Overview: DVDs and Blu-ray Discs With Audio Description
Mar 22, 2021.
For specific USA listings, use one of the following links:
- Alphabetical Listing of all DVDs with Audio Description
- DVDs from
- Children's Described DVDs (rated G or PG)
- Additional Information About Described DVDs (on this page)
On separate pages noted above we list details about all the first-run movies* in the USA that have been released with audio description tracks on DVDs and Blu-ray discs (the only such listing in the world!) along with links to purchase them via Amazon. We are an Amazon Associate, so purchasing them via our links helps pay for this website! You can follow the announcements as they occur via Twitter or our Facebook page. The Current Year page is generally updated on Tuesday afternoon each week in which a newly described DVD is released. (* We also list a few special-interest videos, but no educational products and rarely special-order features.)
Audio description on a disc is generally listed under Languages on the back cover as English Audio Description, English Descriptive Audio, or English DVS. (Warner Bros used to this information in the lower right corner of the back cover.) Director's Cuts or Unrated versions sometimes do not have description. Special Features rarely contain description. Your best bet is to order/watch the theatrical version when available and order via Amazon, not their Marketplace sellers. While our pages typically link to the DVD disc (if available) on Amazon, generally the Blu-ray versions of DVDs listed here since the fall of 2009 also have description. 4K versions may or may not include AD, though that packaging often include the Blu-ray copy which will. (See an article discussing this 4K-and-No-AD problem.) Simply follow the link provided within Amazon to the Blu-ray version or 4K, if you prefer that format. Note: Except for Sony releases, Amazon almost never lists the availability of audio description on their videos, but our links should take you to described copies. Sometimes Amazon offers an image of the back cover of a DVD, so that's another place to look (you'll need to be sighted, and you'll need to zoom in). If you want to find out what's coming soon on DVD, check out the DVDs Release Dates site or Amazon's New and Future Releases. (Special thanks to William Gary for discovering about a dozen old DVDs with description over the years by digging around in bargain bins!)
If you want another source for checking whether or not a DVD has description, you can try either of the following. For pre-2020 DVDs, try Barnes and Noble because they sometimes listed a disc's "Menu" options; look for "Setup / Audio"). For more recent releases, check Live-brary.
Note: Generally speaking, we do not separately list "Steelbook" versions of DVDs (which also contain description if the original DVD did) or compilations (e.g., 3 movies in a series, where one or more of the movies has a description track). We also try to avoid listing DVDs only available from Marketplace sellers.
Online movie streaming/rental/purchase services such as
Verizon's FIOS On Demand and Comcast's XFINITY On
plus streaming services like Netflix
may offer audio description tracks on some movies not listed here
(because the description tracks were produced for the movie but never
transferred to DVD).
I really appreciate your ongoing
efforts, and I recommend your site to other blind friends,
and especially parents of blind children.
- Richard Holloway, December 2013
|Which Movie Studios Include Description Tracks on Their Videos?|
|Generally Include Description||Never Include Description||Described DVD Growth|
Companies (Pixar / Lucasfilm /
Buena Vista / ABC / Marvel)
IFC (started 2020)
Sony / Columbia / Screen Gems
Summit (started 2018)
Warner Bros (started May 2015)
(formerly Millennium Entertainment)
Anchor Bay Entertainment (Starz/Weinstein))
Broad Green Pictures
Cohen Media Group
Echo Bridge Entertainment
FilmRise and Freestyle
Magnolia Pictures (2929 Entertainment)
Miramax (Filmyard Holdings)
Momentum (Entertainment One)
New Line Cinema (Warner Bros)
Pure Flix Entertainment
RLJ Entertainment (formerly Image Entertainment)
Samuel Goldwyn Films
Screen Media Films
The Weinstein Company (TWC)
WRITE / EMAIL THEM !!!
(Subject to change as we find new DVDs)
|Occasionally or newly include description: DreamWorks (various distributors over the years), eOne (2014 only - inactive), Focus Features (Universal sub - inactive), Lionsgate/Artisan (limited since 2014 - only 5% of their DVDs had AD tracks in 2020, down from 14% in 2019), MPI Home Video; Shout! Factory (about 50% since mid-2019).||From 1997-2005, only 15 described DVDs were released. The big change came in 2010 when major studios began to commit to including description tracks.|
Summary comments about described DVDs (based on a study of 368 DVDs from 53 studios identified from January-December 2020)
- No major studio described 100% of their DVDs.
- Universal released 54 DVDs, describing 61% of them.
- The next highest numbers released were in the 20s, with Sony describing 85%, Warner Bros describing 57%, and Paramount describing 48%.
- Disney described 83% of 12 released.
- Newcomer IFC Films described 100% of their 6, thank you very much!
- Shout! Factory stepped up its AD with nearly half of its 20 DVDs described. Please continue!
- Fox only had 5 DVDs but all were described; and Summit described both of its 2.
- Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber had very few DVDs with 1 or 2 described. Better than none...
- Lionsgate (including subsidiary Artisan) holds last place again with only 5% described out of its 65 DVDs (the most of any studio).
Summary comments about described DVDs (based on a study of 415 DVDs from 58 studios identified from January-December 2019)
- Disney, Sony, and Summit described 100% of their movie DVDs. Outstanding!
- Fox and Paramount described 88% and 80% respectively. Very Good and Good, respectively.
- Universal and Warner Bros described 57% and 56% respectively. Room for Improvement...
- Once again, Lionsgate takes last place among major studios with only 14% of their DVDs described, a terrible track record. Come on, guys!
- Shout! Factory (18 DVDs) finally got in the game with two (and only 2 out of 18) described DVDs mid-year. More please!
- Among the smaller studios releasing 10 or more DVDs this past year with none described, we have Cinedigm (13 DVDs), Gravitas (10 DVDs), and Image Entertainment (10 DVDs). Time to get onboard!
- The Watch List (5 to 9 non-described DVDs) consists of Magnolia and Well Go. Better start thinking about AD!
- In our analysis of all 415 DVDs identified by the DVDs Release Dates site and/or located in stores in 2019, only 41% (169) had description tracks, an 8% improvement over last year, though it is interesting to see that the total number of DVDs has been steadily declining.
Additional Information About Described DVDs
- The Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) provides audio described educational DVDs for students with disabilities from their library of 8000+ titles. You can search DCMP Titles here.
- Don’t Make Low-Vision Viewers Choose Between Vibrant 4K Picture and Audio Description.
- If you want to rent described videos, about the only chain of stores left is Family Video and kiosks like Redbox.
- If you want to borrow described videos, see our list of locations to borrow DVDs by state.
- For audio described DVDs outside the USA, see our International page.
- To order UK-described videos in the USA, see our Ordering UK-Produced Described Videos in the USA page.
- Numerous streaming video services offer audio description tracks; see the links in our navigation bar. Our Streaming page keeps you up to date with such services.
- Accessing the Audio Description Track on DVDs: With a few exceptions (such as Moulin Rouge and Up), you should be able to access the Audio Description track by pressing the "Audio" button repeatedly on your remote until you hear description (an easy alternative for users who are blind and can't navigate to the Languages menu). Disney Pixar releases starting November 2010 let you select AD when you insert the DVD, as noted in the 2010 listing.
- There is a software product available which will allow you to extract the audio track (including the description track) from a DVD and convert it to MP3 or other formats. This may be useful for people who are totally blind and don't need the video. For more information, see Computer Application Studio's DVD Audio Extractor, which is free to try for 30 days.