentioned on this blog nearly two years ago, and Irish animater Nichola Kehoe was exceedingly generous in providing a guest review when the film was released there in February 2012. Now, fourteen months after its premiere, A Monster in Paris finally gets an official US release.

The Facts

With thanks to Mike Bastoli over at Big Screen Animation, we learn that the film gets its release through the good people at Shout! Factory. They’re not being picky either, with both a 3-D Blu-Ray/DVD/digital copy combo pack and a plain ol’ vanilla DVD being your choices come April 16th.

I’m excited for this film, and have been ever since the I saw the trailer above (and even more so since Katie Shanahan,  a.k.a. Kt Shy gushed about it after a Toronto screening). It looks fantastic and Luc Besson being the experienced director that he is, the story is sure to be at least competent in concept as well as execution.

Why The Heck Did it Take 14 Months?

Unfortunately, the film did not do great business at the box office despite being a hit with the critics (isn’t that always the case). Yours truly was even admonished by Digital Domain founder Scott Ross for suggesting the film was a model to follow. (It lost ~$10 million.)

In any case, no US partner was involved in the production. This alone would have made getting into that market a lot tougher. Yes, GKids has been known to take on independent foreign films with success. Why they did not do so in this case remains unknown, but their 2012 slate was quite a full one so it’s a possibility that A Monster in Paris simply didn’t get the luck of the draw.

Without a theatrical release, DVD sales are a steep uphill battle (no pre-existing public exposure). Shout! have a bit of a knack for precisely this kind of thing though (they released, and I have, DVD boxsets for the DIC series Sonic Undergound if that’s any indication). Discussions take a while and so finally, more than 14 months after its premiere, we’ll finally be able to see A Monster in Paris in the US without having to resort to ‘special imports’ or The Pirate Bay.

The Questions This Debacle Raises

From a fan’s point of view, it’s ludicrous that we’ve had to wait so long for a film. OK so there aren’t that many of us (or maybe there are, if Google search recommendations are anything to go by), but we do have money that we’d gladly give to see the film. I’m a patient man, but plenty of others are not, and by waiting so long, the producers may well have forgone some revenue. A $10 million deficit is a large amount, but getting some money back is better than none at all, right?

Secondly, what exactly has been going on in those 14 months? I doubt that the producers have been searching for a US distributor all that time. All signs seem to indicate that none was lined up before the film’s completion and all mentions of a US release end around the time of the film’s premiere.

Lastly, how does this delay benefit the studio that produced it? Not being in the US market until now will undoubtedly have hurt their revenues, and not just in the obvious ways. Yup, CGI filmmaking technology continues to develop a rapid pace, and a film released last year (let alone more than a year ago) is going to look outdated no matter how well it was made. By releasing so long after its production, it will run the risk of appearing to those unfamiliar with it (read: the general public) as an inferior, cheaper production than it really is. All told, it hurts the studio’s chances and opportunities for creating another feature film.

How To Ensure It Doesn’t Happen Again

Europe remains a productive creator of animation (both theatrical and otherwise), but I fear that in the case of A Monster in Paris, not enough effort was put into making the film available in other parts of the world. That’s not to say they didn’t try; the film was lip-synched to the English script, not the French one, but of course that won’t bring in revenue on its own.

The US market is massive, and complicated to boot. Unfortunately it is also dominated by a few large chains; chains that are cozy with the large US studios and would far rather show a film from one of those than a foreign, independent one. GKids has so many issues with them, that they almost always avoid them; favouring independent cinemas instead.

This situation is where a service like Tugg would come in useful, allowing independent players the ability to reach mainstream audiences without the cost of a traditional blanket marketing campaign.

Until then, April can’t come soon enough.

Would you have seen A Monster in Paris in the cinema in the US? Why or why not? Let us know below!

Getting it Wrong With the Wreck-It-Ralph Digital Copy


So Disney has announced that in an unprecedented move for the studio, the digital copy for a first-time release for home viewers will be available as a digital download prior to the release on physical media. While that, in theory, sounds good, here’s a look at why this development with the Wreck-It-Ralph digital copy is, quite simply, flawed.

First Though, What They’ve Got Right

Hollywood studios as a group have had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that consumers like to watch their content at home. They disliked the video recorder until the realised it could make them more money than theatrical releases and they always tended to have a suspicious view of television until, again, they realised it would help them rake it in. (The fact that the various television divisions of studio’s parent companies help prop up the film studios is a topic for another time.)

Now it would seem that the internet is next on their agenda. Having seen what happened to the music industry in the wake of Napster, Hollywood studios are keen to avoid the more blatant actions that hastened the record companies’ downfall. In that vein, they’ve been much more open to the idea of allowing viewers to legally download or stream content.

Both Amazon and Netflix (among others) have offered suitable outlets for a number of years (the former favouring purchases while the latter favouring all-you-can-eat streaming.) The studios have also made their own inroads into the industry with features being an integral part of Hulu and by forming a consortium (minus Disney) to design and manage their UltraViolet streaming service.

All the services above offer similar content although Netflix is known to lag on the new releases.

So What Have They Got Wrong?

By the looks of things, the studios have done decently well for themselves, right? Weeeeell, the truth isn’t quite as straight forward. Yes, the partnerships with Amazon and Netflix have certainly worked, but only for older content as mentioned above. New content is hamstrung by the various broadcast deals the studios have with networks. While that will soon change (with DreamWorks in 2014 and Disney in 2016), it’s still a bit of a ways off from today. Also factoring into the equation is the fact that there have been problems with Amazon blocking access to content for reasons that would not be immediately apparent to the consumer.

In conjunction with Amazon and Netflix, the studio’s Ultra Violet service has been plagued with problems of the technical kind that have hindered consumer’s ability to easily watch their content.

And Ralph Figures Into All of This Where?

Where the Wreck-It-Ralph digital copy features in  all of this is the very fact that it is simply the latest chapter in the ongoing saga that is Hollywood’s relationship with the internet. Now that should be a cause for celebration; being a sign that even Disney is willing to admit that consumers want to stream and download content as soon as its first released.

However, as most of you will know, Ralph has been available in plenty of places online since its cinematic days so those who the digital release is likely targeting have probably already been able to see it in their own homes.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that the digital copy is for only the film itself. For all the extra features and commentaries, the discs will still be a necessary purchase. So why the heck would you cough up for the digital copy if you have to cough up again to get the extras? I wouldn’t and I’d bet you wouldn’t either. Sticking out a few more weeks doesn’t seem to bad when you’ll save maybe $20.

Which leads us to the last issue: the cost. The Reddit discussion for today’s news very much centered on how much this digital download will cost. Disney hasn’t released any details but an educated guess puts it at around $15.

The discs have been announced as starting at $31.99 for every version under the sun with all the extras included, plus the digital download as well.

So why, in the name of all that is sane and just, would you pay half the price of the physical pack when you’re getting waaaaay less than half the value? The quick and dirty answer is that you wouldn’t. You simply hold your breathe for a few more weeks and be a much happier consumer. In any case, we all know those recommended retail prices are overblown anyway, so expect Amazon to have a decent discount that further erodes the difference.

How To Get It Right With The Wreck-It-Ralph Digital Copy

How could Disney get it right? Well for one, they could have had the digital copy available now (January 2013). They could do a better job of strong-arming the cinema chains into narrowing the release window between theatrical and home media releases. And they could offer the extras with the download rather than just the film itself.

Are Disney misguided with this announcement? How would you better handle it? Leave a comment below!