New to Disney? Trying to decide from hundreds of animation titles and don't know where to start? It may look overwhelming at first, but all Disney can be broken down into a few catagories. From the top of the line Platinum Series to the long running line of basic Gold Edition series titles, Disney has something for everyone. I have grouped the different Disney lines below, and offer a few comments on each. I have been a Disney animation collector for many years, a member of ebay since 2002, and opened a Disney store last year here on ebay. I hope this can be of some help to anyone not familiar with Disney animation.
The Platinum Series
Originally designed for the top 10 Disney classics of all time, (based on box office receipts) starting with Snow White in 2001 and released at the rate on one title per year. In 2004 this was modified by Disney, adding four more movies to this line (bringing new total to fourteen titles) and changing release dates from one title per year to two titles a year, every March and October. With the release of Sleeping Beauty In October of this year (2008) the count now stands at Twelve platinum titles released. They are, in order of release, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin, Bambi, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, The Jungle Book, 101 Dalmatians, And Sleeping Beauty. The platinum series is without a doubt the top of the Disney line. All are 2 disc sets, many extras, including digitally re-masted video and audio.
1) Snow White is the only platinum release to date that did NOT come with an outer cardboard slip case.
2) The Lion King, Aladdin, and Cinderella also were released in a collector's gift set, consisting of the platinum edition title, a companion book, and collectable artwork.
3) The following titles Still scheduled for release in the platinum line. (not in release order) Pinocchio, Fantasia. At two releases per year, (March and October) The platinum series will be completed in October of 2009 at current schedule. This list is current as of this writing, however Disney has modified it once already, and may add titles or change release dates in the future.
4) I think this line is a great foundation when completed to build a Disney collection around, or as a stand alone collection of some of Disney's greatest animation classics. It still offers one the chance to secure the titles in this line at a reasonable price, as many titles are still available at good prices, or have yet to be released.
5) Sleeping Beauty Is being released in a blu-ray version in addition to the normal DVD version. This Is the first title in the platinum line being done this way, sure it will continue with every release.
They are two disc sets showcasing vintage shorts, television programs, and movies. They are released in "waves", starting in 2001 with wave 1 consisting of four titles, 150,000 tins each. A year later wave 2 was released, consisting of three titles, 125,000 tins each. Waves 1 and 2 all have individual serial numbers engraved on front of tin. Starting with wave 3, which consisted of four titles, two major changes occured. The first was that the serial number was no longer engraved in the front of the tin, it was now on a certificate of authenticity (COA) inside the tin. The other change was no longer were the titles equal in tins produced. An example is Tomorrowland, which to date is the lowest quantity tin produced with only 105,000 tins produced. in the same wave 3 series, you have On The front Lines, which 205,000 tins were made. Now you can see the problem in collecting full sets of wave 3 tins. While there are many more of three of the tins, only 105,000 complete sets can be had because of Tomorrowland. Waves 4 and 5 continue with the same changes made by Disney with wave 3.
1) While limited quantities of tins for waves one and two were produced, many more were released without the tins and do not the collectable artwork which was included inside the tin. Once again, this offers an alternative to someone wanting a wave title to watch, not to collect, as the prices of the titles without the tins are much lower than in the collectable tin.
2) Disney treasure tins have the potential to become the rarest of all Disney collected. The reason I believe is, while other titles in Disney lines go in and out of the vault, the treasure tins were released as a one time only. That is it, no more of that title in a treasure tin.
3) The tins are fragile, and very prone to dings and denting, more so on the corners. Since they are very limited, you are going to see a very wide range in pricing, most of wich can be attributed to the condition of the tin. This is one item I would make sure is insured and seller mails in a box.
They are animations that do not meet the current Disney Criteria For platinum status. Some are 2 disc sets, some are 1 disc. They all have digitally re-mastered video and audio. Most have the outer cardboard slip case when released. The only other difference between a special edition and a platinum edition is that they do not have as many extras as the platinum line. titles in this series include Mulan, Sleeping Beauty, Pocahontas 10 anniversary edition, Alice In Wonderland, and Mary Poppins to name a few. Some, like Peter Pan special edition were a single disc, and never had the outer cardboard slip case. Note that when Disney re releases a title from the vault, a trend lately seems to call it a special edition. The new Dumbo, Lady and the Tramp II, The Fox and the Hound, Tarzan, and others are all 1 disc Special Editions.
