Essentially a way to suck money out of the clueless, the witless, the careless and the impatient, the Vanilla Edition DVD
is about as basic as a movie or TV DVD can get, basically comprising the footage and - if you're really lucky - a trailer and some cast biographies.
The Vanilla Edition is usually released a month or so before the Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition
, so that those who are desperate to watch the movie now
(or don't pay attention to what they're picking up, or don't have a clue about the industry) will snap it up, only to buy it again shortly afterwards once the Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition
Manufacturers say that they do this because some people just want the movie and not the extras and shouldn't have to pay more for something they don't watch, which is sometimes true. But it is also true that there's money to be made in double-releases.
Note that some DVDs are just released without extras because the studio doesn't think that it will sell well enough to warrant spending money on commentaries, making-of movies, etc. These may retroactively become Vanilla Editions if, some months or years later, the studio changes its mind and releases a special edition with more features.
Furthermore, this is becoming a standard marketing strategy to get customers to purchase Blu-ray
versions of films by largely creating a vanilla edition for the DVD version and having the special features in the blu-ray instead. A similar method was used when VHS was being phased out. note
Today, digital downloads such as the content available on Netflix
are inherently the same thing although at least DVDs are still typically needed for basic feature functions such as alternate language subtitles and soundtracks.
It also can be argued that vanilla editions make for better rentals, as a frugal troper could blast through all the additional material in an evening. It makes sense for the studio to make it so you must buy the DVD to watch the special features.
If you look at the special features list and it includes "interactive menus" (as though uninteractive
menus were ever an option outside of restaurants) then you're holding either a Vanilla Edition or just a really crappy DVD. Unless it's also pitching "scene selection"; then it's just really old. If it's a burn-on-demand disc from a service like Warner Archive that focuses on just bringing much-requested but not-exactly-blockbuster titles to DVD, it's almost always going to be a Vanilla Edition.
Contrast Unrated Edition
and Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition
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Anime & Manga
- Several anime licensing companies initially release a series as individual DVDs with a plethora of bonus features, and then much later release the same series as Vanilla Edition boxed sets. It wouldn't be so bad if certain bonus features, such as pop-up trivia tracks, didn't actually explain some of the more obscure jokes that would otherwise go completely under western viewers' radar...
- It's even more annoying as anime companies used to release the box sets WITH the extras, until thinpaks started to catch on. Now it feels even more like a ploy to entice the people who like extras to shell out the maximum amount of money possible.
- In a way, the feature-packed releases can ironically assume the role of Vanilla Edition. People who aren't dying to have all of the special features for a certain anime series may wish they had known about the slim-pack boxed set before spending money on each individual volume. The price difference is often 50% or more, and many people would prefer to save the money. But it's rarely clear that there will be a "slim" release, and so as with the rest of the examples here, it's another case of buyer beware.
- By the time the boxsets come out, the individuals are usually reduced in price, sometimes down to ten bucks or less, especially on anime-specific sites. As an example, it was possible to buy up all six volumes of Pani Poni Dash! plus the artbox for about thirty five bucks at Rightstuf.com right around the time a $40-50 (depending on retailer) thinpack set was coming out. This included the pop-up notes (AD Vid Notes) which are likely proprietary and
probably aren't in the new set (FUNimation). (For anyone interested, it still is it's currently 5 out of 6, for seventeen bucks (plus shipping) after the release of Funi's newest boxsets.)
- This became less of an issue around the end of 2009/early 2010, when individual disc releases started to drop off in favor of half-season or full-season boxed sets becoming the norm. A few companies, however, still stick predominantly to disc-by-disc releases (most notably Bandai), and on occasion a company with a big-draw series will go disc-by-disc (Puella Magi Madoka Magica in particular). Bonus features, sadly, are still few and far between outside of Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition releases.
- Within Japan, nearly every studio issues new anime releases in two separate editions. One is a retail version with fancy cover art, bells and whistles like commentary tracks or DVD-only episodes, and often cool feelies of some sort, ranging from postcards to full-size action figures, T-shirts, or concert tickets; the other will be a Vanilla Edition for the video-rental market, and be a much more bare-bones release, typically containing only the episodes. Given the high cost of anime DVDs and BDs in Japan, where 5000 yen for a disc with two episodes isn't uncommon, this practice is undoubtedly meant to give fans a reason to shell out the money for the retail discs instead of just renting the whole series for 100 yen a pop.
- After long delays, Viz released Naruto on DVD. Cartoon Network edited version, English language track only. "Naruto Uncut" appeared some time later.
- Due to a sudden shift of the rights to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann from ADV Films to Bandai right before the former was about to start their release, Bandai decided that they would quickly release a version that has only the subbed episodes in three volumes, while the full release (dual-audio, feelies, and really cool box) was finished in 2009.
- You'd like to assume the Hellsing boxset would contain all of the features listed for the individual discs, namely the commentary. Fortunately it had some special features, but it's still disappointing.
- For years Dragon Ball only had a DVD release in the US that was English only, heavily censored, and just the first 13 episodes (and the first of three movies). Funimation finally got the rights to air their version in line with the rest of the series.
- The only releases of Kirby: Right Back at Ya! on DVD (and since it aired only 2-3 times on TV, it desperately needed one) was the censored 4Kids version, English only, no bonus features with only few early and out-of-order episodes each. Gee...I wonder why they're out of print now?
