Tag Archives: Disney xD

Disney Rolls Out XD Web Portal to UK Audience

7 Dec

Is it even meaningful to talk about rolling out a web site to a particular country, since the interweb doesn’t know many geographical boundaries? Let’s just for a moment pretend it is, so I can link to Mashable’s article about Disney rolling out its XD web portal/community to the United Kingdom (sent to me by the wonderful Mr Broke Hoedown):

Disney is gearing up for its UK launch, focusing on its Xtreme Digital portal that’s aimed at children. Rolled out earlier this year in the U.S., Xtreme Digital is a semi-customizable network for children to interact with Disney-branded content, chat with others, and view short film and television clips and podcasts.

This very regulated community will be spread across Europe in the coming months, with initiatives in France, Italy, Germany and Spain. In true Disney nature, the main focus of its Internet initiative will remain on its core brand. This rather sheltered approach has worked pretty well for Disney and enables the company to maintain its image, which is among the most important aspects of its brand management.

Now, I know at least one young blogger who’s not impressed by the user interface design of Disney XD: The Watchamacallit. Let’s review:

They want you to watch this video, listen to this song, chat on their single board, play this game, and rate all of them at the same time. Now I know why they bought Club Penguin. Seriously, If you can figure out how to do things one at a time, than great for you. for every one who isn’t at that level of 1337-ness, just avoid it.

Mashable goes on to remind us that Disney plans to ultimately deliver full-length films on XD. I imagine that’ll be the killer app, especially if televisions and computers eventually converge more effectively. But for the moment, I do believe the kids are still flocking to other kids-oriented sites, at least until they’re old enough to lie about their ages and hop onto FaceBook.

Pirates of the Caribbean, Ratatouille on Disney xD

2 May

Disney Insider today includes a link to a “behind the scenes” video plugging Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, as part of the Disney xD beta web site. And as of May 1, there’s a 9-minute clip from Ratatouille available as well, which is follwed by an especially cool short on the modeling under the animation. Gotta love it when the software engineers get their day in the spotlight! Go go code monkeys!

Disney xD beta is reasonably good at delivering good quality, relatively high-resolution video. Given that I’ve been on the couch watching back episodes of Lost on ABC.com’s online video viewer (curse you, bronchitis!!), I can’t help but compare the two (and of course, the fact that both sites are coming out of the same parent company invites comparison anyway). ABC lets you go full-screen, with whatever loss of image quality results, while Disney xD seems to be constraining the image size to the actual pixels of the video, giving you better quality images but perhaps not as large an image as you’d prefer. And maybe it’s not a coincidence that this means Disney xD still has plenty of room on your screen for ads.

kottke.org today implies that the Ratatouille clip might not be viewable on Disney xD by those outside the US, and provided the link to this YouTube (which sadly does not include the second clip about the awesomeness of software engineers):

I was able to find the POTC behind-the-scenes video there as well:

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