November 16, 2001
Universal Studios Home Video Releases Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas™ on a Fully Accessible DVD
Universal Studios Home Video and the Media Access Group at WGBH collaborate on access features, including audio description and "talking menus"
Boston, MA — The Collector's Edition DVD of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, from Universal Studios Home Video, will be available on Tuesday, November 20 at DVD retailers nationwide. The new release is the first of its kind – a Hollywood film made fully accessible on DVD – featuring description, audio navigation and captions for viewers who have vision or hearing loss. The Media Access Group at WGBH worked with Universal on both the descriptions and audio navigation features.
The enhanced Collector's Edition DVD (full screen version) offers video description for viewers who are blind or visually impaired, as well as captioning for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. It also offers an audio navigation feature – or "talking menu" – enabling viewers who are blind or visually impaired to access the DVD's multiple menu options without the assistance of a sighted person. Users can access this audio navigation feature by pressing "1" plus the "Enter" or "Select" button on the player's remote control once the disc begins playing. These features also are available within the DVD's "bonus materials" menu. In addition to the full-length film description, audible menus, captioning and Surround Sound, this deluxe disc includes a selection of special features, such as deleted scenes and outtakes, background on the making of the film, a music video of the theme song sung by Faith Hill, information about the cast and filmmakers and more – all of which are both described and captioned.
Due to their enhanced technological capacity, DVDs have become a phenomenally popular consumer product, and demand is growing for studios to develop more fully accessible DVDs in the future. According to Media Access Group/Services Director Lori Kay, "The Media Access Group at WGBH was thrilled to work with Universal Studios Home Video to make this popular family film more accessible to audiences with vision or hearing loss. We look forward to working with Universal, and other studios, in the future to make description and the audible navigation system a standard DVD feature."
Directed by Ron Howard and starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch, this PG-rated, live action film is a remake of the animated TV favorite based on a children's book by Dr. Seuss. Released in theaters in 2000, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas went on to gross $265 million at the box office – making it the most successful holiday film in history. For more information about the film, visit http://www.universalpictures.com.
Media Access Group at WGBHThe Media Access Group at WGBH, with offices in Boston, Los Angeles and New York, is a non-profit service of Boston public broadcaster WGBH. The service group includes Descriptive Video Service, which has made television, film, video, and now DVDs more enjoyable to viewers who are blind or visually impaired since 1990, as well as The Caption Center – the world's first captioning agency – founded in 1972. The third branch of the Media Access Group, the CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media, is a research, development and advocacy entity that works to make existing and emerging technologies accessible to all audiences. Members of the Group's collective staff represent the leading resources and experts in their fields. For more information, visit http://access.wgbh.org.
ContactMary Watkins, Media Access Group at WGBH