Disney "Aladdin" DVD Prices--Genie Inflation?

The price of Disney’s Aladdin on dvd has skyrocketed, online.
Is this somehow connected to Robin Williams’s will?
Or just the nostalgia?

It was recently re-released from the Disney Vault, as part of the Diamond Edition. It looks like you can’t buy the DVD separate from the Blu-Ray anymore, they both come in the same pack, so the Blu-Ray Diamond Edition is what you should be looking for, which are reasonably affordable.

Prices on earlier DVD-only packs are those released 15 years or more ago, so are opportunistic and unrealistic prices that can safely be ignored.

It looks like the DVD-only copy is hard to come by right now (though not officially back in the Disney Vault yet), but the Blu-ray + DVD pack is still available:

Even in the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, the DVD doesn’t contain the Robin Williams outtakes. I was very off-put by that. Guess I’ll have to wait until I get a Blu-ray player to see them. (Or maybe they’re on YouTube.)

You’d think releasing from the Vault would make it less expensive, though, since now there’s a fresh supply. So I think it is “Genie inflation” and Disney’s move to capitalize on it–long enough after Williams’s death so as not to seem crass.

Huh? The Blu-ray is freely available. You can walk down to your local Target and pick one up for $15 or so right now.

The DVDs for all their Diamond Edition re-releases were always considered an afterthought. It’s not surprising that they’re hard to find.

Probably not, probably it’s their stupid vault model. I wanted to buy Beauty and The Beast last month, and it was $155! Now it’s over $160. Got it used on eBay instead.

Those high prices aren’t helping Disney. They don’t make more money because somebody buys a “rare” copy of Beauty and the Beast.

The idea of doing their vault is to have a way to get interest when they reprint their archived films. It’s hard to get people excited when you release a 50+ year old movie, but Disney’s used artificial scarcity pretty effectively.

Wasn’t here some uproar about how Arabs were portrayed in the original? Does the original DVD have the unaltered version, making it a rarity?

That uproar was 25 years ago and all home video versions have used the edited line for the first song.

Yeah, I have the very first edition of the DVD and the song was changed for that. It was not changed on the first soundtrack CD, though.

I want my DVD of “Song of the South”. I haven’t seen it since 1956!

there’s a Japanese laserdisc release of Song of the South
it’s rare and expensive though

It definitely wouldn’t have any connection to Williams’ will. Williams famously feuded with Disney over the success of Aladdin. He was paid a flat fee for the performance, $100,000 I think, with no points or bonuses based on box office. When the film turned out to be a surprise mega-blockbuster he asked for more compensation and Disney initially weaseled out of it, citing the standard ‘creative bookkeeping / we didn’t make that much on it’ line.

Legally Williams didn’t have a leg to stand on, but Disney then also threw salt in the wound by dismissing his complaints as him just being greedy and trying to downplay Williams’ role in the film’s huge success. And let’s face it, his manic performance was 99% of the reason for its success. He refused to reprise the role for the direct-to-video sequel Aladdin II, Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson) did his best Robin Williams impression for it, but they eventually settled things (he did do the third film). But his estate has no claim to the first film’s future earnings.

It wasn’t Williams’s greed that led to the falling out with Disney. He voiced Genie for SAG scale both as a favor (Disney-owned Touchstone Pictures produced “Good Morning Vietnam” during some hard times for Williams.) and he liked the overall art and tradition of animation.
Two conditions were broken by Jeffrey Katzenberg, then chief of Disney Animation. Williams’s voice wasn’t supposed to be used for promotion, and the Genie character couldn’t be prominently featured in advertising.
I get both sides. The character was to charismatic to ignore. But basic promises were broken.
Disney was at its height of artistic and legalistic cynicism under Katzenberg and Eisner at the time. It took years and a regime change to repair the damage.
Katzenberg replacement Joe Roth, who had previously greenlit “Mrs. Doubtfire,” made nice and things went well (Williams replaced Castaneda for one Aladdin sequel and did the Hollywood Pictures movie “Jack”) until yet another falling out over “Bicentennial Man.” Bob Iger was able to miraculously be not-Michael-Eisner in time for all to be happy before Williams’s death.

The timing for a “vault” rerelease of Aladdin may or may not be coincidental. But high costs for previous releases isn’t Disney’s fault.
In any case, content is the largely the same for new formats, but not always. For example I will forever cling to my 2002 DVD edition of “Beauty and the Beast” for the work in progress version of the film originally shown at the New York Film Festival prior to the theatrical release.