- Higurashi: When They Cry was so terribly stripped down that Geneon didn't even bother to double check whether the selection arrows on the the main screen lined up with the menu items. The Funimation releases of the latter half of the series had even more problems.
- Geneon was notorious for this before they went out of business. As a last ditch effort to just save what dwindling money was left, a lot of Geneon title DVD releases such as DearS, Ai Yori Aoshi, and Karin were nothing more than the episodes, and maybe a textless Opening and ending. Older series released back when they were still doing fine at least had some trailers, but still nothing much beyond that in terms of extras.
- Central Park Media was a frontrunner for providing entertaining extras for their DVD sets. Unfortunately, the titles that they lost to other companies usually dropped them; one example is Slayers. When they initially released the first three seasons of Slayers on DVD, there actually were many bloopers and commentary with the cast, with humorous ad-libbing involved. None of these amusing and entertaining extras made it to Funimation's digitally remastered re-releases.
- Strangely still, when all three seasons were made into a box set by the aformentioned Funimation, the old, washed-out picture quality from CPM's releases was used, and...you guessed it, still no extras...
- The UK release of Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods is an odd example. The DVD contains all of the extras from the US version, but the blu-ray released alongside it only includes the film. The only to get the film in HD and all the extras was to buy the now out of print Deluxe Collectors Edition, which included both formats.
- Manga Entertainment decided to release the first ten One Piece movies in 2014, when only two had been dubbed. While the already dubbed One Piece Film: Strong World was released individually as a full priced DVD and Blu-ray (with extras), movies 1-9 would be released as inexpensive 3-pack DV Ds. 'Episode of Alabasta' later got an individual DVD/Blu-ray release too, as it had also been dubbed. This is currently the only English-language release of the other eight One Piece movies.
- Discotek Media has released Lupin III (Green Jacket) on DVD twice, the second release being an example of this. The first release in 2012 contained a good amount of extras, including commentary on some of the episodes, as well as both versions of the Lupin III Pilot Film. The second release in 2014 is cheaper and uses different cover art, but has none of the extras from the previous release.
- Warner Archive is an on-demand version of this. The collection consists of a large archive of films and TV shows from Warner Bros., MGM, RKO, and even Sony and Paramount's vaults that haven't been published on mass-market DVD but are made available on a made-to-order basis. If you order a DVD of a film from Warner Archive, you will receive a DVD of the film and nothing else — sometimes not even chapter breaks — but most of the titles wouldn't make it out of Keep Circulating the Tapes territory otherwise. Fox Cinema Archives is a similar service that sometimes doesn't even format films properly, going with old-fashioned "full frame" releases in The New Tens.
- It's sad to be a fan of animated movies not made by Disney. MGM, Universal and Fox are all guilty of placing their animated films in the five dollar bin at grocery stores and changing the original cover art to appeal to the Animation Age Ghetto, even if the films weren't financial bombs to begin with. If they have any special features at all they'll be DVD games for very young children.
- The Total Recall (1990) Blu-Ray edition is completely bare bones and completely devoid of Arnold Schwarzenegger's infamous commentary track
- Some films released by Criterion have been barebones releases, such as the remastered edition of the film Brazil. The company also runs a separate entity called Eclipse, which releases film-only releases of classic films that haven't received the proper treatment on DVD. Criterion also runs the Essential Art House label, which are movie-only editions of Janus Films titles that have received a proper Criterion release.
- When the fan clamoring for a non-special edition of Star Wars reached crisis levels, George Lucas did in fact release the Original Trilogy without the additions of the various special editions... such as bonus features, remastered sound and video (they were simply transferred from the 1993 non-anamorphic LaserDisc release), resulting in a general sense that Lucas was saying "Well, you wanted them just like they were the first time around..."
- The extended cuts of the Lord of the Rings films scheduled to be released on DVD later on. If you were smart and patient, you waited for the boxed set that included both cuts of all three films.
- Put the single disc release of Transformers (2007) in your PC. It's actually NAMED "Transformers_Vanilla"
- The A.D.V films release of the Godzilla film Destroy All Monsters (considered one of the best in the series) does not have menus or scene selections. The movie just starts. And it is just the English dub. Then when they released the film again in 2004 it was an exact copy of the first release with a soundtrack included. Fortunately, Media Blasters released the film on DVD and Blu-Ray in 2011, though there now seems to be some sort of problem with Toho regarding the extras.
- Colossus The Forbin Project has so far only been released on one DVD. It has no special features. It has no menu; it just loops when it's over. Worst of all, the aspect ratio was cut down from 2.35:1 to 1.33:1, meaning you can't see half the screen.
- The page image features the menu from the original release of Blade Runner on DVD. It was so lightweight, Warner touted "scene selection" as a bonus feature (granted, it was the second title ever released on DVD after Twister). The scene select menu only allows you to select only every fifth scene bookmark. The rest you can only get to after starting the movie.
- One release of Lake Placid on DVD saw it with "scene selection" as the only bonus feature. There were only two scenes listed - the beginning of the film and just before the credits.
- The rental-only release of Pixar's Up takes this to new extremes: even the most bare-bones retail DVD of the movie has interactive menus and subtitles, but the rental disc doesn't even have that because Disney considered them bonus features. (Clearly, deaf people and non-native speakers aren't supposed to rent movies...) Have fun when the used copies start floating around, since the cases are otherwise indistinguishable (and the rental version's case flat-out lies about the disc's features!).
