For the Walt Disney Company, the Disney
Vault is a prized possession, or in other words, more power to them in
regards to market control.
For the consumer, however, the
Disney Vault means more hours strolling down the DVD aisles of Best
Buy, Fry’s, Circuit City or even the movie wall at your local The
Disney Store searching for a copy of your favorite childhood animated
feature. In the end, you leave empty-handed and uninformed to the
consumer status of films such as "Pinocchio" (1940), "Fantasia" (1940)
and "Peter Pan" (1953), to name a few.
The USC student newspaper The Daily Trojan takes a look at the problems Disney’s Vault causes for consumers. Vaulting refers to the practice of ending production of a DVD or Video and putting a moritoriam on any re-releases for a minimum of 7-10 years. This creates a scarcity which has been taken advantage of by observant eBay users and Amazon resellers.
This vaulting process originally applied to theatre releases. In my youth a ‘Disney Classic’ would be unsealed and sent back out to the theatres to be seen by a new generation. There is something magical about seeing Snow White on the big screen. The details and mastery of Walt’s animators really shines through. These days you have to be lucky enough to live in Southern California (and sometimes in New York City) to see the old classics on the big screen at El Capitan in Hollywood.