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THE MORNING BUZZ: Disney Really Knows How to Put on a Video Premiere

25 Feb, 2002 By: Stephanie Prange

Disney has always been a leader in home video promotion. While video has long been a movie industry stepchild, Disney's Buena Vista Home Entertainment (previously Home Video) has continually given the segment its promotional due.

Past video galas have included live animals for the launch of the direct-to-video hit Lion King II (still the highest-shipping DTV title of all time) to the Aladdin and the King of Thieves bash during the 1996 VSDA convention in Los Angeles, for which Disney brought in Robin Williams and carted in tons of sand, camels and various other oddities to turn Griffith Park into the mythical desert city of Agrabah.

I often fondly compare the Disney events to well-staged battles, with microphone bedecked publicists shouting orders to the troops. At one soiree for the Aristocats video release a few years back, I recall a frenzied publicist shouting in his mouthpiece, "We need more eclairs!" with the urgency of a platoon leader calling for reinforcements.

But seriously folks, Disney knows how to stage an event, and it's nice to see the studio continue its support of the video industry with gatherings such as this last weekend's Cinderella II: Dreams Come True premiere (see photos). Disney gave the direct-to-video title a launch worthy of its theatrical brethren, with a star-studded audience and appearances by Cinderella, Prince Charming, the Fairy Godmother and various other characters and voice talent from the film.

And why shouldn't the studio throw video a party. After all, video revenues represent more than half of the business. We may not always get the spotlight, but kudos to Disney for adding a little glamour to the packaged media arm of the industry.

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