- Though interestingly enough, this is actually a repeat in history. Disney previously had the same procedure during the shift from VHS to DVD. DVD releases would get all the nifty extra features while the VHS version was naturally bare-bones.
- A lot of MGM's DVDs.
- Their DVDs for The Terminator, RoboCop, and UHF definitely make up for it.
- Strangely, some MGM-owned movies (such as The Graduate and The Princess Bride) have received home video re-releases with less bonus material than previous editions!
- 2009 re-release of Terminator 1 says hi. 25 years and MGM couldn't give less of a damn.
- The Bond 50 DVD contains all the James Bond movies from Dr. No to Quantum of Solace, but lost 21 bonus discs included with the Ultimate Collector's Set (which also only goes up to Casino Royale, and arranges the movies out of chronological order to boot). Potentially justified as MGM released the Bond 50 DVD in conjunction with a jam-packed Blu-Ray set that bears the same name, and also dominated the marketing materials.
- Fox does the DVD releases now due to MGM being a name and nothing more.
- The Rocky series falls victim to the MGM curse as well. The first movie has a nice two-disc DVD set and the last movie at least has a commentary and a few deleted scenes, but Rocky II, III, IV and V have nothing.
- The 1997 DVDs of The Wizard of Oz and Singin' in the Rain, among others, just have the theatrical trailers and production notes as bonus features, even though they both previously had VHS releases with larger amounts of extras (at least some of which fortunately turned up on Warner's DVD re-releases).
- Fox released a bare-bones, zero-features DVD/BluRay release of Avatar for Earth Day (April 2010), followed by a 'special edition' in 4Q 2010, and then a 3D Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition. Part of their justification for the Vanilla Edition was that with Avatar being so amazing visually, they wanted to use ALL the available space on the bluray to avoid compromising on quality in the basic edition (the collector's editions were three disks).
- The 2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street box set, which dumps all the awesome special features the original box set had in exchange for Freddy vs. Jason (which is also almost barebones).
- The Vanilla Edition of Sin City was never intended to be released. Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller intended the Extended version, with about 20 minutes more footage in the film, as well as loads of bonus features (including Rodriguez's famous cooking school video), and even a pocket-sized copy of the first Sin City story (The Hard Goodbye) to be released with the theatrical cut in one package. The initial release did come with one bonus feature: a ten minute 'behind the scenes' that was most likely made to promote the film on movie channels in between programs.
- One common practice by studios is rereleasing a movie on DVD with the second (occasionally 3rd or 4th) disc removed, giving a movie which once had a Super Special Awesome Edition a vanilla release. One example is The Abyss. When first released on DVD, it was a 2-disc set packed with extras. An hour-long documentary, textual commentary, trailers (including hidden trailers for Aliens and True Lies), a promotional featurette, the original story treatment and complete shooting script, clips involving the visual effects, and the highly informative and extensive LaserDisc supplemental pages. Then, a few years later, the DVD was rereleased with no second disc, with the only features being cast bios and the text commentary. The worst part: this is the most widely available version of the DVD.
- The Man from Earth is of the 'likely won't sell well' variety, as it features little action to speak of and is very cerebral. The DVD is also generally only available online and features four brief featurettes and two commentaries.
- The Blu-Ray release is worse. No extras at all.
- The DVD release of Last Action Hero is not only as threadbare as they come, but also, maddeningly, is only available in Pan and Scan format. So no featurettes, deleted scenes or anything else, and you're also deprived of about a third of the picture, too.
- The Blu-Ray at least comes in widescreen, but you're still SOL on special features.
- The Super Mario Bros. movie has only had three releases in the United States: one on VHS and two on DVD. The first DVD was released in 2003 and features nothing other than the movie and a horrible transfer that touts widescreen, but is actually a chopped fullscreen. The second DVD release came in 2010 and is the same exact movie, just with the logos re-arranged on the packaging.
- Actually, the DVD is in widescreen. Unless you are referring to a hard-matte.
- The US editions are completely devoid of bonus features, while the UK release at least has the theatrical trailer.
- Disney's thing now is to make most of the bonus features only available in the Blu-Ray and Digital Copy versions, making the DVDs vanilla or very close to it. It should be noted that Disney was Blu-Ray exclusive during the format war with HD-DVD, so that may have been a factor in their decision to push it so hard. The Digital Copies that come with extras likely do so to entertain the increasing amount of people who stopped buying movies on physical media.
- This trend sometimes gets inverted for 2-Movie Collection Blu-Ray/DVD combo packs, including only the two movies on the Blu-Ray, and a few bonus features on the enclosed DVD copies. Examples include The Emperor's New Groove/Kronk's New Groove and Lilo & Stitch/Stitch Has a Glitch.
- The Blockbuster rental copy of Cop Out just has "play movie" and "language selection".
- Warner Bros. and Fox (among other companies) have been doing this on all of their releases lately. The only way you can tell them apart is if the cover says Rental or Rental Exclusive.
- The first time Toy Story and Toy Story 2 came to DVD, fans could decide between a "2-Pack" containing the movies and three shorts, or the 3-Disc "Ultimate Toy Box" that added audio commentaries and five hours of extras. When the movies became available individually, copies from the 2-Packs were used.
