Winner of six international children's film festival prizes, MARCO POLO: RETURN TO XANADU comes to DVD (Warner Home Video, $14.97) as a 2D family adventure worth checking out. Featuring the voice of Nicholas Gonzalez (TV's RESURRECTION BOULEVARD) as Young Marco, descendent of the famous explorer, the boy finds himself in the mythical kingdom of Xanadu, where he must battle the evil magician Foo-Ling. Directed by Ron Merk, produced by Igor Meglic, Chris Holter and Merk and written by Holter, Merk and Sheldon Moldoff, MARCO POLO features the following bonus features:
Category: Home Entertainment
Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has announced that it will release the Oscar-nominated animated film THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE on DVD May 4, 2004. Completed over a remarkable five-year process, THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE was written and directed by French-born artist Sylvain Chomet, who previously received an Academy Award nomination for his animated short film, THE OLD LADY AND THE PIGEONS.
From the highly acclaimed anime director, Satoshi Kon (PERFECT BLUE, MILLENNIUM ACTRESS) TOKYO GODFATHERS will debut on DVD on April 13, 2004, from Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment. The Capra-esque tale of adventure from three homeless people - alcoholic Gin, drag queen Hana, and teenage runaway Miyuki as they discover an abandoned baby in a pile of garbage and venture to return her to her parents.
Not content with his theatrical 3D experiment, Robert Rodriguez has fine-tuned SPY KIDS 3-D - GAME OVER for DVD (Walt Disney Home Video, $29.99), which streets on Feb. 24, 2004, making it even more dynamic in the home theater. Thanks to James Cameron's revolutionary 3D camera that he developed for GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS and his upcoming feature, Rodriguez was able to utilize more 3D effects than he originally intended.
Universal will be releasing DR. SEUSS' THE CAT IN THE HAT, based on the classic children's book, on DVD and VHS March 16, 2004. The pricing for the release is $26.98 SRP/$19.95 MAP for DVD and $24.98 SRP/$15.95 MAP for VHS. The film was directed by MEN IN BLACK production designer Bo Welch and produced by THE GRINCH producer Brian Grazer.
Interactive DVD exclusives include:
In a mutiny of color and music, master animator Bruno Bozzetto offers his irreverent tribute to FANTASIA with ALLEGRO NON TROPPO (Home Vision Ent., $29.95). Transcending parody, this delirious animated feature from 1976 represents Bozzetto's vision of the world. In six distinct episodes, fantastic cartoon creatures march, slither and bounce to the classical rhythms of Debussy, Dvorak, Ravel, Sibelius, Vivaldi and Stravinsky. Perhaps most entrancing is the visualization of Ravel's "Bolero," in which the dregs of a Coke bottle set forth a frenzied animal evolution across a surreal landscape.
THE FLINTSTONES and SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? are coming to DVD in collectible box sets from Warner Home Video on March 16 for $64.92. The separate "Hanna-Barbera Golden Collection" four-disc sets mark the first time that every episode from the initial seasons of the landmark Hanna-Barbera series will be available on DVD.
All original 14 episodes of NATIONAL LAMPOON PRESENTS MR.WONG bows Feb. 17 on DVD (Maverick Ent., $19.98), along with a never-before-seen bonus episode and lots of extras, including guest stars Robert Evans and Troy Hurtubise, audio commentary, outtakes, recipes and more.
Since its Tuesday release, Walt Disney Pictures' THE LION KING 1 1/2 has sold more than 3 million combined DVD/VHS units in North America. Based on this sales figure alone, THE LION KING 1 1/2 is now positioned to be the best-selling direct-to-video DVD of all time.
King Features Syndicate announced that Academy Award-winner Kathy Bates (MISERY, TITANIC) has joined the cast of the 3D animated POPEYES VOYAGE: THE QUEST FOR PAPPY. Bates will take on the role of Popeyes nemesis, the Sea Hag/Siren. She joins voice over veteran Billy West (REN & STIMPY), who will bring the 'arrgh!' to Popeye. In addition, Devo frontman Mark Mothersbaugh (PEE-WEE'S PLAYHOUSE, RUGRATS, GROOVEIANS), has been brought on to provide the project's score and to produce an updated version of the classic Popeye the Sailor Man theme song.
The STAR WARS trilogy is finally debuting on DVD in a four-disc set on Sept. 21, 2004 from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Ent. (for an estimated retail price of $50). All three movies, STAR WARS, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI - a.k.a. EPISODES IV, V AND VI - are the special editions that have been digitally restored and remastered. Per George Lucas' request, the original theatrical versions will not be included, to the dismay of many fans.
THE LION KING legacy continues with THE LION KING 1 1/2, a DVD premiere sequel produced by DisneyToon Studios released Feb. 10, 2004 (Walt Disney Home Video, $29.99). Directed by Bradley Raymond (THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME II), the story puts a fresh spin on THE LION KING by going back and retelling the original story (admittedly with some humorous revisionism) through the eyes of Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella). But since LION KING was an animated riff on HAMLET anyway, the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern-like shtick seems very appropriate.
The Walt Disney Co. has confirmed that it will be releasing a restored Platinum Series edition of ALADDIN on DVD, Oct. 5, 2004. The two-disk set will feature a remixed 5.1 surround sound home theater track, a deleted song called "Proud of Your Boy" by Academy Award-winning songwriters Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, the original pencil tests of a scene featuring Aladdin's mother and a virtual carpet ride.
