Joe Clark: Media access

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DVDs with audio descriptionListings → Region 2

Updated 2003.04.07

DVDs with audio description

Listings have now moved

Listings have now been moved to Wikipedia. You can not only read the listings there, you can edit them yourself.

For historical completeness, here are the old, outdated lists.

Region 2

Region 2 includes Europe and Japan. Discs for Europe are usually in the PAL television format, while discs for Japan are almost always in NTSC. Many European DVD players can play NTSC discs, which, additionally, are the only kind of discs (irrespective of region) that can include Line 21 closed captions.

Most IMDB and Amazon listings fail to mention description; I had to look for reviews and other corroboration. Relevant links are given anyway.

U.K. releases

Let’s start off with a history of additions to this section.

  1. Chicken Run (2001.10.08)
  2. Crimson Tide(2003.04.07)
    • Confirmed at BBC
  3. Croupier (2002.07.23)
  4. Dancer in the Dark (2001.10.08)
  5. Dead Poets Society (2003.04.07)
    • Confirmed at BBC
  6. Die Hard with a Vengeance (2003.04.07)
    • Confirmed at BBC
  7. East is East (2001.10.08)
    • No mention at IMDB listing
    • No other confirmation
    • Comments: Believed to be the very first Region 2 DVD with description
    • Description provider: RNIB
  8. Enemy at the Gates (2002.07.23)
  9. Enemy of the State (2002.07.23)
    • No mention at Amazon
    • No independent confirmation
    • Description provider: RNIB
  10. Gangster Nº 1 (2001.10.08)
  11. The Hole (2002.07.23)
  12. The House of Mirth (2001.10.08)
  13. Iris (2002.07.23)
  14. Late Night Shopping (2002.07.23)
    • No mention at Amazon
    • No independent confirmation
    • Description provider: RNIB
  15. Monsters, Inc. (2003.04.07): No confirmation
  16. Moulin Rouge (2003.04.07)
    • As with Region 1, all English-language discs appear to be described
  17. Peter Pan (2003.04.07): No confirmation
  18. Rat Race (2002.07.23)
    • There is no Amazon listing
    • No mention at IMDB listing
    • Description provider: RNIB
  19. Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (2002.01.27)
    • No mention at IMDB listing (indeed, no mention that it even exists in U.K. release)
    • Description provider: RNIB
  20. Peter Pan (2002.01.27)
  21. Pretty Woman (2001.10.08)
    • No mention at IMDB listing
    • No independent confirmation
    • Description provider: RNIB
  22. Purely Belter (2001.10.08)
  23. The Rescuers (2002.01.27)
    • No obvious online listing of any kind
    • No other confirmation
    • Description provider: RNIB
  24. The Rock (2001.10.08)
  25. Rogue Trader (2001.10.08)
  26. Sexy Beast (2001.10.08)
  27. Sleeping Beauty (2002.01.27)
    • No unambiguous online listings
    • No other confirmation
    • Description provider: RNIB
  28. Very Annie-Mary (2002.01.27)
  29. War Zone (2001.10.08)
  30. The Wedding Planner (2002.07.23)

French releases

Several French DVDs have audio description. The term that seems to be used is commentaires audio pour aveugles et malvoyants (en audiovision). (Google it!)

The list of titles from Éditions TF1 vidéo is as follows (updated 2003.12.30):

  1. La Gloire de mon Père (édition 2003)
  2. Le Château de ma mère (édition 2003)
  3. La Vie est belle (version collector)
  4. Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (yes, Amélie is described in the original French
  5. Tanguy
  6. La vie est un long fleuve tranquille
  7. Tatie Danièle
  8. Casino
  9. La Guerre du feu
  10. Indochine
  11. Ah si j’étais riche
  12. Mayrig (coming in 2004)
  13. 588, rue Paradis (coming in 2004)

There’s another list at the Association Valentin Haüy library page. Apparently you may borrow but not buy these.

  1. À la place du cœur
  2. Amadeus
  3. Borsalino and co
  4. Cinema paradiso
  5. Conte d’automne
  6. Flic story
  7. Harry Potter à l’école des sorciers
  8. Jeanne d’arc
  9. Jules et Jim
  10. Le cinquième élément
  11. Le dîner de cons
  12. Le goût des autres
  13. Le huitième jour
  14. Le mariage de mon meilleur ami
  15. Le placard
  16. Les enfants du marais
  17. Les vestiges du jour
  18. Les visiteurs 2 : Les couloirs du temps
  19. Ma meilleure ennemie
  20. Marius et Keannette
  21. Mémoires en fuite
  22. Merci pour le chocolat
  23. Mr. and Mrs. Bridge
  24. Pour le pire et le meilleur
  25. Sur la route de Madison
  26. Titanic
  27. Vatel
  28. Vénus beauté (institut)
  29. XXL

German releases

Unbeknownst to English-speakers, Deutsche Hörfilm, which has done A.D. on television and in theatre for quite a while (I’ve been scanning their Web pages for intelligible English loanwords for at least three years), has come up with eight German-language DVDs with audio description. One is particularly interesting.

  1. Alles über meine Mutter
  2. Dancer in the Dark
  3. Der dritte Mann
  4. Die Falsche Fährte
  5. Epsteins Nacht
  6. Frequency
  7. Good Bye Lenin
  8. Halbe Treppe
  9. Hilfe, Ich Bin Ein Junge
  10. La Strada – Das Lied der Straße
  11. Leoparden küsst Man Nicht
  12. Monsters Ball
  13. Die Stille nach dem Schuss
  14. Der Talentierte Mr. Ripley

And on the topic of Dancer in the Dark: Yes, the same DVD described by the RNIB. But, like Lincolns and The Grinch, this one’s got audiovisual menus.

If we are to believe the page, the disc lets you watch the film with main audio plus descriptions, navigate the menu with voice output, or use the menu without voice. This may be a sensible approach – Option 1 gets to the point and plays the damn movie in an accessible way; if you want to do more than that, you can select Option 2 and go from there.

I know that audio description also happens on Japanese TV; how hard will it be to figure out if Japanese DVDs come equipped with description?