- Fans are especially upset over the DVD releases of the first live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles it's been released twice the second time for the 25th anniversary of the franchise, both have no special features except for a maze game in the original release, however the release in Germany features a few deleted scenes and a commentary by the director Steve Barron.
- An aversion of this is Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2. Surely a slamdunk to be released as a boxed set with lots of extras but, in fact, it never happened. Each movie was released separately. If you waited and waited and waited for the box set that never came out, then you were limited to finding the single releases (if you were lucky) in a bargin bin.
- In the UK, the Blu-Ray release of The Incredibles was only a single disc with only a small fraction of the features the US got.
- Made worse by a bit of (possibly) unintentional Very False Advertising. The UK's Tangled Blu-Ray and DVD features a trailer for the Incredibles Blu-Ray, but uses the same trailer the US got, showing the American "2-Disc Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital Copy" cover and bragging that it contains a ton of bonus features when actually the UK Blu-Ray contains even less features than the original DVD release.
- Both 1-disc and 2-disc editions of Tous à l'Ouest: Une aventure de Lucky Luke (Lucky Luke: Go West) were released in Canada, but while both editions included an English language option for the main film, the features came in French only with no subtitles.
- The Australian Blu-Ray release of Heathers is the movie and nothing else. No menu, no credits page, nothing.
- The DVD release of the film Magicians didn't even have a menu. It was basically a VHS tape burned onto a DVD and then released.
- With the last two Harry Potter films, Warner Bros. has opted to put all the bonus features on the Blu-Ray version while the DVD version only has a few deleted scenes. Apparently, Warner Bros. really wants you to buy a Blu-Ray player. There's something ironically "full circle" about this: The first Harry Potter film was released on DVD and VHS at a time when DVD was the new format and VHS was dying; the last Harry Potter film was released on DVD and Blu-Ray at a time when Blu-Ray is the new format and DVD is (possibly) dying.
- To confuse matters, single-disc Blu-Ray versions of those movies also exist. Like the DVDs, they contain no bonus features other than deleted scenes. You want some interviews and behind-the-scenes footage as well? You'll have to opt for the three-disc Blu-Ray/DVD combo packs, then wonder what to do with two copies of each movie. Some non-Harry Potter films also have releases like this.
- The "20th Anniversary" Blu-Ray of The Rocketeer caused some frustration for containing no bonus features, except for the original trailer, which is presented in pan and scan to boot. It should also be noted that The Rocketeer is but one of a large amount of live-action Disney movies that came to DVD with no bonus features.
- The first Disney Animated Canon movies to come to DVD did so in a so-called "Limited Issue" collection. The most packed entry, Mulan, contained nothing more than a partially-colored trailer and some music videos, while fans of the other movies released in this collection would have probably considered themselves lucky if they got so much as an old trailer. (However, almost all of these films would later get 2-Disc rereleases containing a more ample amount of bonus features.)
- The Limited Issue DVDs featured so few bonus features, Disney tried to pad out the "special features" boxes on the back covers by boasting◊ that the DVDs have labels with "full color character artwork." This boast would become ironic when Disney started using gray and silver DVD labels for most of their movies.
- Cars launched a new era of home entertainment for Pixar. Each of the preceding movies got 2-Disc Collector's Edition DVDs with hours of bonus features. By contrast, Cars got a DVD containing nothing more than three shorts, some deleted scenes, and a short interview with the director as bonus features. Nearly every Pixar movie onward received similarly lightweight platters on DVD. Fans would have to buy the Blu-Ray discs for more comprehensive extras. Eventually, Cars 2 became Pixar's first movie to come to 3-D Blu-Ray. As a result, both the DVD and the Blu-Ray received paltry selections of bonus features, with consumers having to buy the 3-D version to get all the extras! Fortunately, Brave and Finding Nemo each have 2-D and 3-D Blu-Rays with identical or nearly-identical amounts of extras, giving this trend a quick death.
- The "Superbit" DVDs released by Columbia/TriStar reportedly have above-average picture and sound quality. To minimize compression, they didn't include any bonus features.
- Taken to an extreme with the DVD release of The Wizard. The only subtitles are in English, and there isn't even a chapter selection screen. One can jump to scenes in the movie, but the jumps are at random.
- A vanilla version of Coraline exists on Blu-Ray, containing the movie and nothing else. It doesn't even have a menu; it just has a static card before the movie saying that the movie is about to start. If one waits until the end of the credits, the disc just starts at the beginning with said screen.
- The DVD releases of the ErnestPWorrell films have no special features, probably because by the time they were released Jim Varney had passed away.
- Woody Allen just doesn't do supplements - he never really has. Most of his films that are on Blu-ray will only have an HD trailer for the film because of this.
- A Brazilian blog on the home video market describes them as "Simplex", and is a Berserk Button of theirs (along with, for instance, changing the aspect ratio, not providing the best sound and image quality, not bringing bonus content seen in foreign releases, and abusive prices - all fairly common practices of Brazilian distributors!), particularly regarding boxes which only put back previously released movies in a nice package, but no new content.
- Zig-zagged with A Goofy Movie. The US 2000 release was full-screen and some bonus features (including a Goof Troop episode without its opening sequence, a trivia game, a storybook, an episode of Disneyland anthology series from 1955 focusing on Goofy, the fullscreen trailer and the Disney's Mambo No. 5 music video), while the 1999 European release despite not having any bonus features (like many Disney movies released by Warner Home Video at the time) features the movie in its original widescreen ratio and seven additional language tracks besides the original English (depending on country those were German, Spanish (Spain), Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish and Portuguese (European) or French, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Czech, Hungarian and Hebrew).