It only took a week for AMERICAN SPLENDOR to arrive on DVD (HBO Video, $27.95) after snagging a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar nomination, but now you can own one of the indie faves of 2003. AMERICAN SPLENDOR intersperses fact and fiction in telling the story of Cleveland comic book artist Harvey Pekar (portrayed by Paul Giamatti) as the ultimate everyman. Directed by Shari Stringer Berman and Robert Pulcini, the movie is acclaimed for its Flash-animated forays by Gary Leib and John Kuramoto of New York's Twinkle studio.
Stargate Digital, which recently opened a new facility in London, is currently revamping of all the visual effects for Highlander 2, to be released on DVD this spring through Artisan Home Ent.
Walt Disney's ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1951) may not be to everyone's liking, but it at least deserves careful consideration, since it really shines on the new two-disc Masterpiece Edition (Buena Vista Home Ent., $29.99) that hits stores Jan. 27, 2004. The feature has been cleaned up and remastered and shows off more vividly the work of the many talented animators (including Mary Blair, Bob Carlson, Marc Davis, John Hench, Ub Iwerks, Ollie Johnston, Milt Kahl, Ward Kimball, Eric Larson, Fred Moore and Frank Thomas).
The CRITIC - THE COMPLETE SERIES comes to DVD Jan. 27, 2004 (Columbia TriStar, $49.95) in a three-disc set featuring all 23 episodes with its dry wit intact. Created by Al Jean and Mike Reiss of THE SIMPSONS, the ill-fated CRITIC bounced around from ABC to Fox to Comedy Central to the Internet, attracting a small but devoted following that adored the movie parodies. Jon Lovitz voices the animated Jay Sherman, the sad sack of TV film critic who gives thumbs down to every pathetic movie he's forced to review.
Extras include:* Commentary on eight episodes
DILBERT - THE COMPLETE SERIES from '99 comes to DVD (Columbia TriStar, $49.95) Jan. 27, 2004. Check out all 30 episodes on this four-disc set from the first and second seasons and discover why the most popular comic strip of the decade made a smooth transition to animated series, thanks to irreverent writer/producer Larry Charles (SEINFELD and MAD ABOUT YOU).
SPIDER-MAN THE ANIMATED SERIES may have been dropped by MTV last year, but the good news is that all 13 episodes of season one have arrived in a terrific DVD set with plenty of extras (Columbia TriStar Home Ent., $29.95). Mainframe Ent.s computer-animated series (written and exec produced by Michael Bendis, who was responsible for the ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN comic) puts a new spin on Peter Parkers plight, putting him in college opposite Harry Osborn and Mary Jane Watson. Voiced by Neil Patrick Harris, the animated SPIDER-MAN had its fans and foes.
THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, the last of the Wachowski brothers' groundbreaking trilogy and vfx feast (supplied by ESC Entertainment a host of other houses) debuts on DVD April 6, 2004 (Warner Home Video, $29.95). The two-disc set will include the following bonus features in an attempt to top its predecessors:
LOST IN SPACE - THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (Fox Home Entertainment, $79.98) lands on DVD Jan. 13, 2004 in an eight-disc set containing all 29 black and white episodes of the Space Family Robinson from '65. Cheesy effects, but producer Irwin Allen offered a fun sci-fi romp that took place in '97. The first season was definitely the best. Includes the unaired pilot, "No Place to Hide" with no Dr. Smith (Jonathan Harris) and no robot.
Disc 1The Reluctant StowawayThe DerelictIsland In The SkyThere Were Giants In The Earth
On March 2, LOONEY TUNES BACK IN ACTION comes to DVD (Warner Home Video, $27.95) with special features such as a brand new Looney Tunes animated short, a personalized on-set tour with Bugs and Daffy and additional scenes. The live action/animated feature directed by Joe Dante stars Bugs, Daffy, Tweety, Taz and Jenna Elfman, Brendan Fraser, Steve Martin, Joan Cusack, Heather Locklear and Timothy Dalton.
The LOONEY TUNES BACK IN ACTION DVD will include the following features:
* Additional scenes not included in the theatrical version.
Vampires and werewolves wage war in UNDERWORLD, which comes to DVD Jan. 6 (Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, $28.95), boasting VFX from Framestore CFC and Luma Pictures. Think ROMEO AND JULIET meets THE MATRIX, starring Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman, and you get the gist of this indie sensation directed and co-scripted by Len Wiseman, which will spawn both a prequel and sequel from Lakeshore Ent. and Screen Gems.
THE LAST UNICORN, the beloved 1982 animated feature directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr., appears headed to DVD on March 16 through Artistan Home Entertainment, according to online retailers such as DVD Planet (www.dvdplanet.com) and DVD Empire (www.dvdempire.com), which are currently taking pre-orders. Featuring the voice talents of Alan Arkin, Rene Auberjonois, Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Angela Lansbury and Christopher Lee, THE LAST UNICORN concerns a brave unicorn and magician that battle an evil king bent on destroying all unicorns. Peter S. Beagle adapted his novel for the screen. A live-action version produced by Continent Film Ltd. (also scripted by Beagle) is in the works for a holiday release in 2004. Lee, Farrow, Lansbury and Auberjonois co-star. All but Farrow reprise their roles. Farrow, who voiced the unicorn in the animated feature, portrays Molly Grue. Julian Doyle and Michael Pakleppa share directing duties.