Disney Removes Closed Captioning From "Up" Rental Release

Imagine you’re deaf or hard of hearing, and put off watching Pixar’s “Up” until the DVD release. You rent the DVD from Netflix, Redbox, or Blockbuster, and the box or Web listing promises captions. But when you settle in to watch the movie, you discover that there are no captions to be found. Not in any language.

One reader posted his story on Livejournal:

So I rented the movie Up off of Netflix. Came in the day it was released in stores. Stick the disc into my player…

No closed captions.

Flick through the subtitle menu on the DVD player…

No subtitles either.

Apparently, as I’m gathering from some Twitter searches, Disney (who handles the distribution of Pixar’s movies) released a special bare-bones version of the DVD to major rental businesses- Netflix, Redbox, and Blockbuster are all confirmed- that not only lacks the bonus shorts from the retail DVD, but even lacks the closed-captioning. Which is, y’know, half the reason I rented the DVD in the first place rather than going to see it at the dollar theater.


I’m going to be checking to see if my local indie rental store has a retail copy of the DVD; I’ve got confirmation that that version, at least, is captioned.

Seriously, Disney? What were you thinking?!

Apparently, a special rental market version of the DVD was produced, which lacks pretty much all of the special features.

Netflix, at least, doesn’t promise English-language captions on their page for “Up.” It lists the DVD’s features as:

Other features:
Color; interactive menus; scene access.

French, Spanish

However, readers claim that the rental version of the DVD lacks both the interactive menus and the foreign language subtitles.

We haven’t confirmed this, but one Twitter user claims that a Disney customer service representative told him that the rental version lacks DVD bonus features for marketing reasons.

I called the Disney support phone # from their website (yay for WebCaptel!) When I told her why I was calling she said “Yes, we know.” She went on to say that it was a marketing decision to remove all special features, apparently they saw SDH [subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing] as a special feature.

In other words, if you want the DVD extras, fancy menus, and captions, you’ll have to buy the retail version of “Up.” This makes sense from a marketing perspective, but isn’t fair to those customers who use and need captions.

(Photo: [sic])