Scottie (who knows far more about films than I will probably ever know) was kind enough to offer a carefully considered response to my post on Disney DVDs which due to some stupidity on my part was lost. Here it is:
It is quite simple really, by placing them on monotorium (or back “into the vault”) from time to time they can be repromoted after the 6-10 years.. with all new restorations and whatnot. They are usually on the market for a good 12 months prior to being discontinued. And about thirty major titles have made an appearance in some form on DVD before being put back.
You’re not missing too much wrt Disney Animation – The best are Dumbo (recently released on DVD), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – been back in the vault for nearly four years. Bambi, Pinocchio, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin – should be available if you look hard and Tarzan (which would be a modern classic, if it weren’t for Rosie O’Donnell and the pointless musical interlude halfway through) – have a rummage on online shops.
Fantasia is in another class, and unavailable for nearly five years. (as soon as it’s announced again, you can bet your ass I’ll have it.)
And of course the Pixar films, of which The Incredibles is by far the best and easiest to obtain.
eBay is your friend, but be warned about bootlegs – especially early DVD stuff like The Little Mermaid, due for re-release in 2006, along with The Jungle Book and Lady and the Tramp.
(Sorry for the inexcusable delay in uploading this)