Paramount has announced a deal with Hasbro to release a series of animated direct-to-DVD features based on Hasbro toys such as G.I. JOE, TRANSFORMERS and TONKA, reports VARIETY. This is an extension of Paramount and Hasbro's agreement on the forthcoming animated movie G.I. JOE: VALOR VS. VENOM. That movie and a Tonka flick, TOUGH TRUCK ADVENTURES: THE BIGGEST SHOW ON WHEELS, are scheduled for release in September 2004 with TRANSFORMERS ENERGON and a SECRET CENTRAL picture titled HAVE YOU HEARD? following in October.
Category: Home Entertainment
ADV Films has announced its June 8, 2004 street dates. The titles include: AZUMANGA DAIOH: FESTIVALS!, AURA BATTLER DUNBINE: BATTLERS OF BYSTON WELL and HAPPY LESSON: MAMA MIA! OVA.
On June 8, 2004, Central Park Media set to release URUSEI YATSURA MOVIE 2: BEAUTIFUL DREAMER, BLACK JACK: INCUBATION, SPIRIT WARRIOR: A HARVEST OF CHERRY BLOSSOMS, SPIRIT WARRIOR DVD COLLECTION, DOMAIN OF MURDER, MACHINE ROBO: REVENGE OF CRONOS: VOLUME 3 and THE BONDAGE MASTER on DVD. All DVDs will have audio tracks in both English and Japanese with English subtitles.
Mattel and Miramax Home Ent. have announced an exclusive partnership that calls for Mattel to produce its first direct-to-video full-length animated movie featuring the MY SCENE girls. Miramax Home Ent. will distribute the movie. The My Scene movie is in production and will be released in fall 2005, and follows on the heels of the first MY SCENE entertainment experience, "Jammin' in Jamaica," an in-package DVD released earlier this year that also aired on Nickelodeon June 6, 2004.
With SPIDER-MAN 2 coming to theaters June 30, 2004, Columbia TriStar Home Ent. is naturally plugging Spidey on DVD as well, reissuing SPIDER-MAN in a three-disc deluxe edition ($24.95) with a few new extras aimed at promoting the sequel, along with a superior quality SPIDER-MAN Superbit disc ($26.96).
While the first two discs in the deluxe edition are the same as the previous SPIDER-MAN collection, disc three includes the following:
Costume design featurette
Chuck Jones used to say that the two most important people in animation were Winsor McCay and Walt Disney, so kudos to Milestone for assembling this indispensable collection of pioneering work by McCay (1911-1921) on DVD. WINSOR MCCAY: THE MASTER EDITION (Image, $29.99) streets June 1. Most of this cartoonist's work is present, revealing what a fine draughtsman and storyteller he was when it came to exploring reality and fantasy and the metamorphosis of shapes.
STAR TREK VOYAGER: THE COMLETE SECOND SEASON (Paramount Home Ent., $129.99) was recently released on DVD, offering 26 episodes on seven discs. More sci-fi and greater psychological emphasis as Captain Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and crew come into their own, struggling to find their way home. VFX courtesy of Eden FX, Digital Muse, Digital Magic Co., Foundation Imaging, CIS Hollywood, Newkirk Special Effects, Pacific Ocean Post Digital Film Group and Santa Barbara Studios.
4Kids Entertainment Home Video, in association with FUNimation, will release seven new titles on June 1, 2004. The videos and DVDs include: CABBAGE PATCH KIDS: The Clubhouse (VHS/DVD), TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: Volume 10: Secret Origins (VHS/DVD), YU-GI-OH!: Season 2 Volume 5: Mime Control & Volume 6: Double Duel (VHS/DVD), SONIC X: Volume 1: A Super Sonic Hero & Volume 2: The Chaos Factor (VHS/DVD) and ULTRAMAN TIGA: Volume 3: GUTS Headquarters Under Attack (DVD).
The Shout! Factory released on May 25, 2004, SPIKE & MIKE'S CUTTING EDGE CLASSICS: FAVORITES FROM THE CLASSIC FESTIVAL OF ANIMATION, an audacious collection of wildly original animated shorts on DVD from animators around the world. The shorts offer a variety of styles, blending comedy and pathos, challenging the boundaries of both genre and form. The 17 selections feature Adam Elliots BROTHER, a moving yet visually deceptive epitaph, and Patrick Smiths DRINK, a savagely comic take on identity.
Marvel Enterprises Inc. and Lions Gate Ent. have entered into an agreement to develop, produce and distribute original animated DVD features based on characters from the Marvel catalog. Under the terms of the arrangement, Marvel and Lions Gate plan to start production immediately on eight original animated projects in either 2D or 3D, with the first title expected to be released by Lions Gate in late 2005.
For those who enjoyed the stylish vampire/werewolf cult favorite, UNDERWORLD, it's time to replace your DVD with the new unrated extended version released May 25 (Columbia TriStar Home Ent., $34.95). There's 12 minutes of new footage highlighted by a sexy subplot with vampire Erika (Sophia Myles), backstories on the Lycans and a new battle. But the violence is no more graphic and there's no nudity with Kate Beckinsale.