There are nine titles in this line. They were one of the first ever Disney animated titles released to DVD in 1999. They are all 1 disc, have simple menus, the video is NOT digitally re-mastered, and do not have any extras. They were released for a total of 90 days, and the original retail price ranged from $29.99-$34.99 each. Most of the titles Most of the titles have since come back out of the vault or are scheduled out in another line.
1) The nine titles are as follows, The Little Mermaid, The Jungle Book, 101 Dalmatians, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Lady and the Tramp, Hercules, Mulan, and The Lion King II, Simba's Pride. Most have been released again since then in another line, or are scheduled for release within the next 3 years. Peter Pan For Example Was released again as a single disc Special Edition with digitally re-mastered video, and is scheduled again for release in the Platinum Series. Mulan was carried over to the gold edition series, and then later released as a 2 disc special edition.
2) Purchasing a Limited Issue should be done with great care. Fakes and imports dominate this line, and some are quite good copies. They use fake top seals, fake red rebate stickers, and even add stickers that were never on limited issues to begin with. Add to the mix that many original limited issues never had rebate stickers or Buena Vista logos on the shrink wrap only complicate matters when searching for a real one. All the fakes have flaws, some titles more than others. If you are new to collecting and buying them, I urge you to only purchase ones with an authentic Buena Vista castle logo on the back shrink wrap. Never ever go by the top seal, as you cannot tell a real one from a fake.
This line is Disney's oldest and largest line by far, and it was created the same time the 90 days expired on the limited issues. The first two members of the Gold line were in fact Limited Issues, Mulan and Pinocchio. The disc inside the gold edition are the same disc used in the Limited Issues! Even the ISBN Number is the same! They only modified the artwork to remove the words Limited Issue and replace with Gold Edition. ( it is not uncommon to open a Pinocchio Gold Edition and find a disc labeled Limited Issue) Older Gold Line releases have original video, with the newer titles having digitally re-mastered video. All titles in the Gold Edition line are 1 disc, and do not have outer slip cases. Most Include Spanish and French Audio Tracks Also, but that varies by title. This Line Is Discontinued, as Disney has been releasing titles out of the vault from this line, but not under the Gold Edition Name.
For anyone not aware of this, Disney owns Pixar. Pixar animations include Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life, Monster's Inc., Toy Story 1 and Toy Story 2, and the soon to be released Cars.
1) Monsters Inc. did NOT have an outer cardboard slip cover when released.
Direct To Video Films, Contemporary Classics
Titles include Treasure Planet, Return to Neverland, Cinderella II, The Little Mermaid II, The Lion King II (Simba's Pride) just to name a few. They are movies that do not fit any other category. Many are sequels, and all have one thing in common. They never were released in the movies first. They were released directly to DVD.
1) A note on Beauty and the Beast, The Enchanted Christmas. Disney Calls this A Special Edition, however, it fits much better in the direct to video films category. This catagory is probably the most difficult line to understand. If the title was released directly to video, then it belongs here.
2) All Gold Editions that are being released from the vault- They are being Digitally Re-mastered, some games and bonus features added, and released. Trend now with Disney is to offer them with slip covers, but they have not created a specific line for them as they did with the earlier editions, like the Gold line. Some they call a Special Edition, a perfect example would be The Aristocats, an original Gold Edition release, now being released from the vault as a Special Edition. Some, Like the new Cinderella II has no catagory, it is re released as the original was. a "Direct To Video" edition.
Please note, as with anything collectable, the rarer the item, the more cautious you must be to make sure you are buying the genuine article. If you are new to Disney collecting or buying, I strongly urge you to first get familiar with the Disney animation lines, take a little time to familiarize yourself with terminology associated with Disney DVD's and above all, when not sure, ask questions. This guide was taken from my "Basic Disney" guide located on the top navigation bar of my store. The full guide explains some basic terminology used when describing and buying Disney, and I feel it has some very useful information including some tips on making your purchases of Disney a much safer one. Please remember, the key to securing Genuine Disney is information. The more you know, the easier it becomes.
All information stated in this guide is based on information as of January 2006 and subject to future changes.
edited 08-2007 platinum titles and releases
edited 01-2008 platinum releases, gold editions, direct to video films
editied 10-15-08 platinum titles and releases