The Blu Kingdom Page 2

It also seems like you're making more of an effort to be creative with the discs and show what interactive technology can do. A lot of the Blu-ray stuff so far has been interesting, but these Disney releases - Pirates of the Caribbean, and Pixar's Cars and Ratatouille - seem to take it to a whole other level. That's exactly our goal. We don't believe - and this is why the capacity issue of Blu-ray versus HD DVD is so important to us - that it's enough just to put a high-definition picture and high-definition sound on a disc - especially if you have to compromise the high-definition picture by overly compressing it or have to overly compress your sound in order to fit on a disc. If you really want to not compromise the picture, you need every bit of the 50 gigs. If on top of that you put interactive bonus material, you've already got a bit-rate issue if you're stuck with 30 gigs. So with the 50-gig Blu-ray Disc, not only don't you have to compromise the picture, you don't have to compromise the sound. At the very same time, it gives you the freedom to put some really interesting interactive material on it, which we believe is critical towards the mass-market adoption of this format.

On Blu-ray, you no longer have to think of the worlds of movie and bonus material as being two separate entities: You can fit them both on one disc, and because of the processing power and the BD Java programming, you can now integrate the two. That just opens up a whole new palette. You heard John Lasseter speak passionately about how important that is to him as a storyteller and for providing those compelling consumer experiences, which is of course we want to do at Disney in a magical way. It really gives us a whole new avenue through which we can help people enjoy our content.

John's enthusiasm is obvious. Yeah, he's very much a believer in Blu-ray. And the rest of our major filmmakers are as well. Every time I go to have a conversation with a filmmaker about Blu-ray, they're already there. There's no sell job necessary. The word is out in the filmmaking community that Blu-ray is the next creative palette they want to use, so they're all over it.

Would it be fair to say Disney's in a position to lead the charge on Blu-ray? I think there are a lot of leaders, but we're certainly one of them. If you look at other studios like Fox, they're also out there helping lead the charge, as is Panasonic, which is co-sponsoring our mall tour. But Disney is a very important and powerful brand in the world of entertainment, and I think we have a job to do in terms of educating the consumers. So we're going to take on that responsibility.

I think those of us in the Blu-ray camp have got the wind at our backs with the format war. And I think the late announcements of a change of mind by folks like DreamWorks and Paramount will be relatively inconsequential in the long term because consumers are voting with their dollars and they're certainly voting for Blu-ray.

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