Walt Disney Home Entertainment has officially announced that the next two Diamond Edition titles, after this October’s The Little Mermaid, will be 1967’s The Jungle Book and 1959’s Sleeping Beauty (the latter having its second Blu-ray release; the original 50th Anniversary Platinum Edition Blu-ray appeared in October 2008 and has been out of print for quite some time).
The Jungle Book will appear on Blu-ray on February 11, 2014 and Sleeping Beauty will be released some time in October of 2014. Therefore, it would seem, the Diamond Edition line will end with ten titles, eliminating three of the titles from the Diamond line’s previous incarnation (the Platinum Edition line); those eliminated titles are 1992’s Aladdin, 1961’s One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and 1941’s Pinocchio (which had a Blu-ray release in 2009; the other two films have seen Blu-ray releases in various other countries). Then again, we could still be surprised and get them in 2015 and 2016 (if the February/October release schedule would continue).
It’s high time that The Jungle Book made the jump to Blu-ray; though it’s not one of my favorite Disney Animated Classics, it’s still quite good and I should watch it more often than I do. However, the only reason I can see for the release of Sleeping Beauty on Blu-ray again is the fact that the (awful looking) Maleficent film, set to be released on July 2, 2014, will also hit store shelves in October; with Maleficent and Aurora in the minds of the general public, a shameless tie in seems to be the route Disney is taking. Quite sad, actually. Especially since there has been a drastic decline in the Diamond line’s quality over the years, I highly doubt that this new release of Sleeping Beauty will be better. But, there’s still hope (probably false hope, but hope nonetheless). At least there will be new bonus features for each release, though I don’t know if that’s good enough for an upgrade–especially for Sleeping Beauty.
I’ll update you all when more information becomes available. Have a great rest of the weekend!