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YMMV / The Criterion Collection

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  • Animation Age Ghetto: Averted — but it took a long time, owing to Disney and other major and indie animation studios/creators such as Don Hertzfeldt keeping their top-drawer material to themselves. They did an AKIRA LaserDisc, included the animated music video for "Shadrach" as part of Beastie Boys Anthology note , and released two anthologies featuring the shorts of experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage (who worked in multiple mediums, not just animation). In The New '10s they finally addressed the medium in earnest with Fantastic Mr. Fox, Watership Down, and Fantastic Planet getting physical releases. 2020 saw the arrival of a box set featuring three films (plus four shorts) by Czech stop-motion animator Karel Zeman. In addition The Criterion Channel includes many animated shorts and features, with the more family-friendly ones included in the Saturday Matinees curated series, which has featured The Phantom Tollbooth, Charlotte's Web, Kirikou and the Sorceress and its second sequel, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, The Illusionist, The Last Unicorn, and The King and the Mockingbird. They've also done retrospectives for Bill Plympton, John and Faith Hubley, and Achmed director Lotte Reiniger, incorporating both shorts and features.
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  • Broken Base: Should Criterion strictly stick to arthouse films and landmarks of cinematic history or branch out and release other, less artsy films? This has been an issue at least as far back as Armageddon being their final laserdisc release. Some believe more mainstream fare strips away what makes Criterion unique and that it'll lead towards a slow decline in sales and cause viewers to lose respect for them. Others point out that the company still releases artsy films and cinematic landmarks and a great majority of their stock consists of those types of movies alone, so releasing stuff like Hausu, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World or the Showa Godzilla films isn’t going to kill the company. Some in the latter group note that many of the films accused of bringing the company down are cinematic landmarks in their own right (i.e. Night of the Living Dead (1968), pioneer of the Zombie Apocalypse genre), many of which needed better home video treatment before joining the Collection (especially if they had never come to Blu-ray before).
  • Gateway Series:
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    • For foreign and art house films. Indeed, movie scholars championing a certain film or director consider their work done when Criterion puts out an edition of that work.
    • With major studios neglecting movies both old and new that don't fall under Small Reference Pools and foreign-language films since the Great Recession, Criterion is now the last hope for many important films to get non-Vanilla Edition releases or even stay in circulation.
  • Girl-Show Ghetto/Minority Show Ghetto: In the summer of 2020, the New York Times featured an article discussing how the Collection has neglected African-American directors in particular (less than 1% of titles, the vast majority of which are by the same director), noting that women (7%), Asians (11%), and Latinos (2%) were also underrepresented compared to white men, reflecting larger issues with the tropes in film criticism in general. This is notably less of an issue with the Criterion Channel, which draws upon a larger pool of movies and has included collections with such themes as New Korean Cinema, Women Directors of New World Pictures, and Afrofuturism of late, though the Collection's physical library still shows its biases.
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  • Older Than They Think: Criterion began releasing "mainstream" movies during the LaserDisc era with such titles as RoboCop, Ghostbusters, and The Wizard of Oz.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: As noted on the main page, Criterion premiered many aspects of home video releases that are now largely the default — primarily the use of letterboxing and bonus materials. When Criterion upgrades one of their Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition LaserDisc sets to Blu-ray and DVD nowadays, it might seem redundant if a different studio already gave the movie a Blu-ray with a quality transfer and extras platter, some of which Criterion recycles for their releases. However, Criterion usually makes an effort to come up with significant new extras, such as their 2021 Fast Times at Ridgemont High disc including the alternate cut created specifically for commercial TV airings of The '80s.

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