I finally got around to trying out different DVDs on my laptop last night.
I was able to view Ironman (Marvel / Paramount), Princess Mononoke (Disney), Pinocchio (Disney), and another movie from Warner Brothers which I cannot recall.
Still, Porco Rosso (Disney) is unviewable. VLC just turns up an ugly hash with the audio being just fine. It figures that the first video I grab to test my DVD would be one that has a strange encryption scheme. But I did learn a lot from that red herring of trying to get my DVD to be viewable.
Video under Linux works great... depending on the DVD. Most all should play without issue. DVD menu navigation works well, too.