- Made all the more annoying with Battleship since the disc menus are the same for the rental and full versions, but selecting any of the Special Features entries brings up a warning box informing you that your copy is a Rental version and to use a Full version to access those features.
- Iron Man originally came to home video as a one-disc DVD, a two-disc DVD set, and a two-disc Blu-Ray set. A few years later, Paramount/Marvel unexpectedly stopped selling the Blu-Ray with the second disc. In another surprising move, the two-disc DVD did not go out of print at the same time this happened.
- Although more a case of the 20th Century Fox executives simply not caring about the film than a quest for more sales, all three releases of Wing Commander (non-anamorphic DVD in 1999, anamorphic DVD in 2011, and Blu-ray in 2013) have nothing more than a fairly barebones menu and the theatrical trailer included.
- Matilda first came to DVD with Pan and Scan picture and no bonus features. The so-called "Special Edition" added some extras, but still no widescreen option. Fans who didn't get to buy the laserdisc had to wait until the movie's Blu-Ray release to own it in its original aspect ratio. (Happily, the Blu-Ray retains all of the Special Edition bonus features except for some set-top games.)
- When the Rodgers and Hammerstein movie adaptations first came to DVD, only The Sound of Music received a two-disc set. The others' releases didn't even have anamorphic picture. Inverted for the 2014 The Rodgers and Hammerstein Collection Blu-Ray boxset, which presents The Sound of Music with the smallest amount of extras.note
- The Lionsgate DVD of Mumfie's Quest has no bonus features but previews for DV Ds of Leap Frog and Lalaloopsy, while the previous release from 2012 contains early storyboards and a deleted scene.
- Every edition of Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie until Shout! Factory's Blu-ray / DVD release (which included a fair amount of bonus features) was a vanilla edition, containing the movie and nothing else, really.
- The original South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut DVD contained only the film and some trailers, while some other editions had a Music Video for "What Would Brian Boitanno Do?" The Blu-ray release is similarly bare-bones, but there's at least a commentary track from Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
- The Iron Giant seems to have a good special edition, with the VHS including a crappy plastic toy and DVD being in balance in avoiding case-distortion and the ability to speedily run through the chapters to the Tear Jerker without suffering tape-wear. The commentary edition happened years later in 2004.
- The Disney Movie Club DVD of Doug's 1st Movie had a pretty bad case. Not only did the DVD leave out any bonus features (Including the one of the video release back in 1999) and had picture quality similar to the VHS release, but Disney decided to use the Toon Disney edit with commercial fade-outs and sped-up credits instead of the original master!
- The Fantastic Planet DVD doesn't even have a menu; it just launches straight into the movie. If you want subtitles, you'll have to use your TV remote.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two movies almost always have drastically smaller amounts of Blu-Ray bonus features compared to Phase One pictures, apparently because Marvel plans to withhold certain extras for a box set of the whole phase. The Avengers, the first MCU Blu-Ray released through Disney instead of Paramount or Universal, also feels lacking in the bonus department, despite capping off Phase One. The DVDs for all phases have even less content, but the chance of that Phase Two boxset having a DVD equivalent seems slim-the Phase One boxset only had Blu-Ray Discs.
- Disney has started releasing Blu-Ray Discs of some of their least marketable live-action movies exclusively through the Disney Movie Club, without any bonus features (even those few that did have extras on their DVD releases underwent this treatment).
- One of the selling points of the Abarat books is that they are chock-full of lavish, full-color paintings done by the author himself. This means the books have to be printed on special paper, which makes them much more costly than regular books. The Vanilla Edition paperbacks of each book replicate the text, but their only illustration is the one on the cover. However, similar to the case with Light Novels, the illustrations are one of the big draws.
- The Discworld series has done the same, twice. The original formats of Eric and The Last Hero were big large-format lavishly illustrated novels full of Scenery Porn illustrations. However, the big fully-illustrated coffee-table versions are all sold out now and later readers have to make do with text-only vanilla imprints.
- The DVD releases of "Happy Days" have no special features. The seasons 3 and 4 DVDs actually pass the clip shows as bonus features, even though those are included in the show's reruns.
- Doctor Who: The new series DVDs are released in two ways - a series of DVDs throughout the year, containing only the episodes and often devoid of special features, and then a special features-packed boxset at the end of the year.
- Though more recently, the DVDs released throughout the year have included a few special features aimed towards the younger viewer. The idea seems to be that the special boxset is aimed at the 'Christmas present' market (very big in the UK) and the older viewers, while the ones released through the year are aimed at the 'pocket money' market.
- The classic series were also released twice: The Five Doctors was originally released in 1999 as part of the BBC's launch of their DVD ranges. The only special feature was an isolated music track. Many of the early official releases also contained relatively few special features. Since then most DVDs have as much special features as they possibly can - only a few releases nowadays (usually one-disc releases of six-part stories) have very few special features.
- To play it straight - the recent DVD release of the recovered classic story The Enemy of the World has no special features whatsoever, as it was found and released just after recovery.
