John Lasseter has become one of the first filmmakers to embrace Blu-ray in the same way helmers have coveted DVD.
Disney's toon guru, for example, created rich bonus features for last November's Blu-ray version of "Cars," and proceeded to enthusiastically show them off to assorted members of the press.
Among his fave extras: a Car Finder game designed to showcase the more than 200 automotive extras that appear over the course of the film, each with their own personalities and backstories, and the Cine-Explore feature, which allows viewers to watch a docu on the making of the pic, while also watching the movie itself.
Neither of these features is available on the earlier released standard DVD version of "Cars."
But most of all, he's jazzed about the higher resolution Blu-ray supports, declaring it a reason in and of itself for consumers to upgrade.
Lasseter has pledged his Blu-ray support for all future toons.
So far, Lasseter and Disney are putting their money where their mouths are. "Ratatouille," the studio's Oscar-winning toon, debuted on Blu-ray the same time as "Cars" and also contained a series of extras not found on the DVD version. Its features include a game and the Cine-Explore feature, stocked with animation briefings, docu shorts and an R.I.P. graveyard for deleted scenes.
A Blu-ray version of "WALL-E" is expected later this year, and high-def versions of catalog Pixar toons such as "Finding Nemo," the all-time top seller on DVD, are also in the works. POV
: "He puts so much detail in his movies that people don't see," notes Disney-DVD and Blu-ray production topper Andy Siditsky.