P.O. Box 11703
Stanford CA 94309
Buena Vista/Walt Disney Pictures
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
Buena Vista/Walt Disney Pictures,
My name is Nicole Torcolini. I thoroughly enjoy the movies that the company produces. However, lately, a problem has developed that causes myself and thousands
of others to not only not fully enjoy movies but to even find watching movies frustrating.
You might ask how this could possibly be. I and thousands of
others are blind. We cannot enjoy movies if the movies do not have video description tracks (an extra track, added onto the main soundtrack, of narrations
of key visual elements, such as actions, costumes, gestures, and scene changes), the exclusion of which has now become the norm with the transition to
I, and thousands of others, ask that Disney consider including video description tracks on the DVD’s.
If you wonder if video description tracks are really necessary to understand what is happening, consider watching one of the Disney movies with your eyes
shut. There are so many details that are conveyed visually, but not audibly, that it is impossible to understand what is going on at any given moment,
much less understand the entire plot. Take Pirates of the Caribbean as an example. In the opening scene, how is a person who is blind supposed to know
that there is an upside down umbrella floating in the water or that, more importantly, Will is wearing the pirate medallion or that Elizabeth sees the
Black Pearl? I could go on for pages about all of the minute, yet important, details in so many of the scenes of just that movie alone that people who
are blind cannot detect without video description.
Naturally, you would ask why, if description is so important, a person who is blind cannot just have a sighted person describe the movie? Have you ever
played the role of either the describer or the person to whom the movie is being described? For both, the experience can be very frustrating.
Again, consider Pirates of the Caribbean. Having never before seen it, would you be able to comprehend and describe all of the actions–Jack kicking free the pin holding
down the cannon, Jack throwing the coin to Will–before the next action? Furthermore, imagine seeing the scene with the skeleton crew on board the Black
Pearl with Elizabeth and trying to recover from the revelation in time to explain before the pirates start throwing Elizabeth around. And how does this
leave the person to whom the movie is being described feeling? Lost, confused, frustrated, excluded. What is so funny? What is so shocking? Why is Elizabeth
screaming? Those very elements that are meant to stir emotion are the ones that also leave a person dumb struck for the moment, making them unable to describe
whatever it is that has just happened.
I hope that Disney will consider including video description tracks on DVD, baring in mind the situation described above.
Sign the petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/dvddvs/
The Video Description Petition to Disney was created by and written by Nicole Torcolini (firstname.lastname@example.org).