DVD Help & FAQs
What can I do if my DVD is not playing properly?
If you're having trouble playing one of our DVDs, the issue may be resolved with the following troubleshooting tips. If these tips do not resolve your issue, please contact us and we will be happy to provide further assistance.

You may be able to correct this issue with a simple disc cleaning.

To Clean Your Disc:

With a soft, lint-free cloth, wipe gently in a radial direction (a straight line between the hub and the rim). Never clean your disc in a circular direction.

Do not use strong cleaners, abrasives, solvents, or acids.

Do not use canned or compressed air, which can be very cold and may thermally stress the disc.

For stubborn dirt or gummy adhesive, use water, water with mild soap, or isopropyl alcohol. As a last resort, try peanut oil. Let the peanut oil sit on the disc for about one minute before wiping it off.

There are also commercial products available that clean discs and provide some protection from dust, fingerprints, and scratches. Cleaning products labeled for use on CDs will work as well as those that are labeled for DVD use.

Some playback issues may be resolved by resetting your player.

To Reset Your Player:

  • Remove all discs from the player and turn it off.
  • Once the player is turned off, unplug it from the power source. No other cables need to be removed from the player or from other components of your home entertainment system.
  • Please wait five to ten minutes to ensure that your player has reset, and then plug it back into the power source.
  • After the player is plugged in, turn it on as you normally would, put the disc back into the player and see if it will load.

If your disc is scratched or damaged, you can get a replacement for a nominal charge of $6.95 per DVD. For more information on our Disc Replacement Program click here.

How should I care for my DVDs?
Since DVDs are read by a laser, they are resistant - to a point - to fingerprints, dust, smudges, and scratches. However, surface contaminants and scratches can cause playback errors, so it's a good idea to take care of your discs. In general, treat them the same way you would treat a CD:

  • Handle only at the hub or outer edge; don't touch the shiny surface with greasy fingers.
  • Store in a protective case when not in use. Do not bend the disc when taking it out of the case, and be careful not to scratch the disc when placing it in the case or in the player tray. Make certain the disc is properly seated in the player tray before you close it.
Keep away from radiators/heaters, hot equipment surfaces, direct sunlight (near a window or in a car during hot weather), pets, small children, and other destructive forces. Magnetic fields have no affect on DVDs.
What happens if I scratch a disc?
Scratches on a DVD can cause issues with disc playback. Try to clean the disc using a slightly dampened soft cloth or a DVD polishing kit if necessary. In most cases, a severely scratched or damaged DVD will need to be replaced. To take advantage of our replacement program, please follow the instructions below.

US Consumers
Please send the damaged disc(s), a check or money order for $6.95 per DVD disc and $8.95 per Blu-ray disc (made payable to WDSHE) and a completed Disc Replacement Form to:

WDSHE Consumer Relations
Attn: Disc Replacement Program
P.O. Box 3100
Neenah, WI 54957

Canadian Consumers
Please send the damaged disc(s), a check or money order for $6.95 per DVD disc and $8.95 per Blu-ray disc (made payable to WDSHE) and a completed Disc Replacement Form to:

WDSHE Consumer Relations
Attn: Disc Replacement Program
P.O. Box 280
Fort Erie, On L2A 0A6

What is regional coding?

DVDs and DVD players are created for specific regions of the globe due to variations in releases and markets. To properly play a DVD, the DVD player must be the same region as the disc being played. A number in a globe icon identifies the region of both the disc and the player. This region number can be found on both the discs’ packaging and the disc itself. On the DVD player, it is usually displayed on the back panel of the player.

The 8 Regions are listed below:

  • 1: Canada, U.S., and U.S. Territories
  • 2: Japan, Europe, South Africa, and the Middle East (Including Egypt)
  • 3: Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Hong Kong
  • 4: Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean
  • 5: Former Soviet Union, Indian Subcontinent, Africa, North Korea, and Mongolia
  • 6: China
  • 7: Not assigned
  • 8: Special International Venues (airplanes, cruise ships, etc.)
How do the parental control and multi-rating features work?
DVDs include parental management features for blocking playback and for multiple versions of a movie on a single disc. Players (including software players on PCs) can be set to a specific parental level using the onscreen settings. If a disc with a rating above that level is put in the player, it won't play. In some cases, different programs on the disc have different ratings. The level setting can be protected with a password.