- Other recovered Missing Episodes have been released in all sorts of weird editions. For instance, the found third episode of "Galaxy 4" was cleaned up and dumped straight onto iTunes for those who desperately wanted to see it, and it along with some reconstructions eventually saw a DVD release bundled with a rerelease of "The Aztecs" (the original release of which had been a Vanilla Edition). When "The Web of Fear" was rediscovered, it was released with no restoration or cleanup beyond the "VidFIRE" technique (an algorithm that makes the recovered film look like video again) and no restoration or reanimation of the third part - and certainly no special features.
- A few returning monsters from the Classic series have been released with the New Who story featuring them as cheap bundles, likely aimed at a child market curious about what the references are. There's a "Davros" bundle, which pairs the Tom Baker serial "Genesis of the Daleks" (Davros's first appearance) with the David Tennant story "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End" (Davros's most recent); a "Sontarans" bundle of the Jon Pertwee serial "The Time Warrior" and the Tennant story "The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky", a "Silurians" set of the Pertwee story "Dr. Who and the Silurians" with the Matt Smith story "The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood"... No extras, no commentary, but super cheap.
- Something of a subversion: Red Dwarf was released in both Vanilla Edition and Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition form, but the version with the extras came out first. In fact, Grant Naylor Productions refused to allow Red Dwarf to be released on DVD in the 1990s because they wanted to wait until they could actually make good DVDs with loads of extras instead of vanilla releases with interactive menus and scene selection as the only special features. As a result, Red Dwarf I had its DVD release in 2002, while the then-last series, Red Dwarf VIII, was released in 2006, seven years after it had first aired. The Vanilla Editions came out in boxsets called "Red Dwarf: Just the Shows".
- Some UK DVD companies like VCI and Studio Canal are notorious for not including any bonus features on their DVDs. Most discs by the aforementioned companies do not even include English HOH subtitling. By contrast, Network DVD discs often include bonus content - but they don't have subtitling either.
- This may be due to the expensive nature of DVD ratings in the UK. Apparently the
censor rating board charges by the minute of footage for the (mandatory by law) rating, so cheap companies don't put more on the disc than they have to.
- The Highlander TV series boxed sets are unusually sparse. The first season was released on DVD in 2002, making it one of the first major disc collections. Each disc had three 45-minute episodes, which is a full episode less than other compilations of similar size put onto their DVDs. This required nine discs for a 22 episode season, compared to six discs for most other series boxed sets. Also, menu selection was very static with no background music, there were no subtitles or alternate languages, and no remastered video (which definitely shows its age).
- The series 4 DVD release of Would I Lie to You? is just the episodes and nothing else. They attempt to cover this by passing the Clip Show off as a special feature.
- The original Young Ones DVDs were vanilla editions, with no bonus features and some footage cut. Later releases have documentaries and the missing footage restored.
- Only Fools and Horses has been completely released on DVD, but with no bonus features and several scenes and music cues cut.
- The first Fraggle Rock DVD was "Where It All Began", a single-disc release of the first three episodes sold exclusively at Wal-Mart. The third episode was the only bonus feature. Several months later a wide release special edition was released, with more bonus features including the "Fraggle Songs" video compilation and an episode of the animated series, while the third episode was part of the main program (but still excluded from the VHS release).
- Early Cirque du Soleil TV specials, be they recordings of actual shows or Milestone Celebration programs, received this treatment from Sony, even as smaller distributor Image gave the barely-seen dramatic film version of Alegria a (now out-of-print) release that included a director's commentary track, making-of material, promos, and a music video. Sony started giving the newer shows special editions with Dralion in 2001, with Varekai and La Nouba even warranting 2-disc sets. Unfortunately, the "Anniversary Collection" roundup of the discs in 2005 dropped the second discs from both of those sets, thus losing almost all of the extras. To add insult to injury, both the DVD and 3-D Blu-Ray versions of Cirque Du Soleil Journey Of Man, a 39-minute IMAX short, are vanilla editions despite tons of disc space and the existence of two trailers and a making-of short, the latter of which appeared on the VHS release!
- When individual seasons of M*A*S*H were first released, they were all bare-bones, with no special features, other than an option to turn off the Laugh Track (as the producers originally wanted to bypass a laugh track all along). At first, this was justifiable, as the series was from a time period where home video releases were not common, and as such, special features really wouldn't have been available. Then, around the same time the final season was released, 20th Century Fox released a complete series set that not only had special features (a blooper reel, the 20th and 30th anniversary reunion specials, a Biography special, interviews with the cast, behind-the-scenes footage, among other things), but also included the original 1970 movie as well; because of this, many angry fans that had already spent time, effort, and money collecting the individual season sets complained to Fox, and they responded by temporarily removing the complete series set from shelves, and releasing instead a set with the Grand Finale as the main feature, but with all of the bonuses from the complete series set included (except the movie).
- Sony released a "Fan Favorites" DVD line, which repackaged individual discs of classic TV shows' complete season boxsets. Just a few of the specific discs that received this treatment include the first one of Married... with Children season one, the first disc of Bewitched season two (in which Sam became pregnant with Tabitha, and Cousin Arthur made his first onscreen appearance, among other events), and the second disc of I Dream of Jeannie season five (in which Jeannie and Tony got married, among other events). For potential irony, some of these volumes came from boxsets that didn't have any extras to begin with.
