Why are there suddenly loads of cheap Disney DVDs in Japan?

When the 250 to 500 yen copies of Bambi, Snow White, Cinderella, Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland and Fantasia starting appearing in secondhand shops I just assumed they were all pirate copies from China or Russia (which do sometimes appear in Book Off) and ignored them. One day I noticed that some of them were published by Toho, a proper film company, and took a closer look. According to the back of the boxes they have appeared because in Japan copyright has lapsed on those titles and so it’s all legit. Although the picture and sound quality aren’t as good as Disney DVDs, let alone remastered ones, they are much better than most pirate DVDs and all have proper dual sound and subtitles. Dumbo only cost my 500 yen but is now officially my daughter’s favourite film!



  1. CJ said,

    December 17, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    They cost 80-120 yen in China & the quality is excellent…

  2. alexcase said,

    December 30, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    I should add that it is odd they all appeared at the same time despite having different release dates and so presumably their copyright protection running out at different times. I can only assume they changed the law, there was a lawsuit, or (most likely in Japan) there was guidance from the relevant ministry

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