The Kidification of DVD Covers from Movie Posters

DVD Covers 6

I was recent sent a collection of side-by-sides fashioned here which makes an observation I haven’t noticed because I haven’t bought a DVD in probably a decade.

He points out a disparity between the often artistic movie posters for a lot of kids movies, and then their eventual DVD cover counterparts. One is classy, the other is a collection of bright colors and smiling faces, including all the minor characters shoved onto the cover.

For more examples of what I mean, you can see them all in a gallery below:


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  1. I would summarise it thusly:

    Theatrical poster: What’s going to happen?
    DVD/VHS: Remember this happened?

    That’s about it. Also, I have the original VHS for The Lion King. The cover displayed is not the right one.

  2. I think I understand the phenomena. When a poster is made for theatres, the audience has little knowledge of the actual film, having not yet seen it. Thay’re trying to imply a sense of mystery; a tease, piquing your curiosity. This explains why sillhouettes are such a huge cliche and why only a few, if any, characters appear.

    Once the movie is released on DVD, they’re banking on the hope that most of you have seen the movie and are endeared to its story or characters, and try to use that familiarity to pull you in for a purchase.

    But yes, it is a shame.

    Especially that Mulan poster; that looked awesome.

  3. Moire: Your summary is the exact marketing philosophy behind theatrical posters and home video cover art. I remember reading an article that used the “Up” poster/cover as an example.

  4. This is not “kidification”. It’s simply marketing. Theatrical posters are selling a mystery and a sense of wonder. DVD covers are selling the characters that children already know.

  5. Great comments, but I think one further point is missing: Movies get many posters. The teaser posters are usually more artful and mysterious, but closer to release you start to see more character-heavy posters, in films for all ages.

    Oblivion is a great example: The first posters were of a desolate wasteland Earth, with a lonely figure, whereas the second wave are much less interesting portraits of Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman.

  6. I think Moire nailed it on the head. The movie poster is displayed to peak your curiosity so that you want to see it. The DVD is bright and has to stand out on the shelf.

    And Preston, what’s actually your point? It doesn’t say Disney movie anywhere in the article.

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