- Since record companies started producing Deluxe Editions, they have often produced a vanilla edition on the side. Understandable with remastered versions of classic albums, it is a little confusing when it's done with new albums and there's little to no difference in price. You wonder who would choose the shorter version.
- Like the early DVDs, the first wave of CD reissues in The Eighties simply duplicated the original album releases without any extra material. One notable exception was Rykodisc, which started as something of a musical version of The Criterion Collection, reissuing critically acclaimed titles with extra tracks and remastered sound, something that's now par for the course for classic albums. For example, David Bowie's 1969-80 back catalog got the Rykodisc treatment at the start of The Nineties, and similar special editions of those and both his earlier and latter work have been a constant ever since.
- The Beatles: Rock Band is sold both as a standalone game disc as well as two separate instrument bundles - the 'Value Edition' bundle uses old, basic Rock Band instruments, while the 'Limited Edition' bundle includes new instrument controllers based on the Beatles' instruments, adding an extra $100 to the price tag.
- The Classic NES Series for Game Boy Advance. Sure, they were the only way to play the oldies without an emulator back then, but at least "Virtual Console", what we have now, includes save states! These were direct emulations (fixing a "Blind Idiot" Translation or two) of the original games, with a huge drop in resolution due to the GBA's tiny screen and no attempt to rectify it. Hit the hardest were Super Mario Bros. and Metroid, Super Mario Bros. already being available for Game Boy Color in the Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (which the Game Boy Advance was backwards-compatible with), and Metroid being available in the expanded Video Game Remake Metroid: Zero Mission, which even includes a port of the original game! And the asking price? $30-40 each.
- Kingdom Hearts, in the same vein as No Export for You, is notorious for this. You get the bare-bones game, which is fine up until it's released in the states, where they typically include extra bosses. Then it's rereleased in Japan as the Final Mix, which basically makes Americans scream.
- Actually, KH is a strange example. First is the barest Japanese release, then the American which has a few more bits and the European usually has a few more changes too. Then the Final Mix goes out in Japan.
- Dissidia: Final Fantasy did the Japan-rest of the world-Japan thing, too. Oh, and now Crisis Core is getting a remastered Japanese release, too... at least the Dissidia version was just the original with the changes from the PAL version incorporated.
- An odd example, maybe an inversion: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney for the DS. The DS game has a long and enjoyable bonus case, adding about an extra 3rd to the length of an otherwise very short game, and introducing a character who would be relevant later on. The Wii version removes this case, then later charges you money for it.
- On the other hand, the game itself on WiiWare is 1000 Wii Points ($10 US), and Rise From The Ashes is only 100 points. The real issue with this is we had to wait 4 months for the case to be released as DLC!
- Capcom is infamous for this trope, thanks in part to Capcom Sequel Stagnation in regards to Street Fighter. Street Fighter II: The World Warrior would see four revisions, ending with Super Street Fighter II Turbo (which had about 3-4 remakes of its own). Street Fighter III: New Generation would later be followed up by Second Impact, although Third Strike subverts this by being an actual sequel. Street Fighter IV was given a Super rerelease, which would in turn be given its own arcade port (Arcade Edition), which then came to consoles. AE then proceeded to get its own update patch. (Arcade Edition Ver. 2012).
- This trope, in an unprecedented move, now applies to the Vs. series. Five months after the release of Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (which is what was intended to be DLC for the original game) hit shelves.
- The first Tekken game was as vanilla a port as you can get, having only an Arcade, Vs and Options mode in addition to the Galaga Minigame that played whilst the game was loading. The makers said that it was basically rushed out to capitalise on the Playstation's popularity. Tekken 2 was given more time to be ported and as a result features the extra modes like Team Battle, Survival and Time Attack that would become a trademark of the series.
- Unfortunately, many classic cartoon shorts in the public domain (i.e. with expired/no copyrights) have the misfortune of being carelessly compiled onto many, many extremely bare bone, low budget DVD collections, usually with no extras and the prints used are usually in poor quality, and it's only once in a blue moon if they even try to go to the trouble of at least cleaning up the picture and sound quality.
- Averted with the two official Woody Woodpecker collections, played incredibly straight with the mail-order Columbia House sets.
- This was the only (and we mean only) format that Rocko's Modern Life had ever legally been released in, as of fall 2008. It took an outsourcing-production deal with Amazon.com to even make that happen. Another series that shared this fate was Doug.
- Averted with the Shout Factory release of Seasons 2 onward. Joe Murray was brought in to do new cover art, "How to Draw the Characters" featurettes and the original "Trash-O-Madness" pilot.
- Danny Phantom shares this fate as well. The Fairly Oddparents is getting this treatment as well.
- Amazon makes them on DVD-R's, making the discs even worse than the standard Vanilla Edition due to player compatibility issues.
- Danny Phantom has a complete series box set from Shout! Factory now. With no bonus features whatsoever and the second season episodes scrambled around, to the point that a villain's followup episode is placed immediately before his introduction episode.
- Averted with SpongeBob.
- Hell, Rugrats gets the treatment, even though Nick used to love that show.
- And now it's being done to Hey Arnold!, Catdog, and The Wild Thornberrys. KaBlam! was supposed to get one for the 2009 holiday season, but it was scrapped (which sucks for the fans, it's NEVER been on VHS or DVD).
- Invader Zim, anyone? There have been a few DVD releases, actually, but the latest one, Operation: Doom was the least appealing of the bunch. No special features at all, (not even subtitles) and the footage wasn't the entire series. The only redeeming quality was the prospect of the show being revived by the Nickelodeon execs.
