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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
AUJ SEE: Stop version madness and menu cheapness!


Jul 25 2013, 1:01pm

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AUJ SEE: Stop version madness and menu cheapness! Can't Post

With the theatrical home video release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey the audiences witnessed something unique. Whereas usually a title gets released with a similar cover design throughout the world, the amount of different cover artworks, package types and release dates for TH:AUJ was overwhelming and very distracting. The release date was somewhere between March (USA) and May (Australia, NZ) - more than a month's span! Also, almost each country had its own cover artwork as well as additional editions (4 steelbook editions in France alone!).

Despite this diversity in terms of packaging, the release per se made a rather cheap impression. The menu was just some uninspired collage with static subscreens, as opposed to the excellent LOTR TE DVD menus. Menus on non-US-releases were even worse: they had purple all-purpose buttons and Arial font on the menu points overlayed. The disc labels were simple black for the most countries AUJ was released in.

The Hobbit AUJ disc menu (non-US)

As far as the SEE is concerned, we already have an announcement for a UK steelbook box, which for me is a clear hint that Warner still has no idea how to market this film, and is likely to continue the same approach with a multitude of different editions, packagings etc.

If you remember the theatrical DVDs for "The Lord of the Rings": they all were quite similar in design. Also, they were released on a single day worldwide, even though the release was handled by many small release independent companies (as opposed to Warner who owns The Hobbit almost worldwide). They also had all the same menu designs.

As I think, the basic idea behind the menu and package design of LOTR TE / LOTR SEE on DVD was to give the audience a feeling of an "exquisite framing" for the content by assessing what the makers of the discs would like to see themselves. For instance, animated menus can be very annoying if you have to navigate through several screens of them, and have overlong transitions between these screens. On LOTR the transitions are still there but they are meticulously timed to be not intrusive. And the menus are done in such a stylish and elegant way that it is a joy just watching them.

The Fellowship of the Ring TE DVD Menu

Also, considering the package design: if anyone still owns the LOTR SEE DVD (as I do) - they are still a pleasure to hold in the hand, a truly elegant design made for collectors. (There was some difference between the normal SEE editions and Giftset SEE editions in Europe where the normal SEE was made of thinner cardboard - however, the design and the gold lettering were still the same). And the SEE is, in fact, per se targeted for collectors as opposed to the majority who is just happy with the TE.

So what I suggest:

There should be just one great design for the SEE, like it was the case with the LOTR SEE DVD editions. Or two variations of this design - for there should be a LOTR-like giftset as well. One which would deserve this name.
This package design should mirror the design of the available LOTR SEE DVDs (not the BluRays, mind ye - they suck in comparison).

The menus should reflect the same approach the LOTR SEEs used to have. Michael Pellerin is already involved in the documentaries - let him do the production for the SEE as well! The menus of the LOTR SEE DVDs were state of the art in terms of elegance, the amount of thought put into programming and the structuring of the bonus features. Although animated, the menus were never annoying.
Also, there should be no qualitative difference between English-language menus and non-English menus - that's cheap.

LOTR SEE DVD menu design: a piece of art in itself

By doing this, Warner would show:
- That the label actually knows what it does when it tries to market The Hobbit;
- That it recognizes that the target area for the SEE are collectors who mind such aspects;
- That it cares about giving the target audience what it wants: excellent content put into an exquisite framing;
- and that the label releasing the SEE is not cheap.

Russian LOTR & Hobbit Site: Henneth-Annun.ru

(This post was edited by TheHutt on Jul 25 2013, 1:02pm)

Subject User Time
AUJ SEE: Stop version madness and menu cheapness! TheHutt Send a private message to TheHutt Jul 25 2013, 1:01pm
    I agree about the menus Shagrat Send a private message to Shagrat Jul 25 2013, 1:07pm
        Retailer exclusives are evil TheHutt Send a private message to TheHutt Jul 25 2013, 1:15pm
    Not just TH LordotRings93 Send a private message to LordotRings93 Jul 25 2013, 2:29pm
        Many of their releases are poor, however... AlatarVinyamar Send a private message to AlatarVinyamar Jul 25 2013, 3:02pm
            Bomby sooo Hopes that the Extended Edition Bombadil Send a private message to Bombadil Jul 25 2013, 4:28pm
                Likewise Arandir Send a private message to Arandir Jul 25 2013, 6:27pm
            While I would love a boxset like this DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Jul 25 2013, 7:33pm
                Actually its not that bad AlatarVinyamar Send a private message to AlatarVinyamar Jul 25 2013, 10:49pm
    Good thoughts Ham_Sammy Send a private message to Ham_Sammy Jul 25 2013, 2:31pm
    All this is the one reason I wish Disney was involved with these films sycorax82 Send a private message to sycorax82 Jul 25 2013, 2:49pm
    I agree 100% sauget.diblosio Send a private message to sauget.diblosio Jul 25 2013, 2:58pm
    Great comparison (and contrast)! Arandir Send a private message to Arandir Jul 25 2013, 6:28pm
    . kbdiggity Send a private message to kbdiggity Jul 26 2013, 2:47am
        SEE TheHutt Send a private message to TheHutt Jul 26 2013, 6:06am
            . kbdiggity Send a private message to kbdiggity Jul 26 2013, 6:09am
                Well, there was one anyway TheHutt Send a private message to TheHutt Jul 26 2013, 6:57am
    This article as a guest article on TORN TheHutt Send a private message to TheHutt Jul 28 2013, 3:09pm


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