This section is for highlighting the victories of petitions and other efforts. These victories are important proof that we really can make a difference.
Charly released in widescreen, despite original announcement!
Back in the summer of 2004, Charly was scheduled to be released in October on DVD. The problem was that the film was being given a less than steller pan & scan VHS-like treatment. That sent some of the DVD community, notably DVD reviewer Christopher Bligh, into a frenzy. He decided to take action by creating a petition for support of a widescreen version. He even brought this to the attention of the star of Charly, Cliff Robertson. A few weeks after the chance meeting, there was a difference in the online retail dates gearing more towards a 2005 release. By December of 2004, a confirmation through MGM's link to BestBuy.com gave the official word of a widescreen release on March 8th (moved up from March 15th). Bligh credits all of the signees and the supporters who didn't sign more so than himself in this widescreen victory.
Columbia-Tristar re-releases Castle Keep in widescreen!
Back in early July of 2004, a DVD Savant review of Castle Keep pointed out that the title was being released in Pan & Scan only, just days before it's release to the public. That information sent the DVD Internet community into a frenzy. After being alerted to the issue, several people in the film industry took action. George Lucas, Stepen Speilberg, and Sydney Pollack rasied the issue with Sony management. They pressured the studio into releasing the film in it's original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The studio complied, and issued an anamorphic widecreen DVD on 11/2/2004.
"The Absent-Minded Professor" re-released in widescreen!
In January of 2003, Walt Disney Home Video released a colorized Pan & Scan only edition of one of their classic titles, The Absent-Minded Professor. Disney received a lot of complaints about this release from DVD News sites, as well as from members of the Home Theater Forum, and other home theater discussion forums. Apparantly Disney heard the complaints, because less than 6 months later, Disney ate humble pie, and announced that a black and white widescreen version of The Absent-Minded Professor would be released on October 2. Now if only we could get them to release the sequel, Son of Flubber, in it's OAR as well.
"Blockbuster Video" begins stocking more widesreen!
In the past, Blockbuster Video stores have been very sporadic about stocking DVD's in the widescreen format, often choosing to only stock Pan & Scan versions of many films. In early December, 2001, Jeremy Conrad created a petition to convince Blockbuster Video that many consumers do indeed prefer the Widescreen format, and to get them to change their corporate policy, and carry widescreen DVD's in addition to their Pan & Scan counterparts. The petition has gathered over 25,000 signatures to date. Blockbuster recently acknowledged the petition and announced that they have already begun to stock widescreen versions of most films in their corporate stores, because more and more consumers are becoming aware of the benefits of widescreen. Please be aware that not every Blockbuster Video store is adhering to this new corporate policy. Franchise stores may or may not choose to adopt the new policy. I urge you to continue to talk to store management about why widescreen is important, if your individual store does not stock widescreen. It may even be helpful to print out the press release, and show it to them.
"Cats & Dogs" released in widescreen!
On the heels of the Willy Wonka petition, The Digital Bits announced that Cats & Dogs would be full frame only. Soon after this announcement was made, Chris Hillery created an online petition urging Warner to release a widescreen Cats & Dogs. After gathering over 3000 signatures, it was announced that a widescreen version would be released day and date.
"Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" re-released in widescreen!
In early August of 2001, DVDFile received a review copy of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (30th Anniversary Edition). The DVD was due August 28th. Despite all previous announcements, the disc did not include the promised widescreen version. Even J.M. Kelly, the DVD's Producer, was not aware that the disc lacked the widescreen image. Soon after DVDFile alerted the DVD community that the widescreen version was missing, Phong Huynh initiated an online petition urging Warner to release a widescreen Willy Wonka. All the major home theater and DVD web sites and communities supported this petition. The petition gathered more than 11,500 signatures, by August 21st. On August 23rd, Warner Home Video issued this press release, that stated a widescreen Wonka would arrive November 13th.
~ See what you've been missing! See it in Widescreen! ~