With the upcoming re-release of The Little Mermaid on Blu-Ray, in celebration of its thirtieth anniversary, and its introduction into The Walt Disney Signature Collection lineup of classic Disney films on Blu-Ray, we’ve decided to take a look back at the entirety of The Walt Disney Signature Collection so far and measure its many merits. While this new series of Blu-Ray releases provides fans to relive their favorite Disney movies in stunning Blu-Ray fashion, some of these in-home releases elevate their predecessors, but some have little that add to their previous Blu-Ray releases or beyond. Today, we take a look at all of the Walt Disney Signature Collection releases so far in order of their release, leading right up to the release of The Little Mermaid this month, and measure their merits aside other Disney Blu-Ray releases.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs:
The first film included in the newly-introduced Walt Disney Signature Collections, was, most appropriately Walt Disney’s first feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, re-released on Blu-Ray in 2016. While there’s a wonderful slew of wonderful bonus features, the introductory release of the series is more or less a rehash of Snow White’s previous Blu-Ray release in 2009, with few added bonus features. Snow White is a film that looks gorgeous in its new high-definition transfer, but its quality and added features are very similar to previous releases, ranking the first release far lower than those that follow it.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Walt Disney Signature Collection is available for purchase here.
Beauty and the Beast:
Unfortunately, Beauty and the Beast suffers severely from what many other films in the Walt Disney Signature Collection do, by having old bonus features recycled on this release. Beauty and the Beast primarily include bonus features that were already included on the several Blu-Ray releases before it, with few new additions. Owning this in any format is always a necessity, but if you already bought the film on its previous Blu-Ray release, there’s little here to conjure up a worthy new purchase.
Beauty and the Beast: The Walt Disney Signature Collection is available for purchase online.
The Walt Disney Signature Collection release for Pinocchio is certainly its one of its best. There’s more than a few worthy new bonus features, and those new features are absolutely wonderful and delve deep into Disney heritage and history to provide fans with a sizeable amount of wonderful information and history to please even the most hardcore fans. Like all of the other releases, most of these features are classic ones reused from previous releases, but the new features are wonderful and a giant step forward, making this is the best in the series.
Pinocchio: The Walt Disney Signature Collection is available for purchase here.
Equally wonderful to the release of Pinocchio is the release of Bambi, which has a wonderful blend of classic and new bonus features that delve deep into the production of this film, and the legacy that this golden classic has had upon animation and The Walt Disney Company in the time since its release. Bambi is a technologically brilliant film and well as boasting a spectacular plot structure supported by memorable characters. Bambi’s new release honors the legacy of this great film by exploring the techniques that make it so impressive, making it a brilliant example of what Disney Home Entertainment can showcase through this new in-home series of Blu-Rays.
Bambi: The Walt Disney Signature Collection is available for purchase here.
The Lion King:
Even twenty-five years after the release of the film, The Lion King remains one of Disney’s most brilliant works and a landmark achievement in classic Disney heritage. There is never an instance where having an excuse to rewatch The Lion King is nothing but a wonderful thing, but this release once again does little to elevate the same Blu-Ray release the film had six years prior to it. Most of the bonus features are the same as the classic ones that came before it, but the few that are new to the series are absolutely wonderful. For a full break down of the features found on this release, be sure to check out our full review.
The Lion King: The Walt Disney Signature Collection is available for purchase here.
Lady and the Tramp
This release in The Walt Disney Signature Collection comes just a few years after its previous in-home release, as Lady and the Tramp was just released on the Diamond Collection series in 2015. Sadly, Lady and the Tramp trades hours of features that were on the Diamond release and swaps them for few new ones, only two of which can truly be deemed noteworthy. Those two are Walt and His Dogs, which focuses on Walt’s early boyhood years in Marceline and his own dog, using archival interview audio by Walt. The other feature is hosted by Becky Cline of the Walt Disney Archives, titled Stories from Walt’s Office, featured on the Walt Disney Studios Lot and in Walt’s own office, discovering new archival pieces related to Lady and the Tramp and Beyond.
Ultimately, Lady and the Tramp hits a low in the series, delivering only two great new additions and losing hours of great features from the last release, while the other offerings are solely ‘Song Selections’ and a feature with Oh My Disney personality Alexus Gabrielle in How to Make a Meatball and Other Fun Facts About Lady and the Tramp.
Lady and the Tramp: The Walt Disney Signature Collection is available for purchase here.
Like all of the previous releases on this list, Peter Pan is once again another example of an absolutely wonderful selection of bonus features that are a must own…unless you happen to already own the film on a previous Blu-Ray release. What is new on this collection is wonderful, however, including a new feature titled A Darling Conversation with Wendy and John which interviews the real-life models for the Darling children, and their association with the film, all these years later. Overall, Peter Pan is a wonderful release, although most of it certainly existed far before this release at all.
Peter Pan: The Walt Disney Signature Collection is available for purchase here.
Final Thoughts About ‘The Walt Disney Signature Collection’
Ultimately, The Walt Disney Signature Collection can truly deliver so much more to the fans who would be ecstatic to learn new details about the amazing films deemed worthy to be included under this honorable lineup of films. The Walt Disney Signature Collection represents the very best of Walt Disney Animation Studios, and there is so much to be celebrated about these films, and an endless amount of rich history and archival footage to discover. With future installments of this collection, we can only hope that this signature series bearing Walt Disney’s signature ‘seal of approval’, that we will find new ways to celebrate the legacy of the man who defined animation through great storytelling. More importantly, that fans be given the opportunity to learn more about their favorite films included on these releases in ways they couldn’t learn from if they only owned the films on a previous release. The Walt Disney Signature Collection is set to include many more installments, and while some of it was delivered under what we’ve expected, we still think the best of this collection is still yet to come, and we can’t wait for when it does.