Joe Clark: Media access

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DVDs with audio description

Updated 2004.11.04

DVDs with audio description

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Listings have now moved

Listings have now been moved to Wikipedia. You can not only read the listings there, you can edit them yourself. Old listings are available for historical interest.


It is virtually impossible to answer the question “Which DVDs have audio description tracks?” from the bits and pieces available online. As a service, I have assembled every bit and piece I can come up with and offer this page as a comprehensive listing of every DVD known to carry audio description (for blind and visually-impaired viewers, canonically).



Oh, do you want a literary example? We do have one of those. Opening paragraph of “Datum centurio” by David Foster Wallace:

From Leckie & Webster’s Connotationally Gender-Specific Lexicon of Contemporary Usage, a 600 GB DVD3 Product with 1.6 GB of Hyperavailable Hot Text Keyed to 11.2 GB of Contextual, Etymological, Historical, Usage, and Gender-Specific Connotational Notes, Available Also with Lavish Illustrative Support in All 5 Major Sense-Media [compatible hardware required], © 2096 by R. Leckie DataFest Unltd. (NYPHDC/US/4Grid).

Yes, I think that’s the sort of thing we’re looking for here. 660 GB of hyperavailable hot text might just be enough for all the dubbing and description tracks we need.


Unlike captioning, most of whose users are hearing, most audio-description viewers actually are blind or visually-impaired. Visual interfaces are inaccessible to blind people to varying degrees.

Home players

Software players

Audiovisual menus

Language settings


Yet again, there is no standard used in DVD marketing or labeling.

As I have explained at exhausting length elsewhere, the one and only generic term for audio description is audio description.

However, in DVD marketing and labeling, one sees a range of notations:

It is thus very hard to do a Web search to locate accessible DVDs by keyword because no one is using the same keywords.

Also, it goes without saying that printed labels are useless to blind people and not very useful to visually-impaired people. It would be difficult to browse through a video store, reading package after package and hoping to strike it big. This page gives you a list of titles and Web links to choose from directly. It becomes possible to walk into a store and ask for a specific title, or order online.


We have an interesting experiment available to us: DVDs of the same film with different description tracks. In the current listing, only Tarzan is in that category (Region 1; Region 2).

Duplicate VHS titles are more common. All of these titles were described both by DVS and by RNIB:

  1. Aladdin
  2. Cinderella
  3. English Patient
  4. Full Monty
  5. Lady and the Tramp
  6. Lion King
  7. Mary Poppins
  8. Mrs Doubtfire
  9. Mulan
  10. Pocahontas
  11. The Little Mermaid
  12. Pretty Woman
  13. Ransom
  14. The Rock
  15. Santa Clause
  16. Sixth Sense
  17. Toy Story
  18. Toy Story 2

RNIB and DVS have both described [Her Majesty] Mrs. Brown, but it’s available on home video only from RNIB; DVS and TheatreVision have both described Titanic, but only TheatreVision has VHS rights. DVS and TheatreVision both described Dinosaur. But those versions are not available on VHS from both providers.

In all these cases, it becomes possible to compare one description approach and style against another.

Change history

Added notation that listings have now moved.
Added a couple of more Shouldas.
Added The Grinch
Added Final Fantasy to MoPix shouldas. Fixed Star Wars listing.
Corrected a raft of mistakes and made miscellaneous additions.
Updated discussion of language codes.
After finding life too short to look up all the previously-described Hollywood movies without description on DVD, I did it anyway.

Listings: Region 1, Region 2