A disc can also be designed so that it plays a different version of the movie depending on the parental level that has been set in the player. By taking advantage of the seamless branching feature of DVD, objectionable scenes are automatically skipped over or replaced during playback. This requires that the disc be carefully authored with alternate scenes and branch points that don't cause interruptions or discontinuities in the soundtrack.
Do all DVDs contain language tracks?
In Region 1, the default language track is English on all of our DVDs, and some of our DVDs have Spanish and/or French language tracks or subtitles. Our aim is to include French and Spanish language tracks on our DVDs when possible, though sometimes because of technical, licensing, or other reasons we are unable to do so. To determine whether a movie includes Spanish and/or French language tracks, please visit the All Movies List page.
What is widescreen?
Digital video can be stored on a DVD in 4:3 format (standard TV shape) or 16:9 (widescreen). The width-to-height ratio of standard televisions is 4:3; in other words, 1.33 times wider than high. New widescreen televisions, specifically those designed for HDTV, have a ratio of 16:9, that is, 1.78 times wider than high. 

DVD is specially designed to support widescreen displays. Widescreen 16:9 video, such as from a 16:9 video camera, can be stored on the disc in anamorphic form, meaning the picture is squeezed horizontally to fit the standard 4:3 rectangle, then unsqueezed during playback.

Letterbox means the video is presented in its theatrical aspect ratio, which is wider than standard or widescreen TV. Black bars, called mattes, are used to cover the gaps at the top and bottom. A 1.85 movie that has been letterboxed for 1.33 display has thinner mattes than a 2.4 movie letterboxed to 1.33 (28% of display height vs. 44%), although the former are about the same thickness as those of a 2.4 movie letterboxed to 1.78 (26% of display height). The mattes used to letterbox a 1.85 movie for 1.78 display are so thin (2%) that they're hidden by the overscan of most widescreen TVs. Some movies, especially animated features and European films, have an aspect ratio of 1.66, which can be letterboxed for 1.33 display or sideboxed (or windowboxed) for 1.78 display.

Pan & scan means the thinner TV "window" is panned and zoomed across the wider movie picture, chopping off the sides. However, most movies today are shot soft matte, which means a full 1.33 aspect film frame is used. (The cinematographer has two sets of frame marks in the viewfinder, one for 1.33 and one for 1.85, so they can allow for both formats.) The top and bottom are masked off in the theater, but when the film is transferred to video the full 1.33 frame can be used in the pan & scan process. Pan & scan is primarily used for 1.33 formatting, not for 1.78 formatting, since widescreen fans prefer that letterboxing be used to preserve the theatrical effect.

Once the video is formatted to full-frame or widescreen form, it's encoded and stored on DVD discs. DVD players have four playback modes, one for 4:3 video and three for 16:9 video:

  • Full frame (4:3 video for 4:3 display) 
  • Auto letterbox (16:9 anamorphic video for 4:3 display)
  • Auto pan & scan (16:9 anamorphic video for 4:3 display) 
  • Widescreen (16:9 anamorphic video for 16:9 display)

You can find more information about aspect ratio and widescreen here.

How do I get rid of the black bars at the top and the bottom of the TV screen?
To fill the screen completely there are two different steps you can try. First, your TV may have a button listed as "Format" or "Aspect". Toggling through the different aspects will expand the image to fill the screen. Second, the majority of DVD players can adjust the aspect of the feature by pressing the "Zoom" button on the remote. Each TV and DVD player is different so please refer to the owner’s manual for each piece of equipment for the exact buttons you will need.
Why is the widescreen version making the picture look skinny?
First, check the aspect display setting in your DVD player's set up menu. If you have a square television, this setting should be set to 4x3 Letter Box. If you have a widescreen television, this setting should be set to 16x9. Additionally, ensure that you do not have your DVD player or television in a zoom or stretch mode which may distort the picture.
Why can’t I get some of the older animated movies letterboxed?
The majority of our DVDs are widescreen, but many of our older animated titles such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and Cinderella were created before widescreen was developed and they are shown in their original aspect ratio.
What’s a dual layer disc? Will it work in all players?
A dual-layer disc has two layers of data, one of which is semi-transparent so that the laser can focus through it and read the second layer. Since both layers are read from the same side of the disc, a dual-layer disc can hold almost twice as much data as a single-layer disc, typically 4 hours of video. Many discs use dual layers. The DVD specification requires that players and drives read dual-layer discs.

