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Disney’s ‘Caspian’ Blu-ray Offers 360-degree Views

6 Nov, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

Chris Tribbey as a faun at the "Prince Caspian" press junket.

It’s a Disney idea that goes back to the 1950s, and an attraction where Disneyland visitors got 360-degree visual tours of several countries. Images recorded on nine cameras were displayed on nine screens in a circle, taking viewers through images of China, Canada and, of course, America.

Now, Circle-Vision has been adapted to the Blu-ray Disc format, premiering on the Dec. 2 releases of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

With a full-time DVD and Blu-ray crew using a 360-degree high-def camera on the sets of the film, the castle raid portion of the film is broken down in a dozen ways, with every scene offering commentaries from different people, animatics, pop-up facts, behind-the-scenes musings, slide shows and more.

“It’s totally unique to the Blu-ray format,” said Andy Siditsky, SVP of worldwide creative services and DVD production for Disney. “You’re actually on the set.”

BD Live network exclusives and an interactive game are also included on the two-disc Blu-ray, with three-disc Blu-ray offerings including a digital copy of the film. The bare-bones DVD has a commentary, while a collector’s edition (and the Blu-rays) include bloopers, several featurettes and deleted scenes.

“Today (Nov. 6) was my first experience with [Blu-ray],” said actor Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian). “They’ve been very imaginative in how they include all they can in there. There are a lot of unsung heroes in a movie like this, and it’s nice to [show viewers] … how all the cogs work.”

He said Blu-ray and DVD bonus features can often be more important than the film to viewers, and BD Live and high-def video are great upgrades.

“The sound’s incredible, but the lighting is … what it picks up,” said actor William Mosley (Peter Pevensie). “It’s really interactive, you can find interviews with [everyone]. You can find how we shot every scene. You get so much more out of the movie.”

He’s hoping Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment remembers to send him a copy when they’re available.

“Just in time for Oscar consideration,” said Howard Berger of K.N.B. – EFX Studio about the Caspian releases. He said the creature creations his crew did for Prince Caspian stand up well under the 1080p glare of Blu-ray.

“It scares you a little bit, the resolution people can see now,” he said, adding that lighting crews and cinematographers can help keep everything looking real. “We still have a lot of perfecting to do to complete what Blu-ray and high-definition can do.”

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