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.
Category: Home Entertainment
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
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:
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.
Fans of the animated Nickelodeon series, THE WILD THORNBERRYS, can now join Eliza Thornberry and her family on their cross-continental adventures with an exclusive offer through National Geographic. The two VHS sets follow the Thornberrys as they trek through Africa and Australia filming wildlife documentaries and getting mixed up in their crazy adventures along the way. Available exclusively through National Geographic, the two video sets can be purchased by calling 1-800-627-5162 or by ordering online at www.nationalgeographic.com.
The big-screen version of S.W.A.T., starring Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez, comes to DVD on Dec. 30, 2003 (Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, $28.95) with enough gunfire and other explosions (with vfx help from Pixel Magic) to satisfy action-movie junkies as well as fans of the '70s TV series.
Worldwide sales of the direct-to-video BARBIE OF SWAN LAKE have topped more than two million units through Entertainment Rights (excluding North America), via its home entertainment division, Rights Ent. This includes more than 400,000 units in the U.K., where the title has remained at number five on the children's chart after debuting at number one.
These figures follow the trend that began with Barbie's first direct-to-video feature, BARBIE IN THE NUTCRACKER and continued with BARBIE AS RAPUNZEL, which were also distributed through Entertainment Rights.
Described as a combination of Joan Miró, Buster Keaton, Chuck Jones, Gene Kelly and Felix the Cat, the iconoclastic animator, actor, dancer, cinematographer and editor Grant Munro is paid tribute on the new DVD CUT-UP: THE FILMS OF GRANT MUNRO (Image, $29.99). Presented by The National Film Board of Canada (where Monroe worked) and Milestone Films, the disc features 109 minutes of significant hand-drawn and pixilated animation, live action and documentary shorts covering 1945-1983.
SEABISCUIT, writer/director Gary Ross' acclaimed screen adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand's revered bestseller about the legendary race horse and his place in American lore, comes to DVD Dec. 16, 2003 (Universal Home Entertainment, $26.98) with several noteworthy extras: commentary from Ross and director Steven Soderbergh, production notes, three featurettes ("Racing Through History," "Bringing the Legend to Life" and "Anatomy of a Movie Moment: From Script to Screen") and co-star Jeff Bridge's on-set photographs.
Finally, with SOUTH PARK'S pivotal third season, released on DVD on Dec. 16, 2003 (Paramount Home Entertainment, $49.99), fans get actual episode commentary - or "commentary-mini" - by creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who riff for five minutes before all 17 episodes. Called a turning point by Parker and Stone, the third season from 2000 was actually produced while making the feature, SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT. The creators proclaim "Tweek vs.
The collision of RUGRATS and THE WILD THORNBERRYS into the RUGRATS GO WILD animated feature makes its way to DVD on Dec. 16, 2003 (Paramount Home Entertainment, $29.99). The Nickelodeon Movies/Klasky Csupo production offers both families marooned on a not so deserted island in the Pacific, with the bratty Angelica and Debbie basically stealing the show. Among the extras are deleted scenes, alternate ending, a behind-the-scenes featurette and exclusive interactive game.
Now on DVD, LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER, THE CRADLE OF LIFE (Paramount Home Entertainment, $29.99) continues the video game-inspired exploits of the alluring archeological adventuress (Angelina Jolie) in this sequel involving Pandora's Box.
BAD BOYS II, which reunites director Michael Bay with stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence for more stylized action and violence, hits DVD Dec. 9, 2003 (Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, $28.96). Bolstered by vfx supplied by Sony Pictures Imageworks, the two-disc set contains lots of extras, including seven deleted scenes, featurettes devoted to vfx and stunts, six sequence breakdowns (with on-set footage, storyboards and scripts), 19 production diary featurettes and Jay-Z "La-La-La" music video.
DECODE Entertainment is following the international television sales success of its illustrative pre-school show FRANNYS FEET with a major home entertainment deal. Universal-owned Vision Video Ltd (VVL) has picked up the U.K. rights and plans a full-scale retail release of the series on DVD and video early in 2004.
This is DECODEs second deal with VVL following a home entertainment agreement for its other preschool property THE SAVE-UMS! earlier this year.
Although 24 out of the 40 first season episodes of SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS have already appeared on DVD, it's nice to have the other 16 Nick episodes too, so kudos to Paramount Home Entertainment for releasing SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS - THE COMPELTE 1ST SEASON in time for the holidays ($49.99).
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, the year's top live actioner, has sold 11 million DVD and VHS units (a reported 90% on DVD) in its first week of sales, becoming the largest opening live-action home entertainment title in history. According to VIDEO BUSINESS, that translates to about $187 million in revenue.
With the Dec. 2, 2003 release of THE LAND BEFORE TIME: THE GREAT LONGNECK MIGRATION Universal Studios Home Video celebrates the 15th anniversary of this billion-dollar direct-to-video animation franchise. THE GREAT LONGNECK MIGRATION ($24.98) marks the 10th installment of the children's dinosaur saga, which began with the beloved theatrical feature directed by Don Bluth and exec produced by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin-based BrownBoots Interactive has begun production on a 3D animated feature entitled, DINOVILLE ADVENTURES: METEOR MADNESS. Co-directing and producing the project are BrownBoots president Alan Hathaway and animator Tim Bowser. The 30-minute film should be finished in July 2004 and BrownBoots hopes to shop the project around to the direct-to-video market.
Various Internet sources have claimed that Fox Home Entertainment and LucasFilms have released information to retailers that the original STAR WARS trilogy will be released on DVD November 2, 2004. These rumors first started when LucasFilms held a hush hush invitation only marketing preview in San Francisco on Nov. 5, 2003. Force.net is stating that the films with be packaged individually and not as a box set. Fox Home Entertainment has told VFXWorld it is too early to confirm any of the details until LucasFilms informs them.
Disney's PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL, which has amassed more than $304M to date, arrives Dec. 2, 2003 on DVD (Walt Disney Home Entertainment, $29.99). The two-disc set includes a bounty of supplemental riches, including audio commentaries by director Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp, deleted scenes, a "making-of" featurette, "Moonlight" scene progression, blooper reel and an interactive history of pirates.
On the heels of Ridley Scott's recent director's cut of ALIEN comes ALIEN QUADRILOGY, the ultimate box set of the sci-fi franchise and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment's (TCFHE) most ambitious DVD project yet. Streeting Dec. 2, 2003 and priced at $99.98, QUADRILOGY contains four films, nine discs and 45 hours of bonus materials. Plus new vfx in ALIEN and ALIEN3 supplied by TCFHE and five houses (Svengali, R!OT, Encore, Frantic and Modern Video). There are 15 new CG shots in ALIEN, including CG blood, CG fire, wire removal and star fields.