The disc might pause due to a layer change and that can occur anywhere in the video; it doesn't have to be in between chapters or scenes. There's no guarantee that the switch between layers will be seamless. The layer change is invisible on some players, but it may cause the video to freeze for a fraction of a second or up to 4 seconds on other players. The "seamlessness" depends as much on the way the disc is prepared as on the design of the player. The advantage of two layers is that long movies can use higher data rates for better quality than with a single layer.
Why does the picture fluctuate between light and dark?
The issue of the picture fading in and out is most likely caused by the disc's copyright protection software. This program, called Macrovision, is included on most new titles to help protect the content on the discs. If the player is connected to a recording device such as a VCR, Macrovision will be triggered, causing the picture to be distorted. The only way to ensure that this issue does not occur is to connect the player directly to the television. If your television does not have any open inputs on it, an RF modulator (available at most electronics stores) can be purchased to correct this issue. This will create the proper connection to allow all of your movies to play correctly
Can I copy the content on my DVD?

This Copy Protection icon indicates that the content on the disc is encrypted with protection technology. The disc cannot be copied.

Can I play my DVD movie on a portable media player?

Digital Copy enables buyers of DVDs and Blu-ray discs marked with this logo to access a standard definition, digital version of the movie. Digital Copy is compatible with both iTunes and Windows Media through the use of their respective DRM services, FairPlay and Windows Media DRM. Consumers are provided with a single-use code to authenticate a computer to handle the Digital Copy. This Digital Copy can be accessed on all compliant devices such as a Mac or PC, iPod or iPhone. DRM encrypts the Digital Copy file and prevents it from being played on unauthorized computers or devices..

DisneyFile Digital Copy is the Disney Digital Copy experience, which enables buyers of DVDs and Blu-ray discs marked with this logo to access a standard definition, digital version of the movie.

What type of video technology does a DVD use?

DVD Video is a consumer video format used to store digital video on DVD (DVD-ROM) discs.

Discs marked with this logo play in DVD players, various other media devices marked with this logo, as well as in most Blu-ray players.

What is the encoding system of my DVD?
Video on Blu-ray discs and DVDs is stored in digital format, but is formatted for one of two systems: NTSC or PAL. The system used varies from country to country. Players are typically capable of playing only one of the systems.

NTSC is the format used in the United States, Canada, South America, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, and other countries. In NTSC, 30 frames are transmitted each second and each frame is made up of 525 individual scan lines.

PAL is the predominant format used in most of Europe, Africa, China, India, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, North Korea, and other countries. In PAL, 25 frames are transmitted each second. Each frame is made up of 625 individual scan lines.

What is Disney FastPlay?

Disney's FastPlay is a new technology that puts you in control of your viewing preferences. You can choose to use your remote and navigate through our user-friendly EasyFind menus, or you can simply put in the disk and go sit down and relax and the DVD automatically begins. You don't have to push a button! You can watch the feature presentation just like you would in theaters. After the trailers and feature, stay tuned for an exciting selection of Bonus Features.

Disney's FastPlay technology was designed with families in mind. Many children under 8 years old aren't able to easily navigate a DVD. It also gives parents the option to put a DVD on for their child/children without having to wait and navigate through the Menu. All Disney DVDs that have Disney's FastPlay will be clearly identified on the front of the package, the spine, the back of the package, and on the disc.
What type of sound technology does a DVD use?

Digital Sound
Discs with digital sound offer high quality range, clarity and sound quality. Audio for most movies is stored as discrete, multi-channel surround sound using Dolby Digital or DTS audio compression similar to the digital surround sound formats used in movie theaters.

Dolby Digital
Dolby® Digital technology is an advanced form of digital audio encoding that makes it possible to store and transmit high-quality digital sound far more efficiently than was previously possible. It is currently the surround sound used in most movie theaters and for DVD-Video and Blu-ray.

Using Dolby Digital Plus, Blu-ray can allow for up to 7.1 channels of high definition surround sound.

For additional information, visit the official Dolby.com and Blu-rayDisc.com websites.

DTS Digital Surround
DTS Digital Surround is an alternative and competing format to Dolby Digital. It provides 5.1 channels of discrete digital audio in consumer electronics products and software content.

For additional information, visit the official DTS.com website.

THX Digitally Mastered
THX is a quality assurance system. THX certifies that Blu-Ray Discs/DVDs provide high quality image and sound through the use of THX technology quality control. A disc that has been THX mastered displays the logo above indicating that it has been mastered for superior sound and picture quality.

For additional information, visit the official THX.com website.

Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix
Disney's Enhanced Home Theater Mix is designed to put you in the center of the sound field, making all five surround speakers almost equally active. It provides state of the art digital clarity of sound.

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