“Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.”
The Walt Disney Company has been a pillar of creativity since its inception in 1923. However, as Walt’s words above show, the company has also been at the forefront of technological advancements for more than 100 years. From the multiplane camera to the countless innovations crafted by Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney has kept its aim constantly focused on the future.
That focus continues Friday as Disney+ launches on Apple’s revolutionary spatial computer — the Apple Vision Pro.
“Disney stands out in the media industry because we’re a company that sits at the intersection of groundbreaking technology with unparalleled creativity,” said Aaron LaBerge, President & CTO, Disney Entertainment & ESPN. “Now, with Apple Vision Pro, we’re able to bring the experience with our stories into a whole new dimension of immersion.”
So, what does this mean for consumers? Imagine watching a drive-in movie of Star Wars: The Force Awakens from an X-34 landspeeder during a binary sunset or catching Tony Stark’s home movies of Avengers: Endgame in front of a sparkling midtown Manhattan skyline (not to mention, an imposing nearby Hulkbuster).
That’s the immersion that Disney+ environments offer on the Apple Vision Pro, because at launch, viewers can transform their space into one of four Disney+ environments, all brought to life by the amazing creatives at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM): There’s the aforementioned far, far away galaxy of Star Wars’ Tatooine and the heights of Marvel’s Avengers Tower. Those offerings are joined by the zany Scare Floor of Monsters Inc. and the opulent Disney+ Theater, inspired by Hollywood’s iconic El Capitan Theatre.
Viewers will be able to watch 42 Disney films in stunning 3D such as blockbusters Avatar: The Way of Water, Black Panther, Inside Out, and 2019’s The Lion King. Also, users who previously purchased Disney movies that include 3D versions from the Apple TV app will be able to access those versions on Apple Vision Pro at no additional cost.
The 3D films will use Dolby Vision, Multiview High Efficiency Video Coding (MV-HEVC), UHD resolution in HDR, and at a high frame rate for several titles. This will ensure that the creator’s vision is intact and fully preserved for the best possible viewing experience.
“We’re so excited about the new frontiers of storytelling that platforms like Vision Pro will open to us,” said Jamie Voris, EVP and CTO at The Walt Disney Studios. “Spatial computing will allow us to bring our characters and stories to life in ways that were previously impossible – taking you to amazing places or enabling you to experience unbelievable things, all while bringing you closer to the people you care about.”
Voris added that “Disney and Apple have a decades-long history of close partnership, and this collaboration has been an extraordinary example of what’s possible when the best and brightest minds come together, all in service of great storytelling.”
Disney’s brand, stories, and fortitude to look towards the future are what make it the premier creative company in all of entertainment as well as a destination and partner for various other companies inventing the next storytelling platforms.
“We’re a storytelling company first,” LaBerge said. “But we have incredible technological know-how and sophistication. Add to that, a legacy and culture of always seeking new ways to entertain, inform, and inspire.”
According to Alisa Bowen, the president of Disney+, Apple Vision Pro “enables the most incredibly immersive experience of any in home device available.”
“We can’t wait to see the reaction to this technology, as it brings viewers right into the story like never before, up close to our characters, their emotions and all the action,” she said. “It will let them rediscover their favorites all over again.”
Bowen added, “At Disney+, we’ve always taken great pride in leading the way with the magic that comes from blending tech and creativity, which is why it was so important to us to be on Apple Vision Pro at launch, and partner with Apple to pioneer this next wave of streaming innovation.”
As exciting as the launch is, LaBerge noted that the partnership with the Apple Vision Pro represents another step in the future of how technology can enable experiences with stories.
“This is just the beginning,” he explains. “When you think about what we can dream up for new product elements and types of storytelling created with these capabilities in mind, or for sports, or next-generation park experiences… the possibilities are so exciting.”