Somehow this evening I stumbled across a particular piece of video that instantly brought back some memories.
Back in the 1980s, home video was a big deal. And, increasingly, Disney began to enter into a market that it had been reluctant to consider before. The first waves of live-action home video releases were basically trial balloons, and consisted of a mix of A-list titles and forgotten flops. The Disney animated canon was slower to emerge on the home market, as the company remained intent on sticking to its age-old theatrical re-release strategy (a concept that continues to influence the absurd “Disney vault” concept today).
Anyway, those video releases of the early 1980s were heavily branded; from the signature clamshell cases to the awesome “neon Mickey” logo, there was a great deal of comfortable familiarity with each release.
One of the other elements included on each videocassette was this fantastic little advert, which served to promote all the other films that Disney had released for rental. It’s so wonderfully of its era, and it flashes me back to those exciting trips to the local video store to rent some Disney films for the weekend. Would it be Swiss Family Robinson or The Absent-Minded Professor? That, a collection of Donald Duck cartoons, and a rental of Metroid for the NES and I’d be good to go.
This is one of those bits of video that, even though one might not have seen it in years upon years, is still as familiar as if you’d seen it five minutes ago. The kicker is that this promo was actually put onto the Disney videocassettes after the main feature! Disney was content not to force the ad on viewers, and the heck of it is that I remember watching through the end credits of films specifically to watch this compilation. It helped that those older films had little or no end credits, and the ad could begin immediately after the title card announcing “THE END – A Walt Disney Production”, but it’s still pretty amazing that they’d stick it at the end of the tape instead of the beginning.
Take a look and feel the nostalgia. Also, note that there was a shorter and more common version of this promo, which I could really probably recite in my sleep. Quite a difference from the promos Disney puts on their releases today, eh?