Warner Home Video announced the Sept. 14 DVD release of a two-disc collector's edition of THX 1138 ($26.99 and $19.97 for single-disc version), George Lucas' first film from 1971. The director's cut will include not only meticulous digital audio and video restoration (a collaboration between Lucasfilm and Warner Home Video) but also digitally enhanced backgrounds, cityscapes and crowds of people, according to Jim Ward, vp marketing and distribution at Lucasfilm.
SMALLVILLE - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON (Warner Home Video, $59.98) has made it to DVD, with all 23 episodes of the WB series on six discs. The focus shifted in season two to Clark Kent's (Tom Welling) growing and agonizing self-discovery. Episodes such as the two-parter "Heat" and "Red" deal with his past and his disturbing superpowers. Look for Christopher Reeve as a scientist who helps explain his Kryptonian origins in "Rosetta." Vfx provided by Modern Videofilm Inc. and Rainmaker Digital Pictures.
After an initial delay last December, Disney's popular WALT DISNEY TREASURES DVD series continues with the May 18, 2004, release of WAVE 3, four new, separate limited tin sets offering more uncut, uncensored and never assembled or released wonders (Walt Disney Home Ent., $32.99 each). All the volumes are fully restored and hosted by film historian Leonard Maltin.
Mel Gibson's biblical blockbuster, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, will debut on DVD Aug. 31, 2004 (Fox Home Ent., $29.98) in a bare bones single disc edition, presented at the maximum bit rate. So don't expect any nifty bonus features for at least a year, including how Keith Vanderlaan's Captive Audience handled the numerous digital effects that were supervised by Ted Rae.
As of May 9, THE PASSION has grossed $360M domestically and $222M overseas.
Warner Home Video offers the next two entries in the "Hanna-Barbera Golden Collection" on May 11, 2004: THE JETSONS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON and JONNY QUEST: SEASON ONE. Each four-disc set, featuring more than 11 hours of original TV programming and bonus content, retails for $64.92.
Taking THE ANIMATRIX a step further, Universal Home Ent Prods. has created an original animated DVD prequel, VAN HELSING: LONDON ASSIGNMENT, which seques right into the just released VAN HELSING feature. The unrated, 33-minute LONDON ASSIGNMENT (Universal Studios Home Video, $14.98), which streets May 11, 2004, boasts the participation of Stephen Sommers and Bob Ducsay (the exec producers who directed and produced the feature), and cast members Hugh Jackman (Van Helsing), David Wenham (Friar Carl), Robbie Coltrane (Mr. Hyde) and Alun Armstrong (the cardinal).
In a unique move showing the increased fan following for videogame stories, Square Enix has announced that it will release a DVD sequel to its 1997 hit game, FINAL FANTASY VII, reports VARIETY. The CGI animated feature, FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN, will continue the story of the game, which sold more than 9 million units worldwide. No release date has been set. The first move into film for this popular gaming franchise was the 2001 photoreal feature FINAL FANTASY, which was a disaster at the box office.
French director Sylvain Chomet's highly acclaimed THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE comes to DVD on May 4, 2004 (Columbia TriStar Home Ent., $24.96) with the best opportunity to broaden its appeal. The mostly hand-drawn tale (with a pinch of 3ds max thrown in, including the wheel) of bicycling, gangsters and the music hall is a unique experience to behold.
* Three behind-the-scenes featurettes with commentaries: Opening Sequence, Restaurant Performance, Tuning the Wheel
At long last, SAMURAI JACK - SEASON 1 (Warner Home Video, $29.98) debuts on DVD on May 4, 2004. The UPA-inspired series from Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of DEXTER'S LABORATORY, is the tale of a young samurai cast far into the future by the evil shape-shifting wizard Aku. With award-winning artwork and intricate, action-packed plots, the many journeys of Samurai Jack are intriguing and artful. Extras include Tartakovsky commentary, a making-of doc, original artwork and original animation test.
ADV Films has announced its slate of May anime releases. The titles include BASTOF SYNDROME: FEAR AND LEMONS, ANGELIC LAYER: INHERIT THE LAYER, LEGEND OF THE MYSTICAL NINJA: LOVE IS A POWERFUL WEAPON, WELCOME TO THE KALEIDO STAGE, SAIYUKI: TROUBLE IN PARADISE and SLAYERS: PREMIUM.
Two new Spacecraft Film treasures, THE MIGHTY SATURNS: SATURN V (EXTENDED COLLECTOR'S EDITION) and APOLLO 15: MAN MUST EXPLORE (EXTENDED COLLECTOR'S EDITION), are now available in separate three-disc and six-disc sets (Fox Home Ent., $49.98 and $89.98). They are the latest in the most comprehensive collection every assembled to chronicle NASA's early space missions. Developed and produced by film historian Mark Gray, they contain full-length TV transmissions and complete inventories of onboard film.
Tim Burton's underrated BIG FISH, the imaginative and heartfelt father-son drama starring Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney, is sure to find renewed life on DVD (Columbia TriStar Home Ent., $28.95) when it's released on April 27, 2004. The Alabama-based yarn about reality and fantasy and the nature of storytelling features some slight yet effective vfx from Sony Imageworks, and represents the director's first foray into the world of Digital Intermediate, which is used marvelously during the fantasy sequences.