- My Life as a Teenage Robot is yet another series that got the treatment.
- Making Fiends got considerably got the WORST treatment yet, only featuring the 18 7 minute segments, adding up to around 2 hours of entertainment.
- Suprisingly zig-zagged with DVD releases of Thomas the Tank Engine in the UK. After a season's aired, DVDs containing four to eight episodes of the season and special features are released. Then a single-disc release of the entire season is released, devoid of the special features.
- For some reason, the US releases seem to get more, special-features wise, than the UK. The US's release of The Great Discovery contained behind-the-scenes featurettes, the UK only recieved kid's DVD games and music videos of the songs from the film.
- The Powerpuff Girls had the first season released with rough animatics and the original Whoopass Girls short. They followed it up two years later by releasing the ENTIRE SERIES, including a never-before-seen episode, cast-and-crew commentary, animatics, and nearly every music video and commercial EVER MADE.
- Zig-zagged with The Powerpuff Girls Movie. The US release was pan and scan, but contained a decent amount of bonus features, while the UK release was widescreen, but contained much less bonus features.
- [adult swim] DVDs have no bonus features in the UK.
- A lot of the old Disney Afternoon shows (DuckTales, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin) got this treatment. To add insult to injury, it seems unlikely the full series of any of these will ever see the light of day.
- The Polish/Czech/Slovakian/Russian/Ukrainian/Romanian/Slovenian/Middle Eastern release of the first DVD volume of DuckTales is even worse. It doesn't contain the English language track.
- The release for season 20 of The Simpsons anyone? The only special feature we got was a preview for the 20th Anniversary special, which aired two days before the release of the DVD. There aren't even any commentaries. There's still a beacon of hope for a re-release, however, as this release isn't labeled "Collectors Edition" like seasons 1-14 were.
- A special mention should be mentioned for The Simpsons DVDs. Matt Groening has stated he hates this trope, and he generally tries to avert it by packing in as many features as possible (except season 20, which was merely an 'Anniversary edition'). This is done by including commentaries on EVERY single episode, (not just one or two like other shows, which is really annoying) The original animations sequences for the menus are fun to watch too; having a lot of call-backs to the episodes featured on that particular disk...
- Season 20 is an example of No Export for You, as it was never released in the UK (or anywhere outside the US and Canada?). I guess Simpsons fans don't like Vanilla Editions.
- Strangely enough Star Wars: The Clone Wars released two DVDs with either 4 episodes without any special features during the summer before the box release. There are no vanilla editions of any other TCW episodes and the boxes only come in this edition or as Blu-Ray version with extra animation libraries that wouldn't fit on regular DVDs.
- Not quite so outside English speaking countries. In Finland, the seasons are first released in four DVDs, each containing 5-6 episodes. Few months later, a set with all the episodes is bublished. No bonus material anywhere. Not even commentaries. Aforementioned 4-episode DVDs were also released here.
- DiC Entertainment "EasyPlay" DVDs distributed by Lions Gate in the early 2000s for Sonic Sat AM and The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. The only significant special feature on the discs is a trivia game with questions pertaining to the show in question that allows you to see something, and a main menu feature where Inspector Gadget teaches you how to use the DVD where you can MOVE THE GLOW over the BUTTONS. The languages menu gives you English subtitles only, and the Super Show DVD release (a release titled "Mario's Greatest Movie Moments") doesn't even give you the live action Mario Bros. segments or the "Do the Mario" closing credits! Strangely enough, there was also an EasyPlay DVD for DiC's own animated series based on The Wizard of Oz.
- All of the DVDs exclusive to the Disney Movie Club are these, such as Kim Possible and The Weekenders.
- The DVD box sets of Garfield and Friends had nothing but trailers as bonus features.
- The Shout! Factory DVDs for Beetlejuice. This is just one of the reasons why people are complaining about how expensive the complete series set is.
- This is so far true with many of Cartoon Network's releases. While the first two seasons of Ed, Edd n Eddy were released with special features (as it was Cartoon Network's biggest hit at the time), Warner Bros. released a line as the, "Cartoon Network Hall of Fame," which was the first seasons of Dexter's Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, and Courage the Cowardly Dog. Surprisingly, despite the popularity of these series (especially considering Dexter was Cartoon Network's first big hit), only the Johnny Bravo set got a special feature, and only because of Seth Mac Farlane (he was a writer on Johnny Bravo before moving on to Family Guy, and other shows of his). Adding insult to injury, the Dexter set lacks one of the Dial M For Monkey segments.
- Most British Newspapers went through a phase of competing to give Vanilla Editions of DVD films and music CD's away with their Saturday and Sunday editions. The Guardian focused on things like arthouse subtitled foreign movies; the Daily Mail reissued craggy-jawed British war movies like the Dambusters and 633 Squadron the Telegraph did 1930's and 1950's nostalgia about the Good Old Days; the Sun and Daily Star focused on low-brow sex comedies. Some were genuinely worth having, but many were, to be kind, crap. The common identifying factor in all these free issues was that you only got the very basic film-only DVD edition with no extra bangs, whistles or bounces. These free promotions largely ended when the newspapers started to tally up the revenue from increased sales against money paid out in licence fees, DVD production, et c, and concluded it wasn't worth it.