Disney’s Fast Play (Or Marketing of a Flipped Bit)

My wife and I are huge Disney movie fans. Grew up on ’em and our son — Roger — gets a healthy dose of Disney movies because we enjoy them so much.

Now, anyone who has consumed a Disney DVD in the last 5 years has likely been annoyed that the rat bastards producing the DVDs stuck a good 10 to 20 minutes worth of previews at the beginning of the flick and disabled the menu button to bypass the previews (track forward works, generally, but that is awfully annoying).

We received Chicken Little from Netflix today and I noticed that it features “Disney’s Fast Play Technology”.

When inserted, you get the choice between “Fast Play” and “Main Menu”.

If you make the mistake of hitting “Fast Play”, you get upwards of 10 minutes of promo crap before the movie starts — just like before.

If you hit “main menu” you get, well, the main menu from which you can actually play the movie directly.

That’s right. Fast Play is the slow way to the feature.

So, not only has Disney added a feature that should have been present from the beginning — enabling the menu button all the time — but they have managed to make it so totally bass ackwards as to leave one wondering exactly how bad the crack was that the producers and marketeers were clearly smoking. The damned bit got inverted between implementation and marketing.

While completely a marketing gimmick, that is no excuse for going out of their ways to make the UI as confusing as possible. From a design perspective, this is just plain stupid and actually worse than the original linear force-the-marketing-pap-on-the-consumer implementation.

Idiots.



7 Responses to “Disney’s Fast Play (Or Marketing of a Flipped Bit)”

  1. Dan Grassi says:

    Related marketing hype, which USB speed is faster: High Speed or Full Speed? According to these people ship’s captains should be saying “Fast Speed ahead”, not “Full Speed ahead” in the movies when being pursuing the enemy in combat.

  2. Lee Phillips says:

    Often the “next chapter” button works, and is much less annoying than “track forward”: you can get past the advertising in a few seconds.

  3. Manton Reece says:

    I agree that it’s mostly a lame marketing gimmick. I think the idea behind Fast Play is that you can insert the DVD and it will start playing through the previews and then start the movie without you having to touch the remote control. Maybe “Auto Play” would have been a better name. Essentially they took a possibly useful feature and corrupted it.

    Being an old Laserdisc fan, I was hoping DVDs would take the same approach of zero previews, just real content, but that hope died pretty quickly. Every once in a while you might still find a DVD that puts the previews underneath a menu item where they belong.

  4. Cameron Hayne says:

    Rob Griffiths posted about this same issue back in March:
    http://www.robservatory.com/archives/2006/03/22/how-to-not-fast-play-a-disney-dvd/

  5. Dad says:

    and that is y i only watch Roy Rogers DVD’s, oh, and yes, KILL BILL 1 & 2 of course.

  6. James Kew says:

    Related marketing hype, which USB speed is faster: High Speed or Full Speed?

    To be fair, that’s more a case of USB-IF painting themselves into a nomenclature corner than of marketing hype. The USB 1.0 spec defined only Full-Speed and Low-Speed USB (12Mbps and 1.5Mbps) modes; thus sticking them with the question of what to call the 480Mbps mode added in USB 2.0.

    Still ongoing, of course; USB 3.0 adds Super-Speed.

  7. Bill says:

    My wife points out this is a feature – the entertainment lasts longer as our kids happily watch the previews.

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