The highest selling TV series on DVD will be returning in June. THE SIMPSONS SEASON FOUR DVD COLLECTION will arrive in stores on June 15, 2004 from Fox Home Entertainment. The collection will feature all 22 episodes from the fourth season (1992-1993) and include exclusive bonus material such as commentary on each episode, an introduction by Matt Groening, a voiceover featurette with James L. Brooks, an Animation Showcase multi-angle feature, animatics, commercials, deleted scenes and more. The four-disc set will have a suggested retail price of $49.98.
Category: Home Entertainment
First CURIOUS GEORGE and now the upcoming DVD premiere movies for VAN HELSING and THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK. Just proves that 2D animation is alive and well at Universal.
With two major tent pole releases coming this summer, the studio is extending the marketing reach with two animated prequels produced exclusively for DVD with the participation of stars Hugh Jackman and Vin Diesel and directors Stephen Sommers and David Twohy: VAN HELSING: THE LONDON ASSIGNMENT (May 11) and THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: DARK FURY (June 15).
With THE FLINTSTONES and SCOOBY DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? debuting on DVD next week in full season glory, Warner Home Video is following up on May 11, 2004, with two more entries in the "Hanna-Barbera Golden Collection": 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, will retail for $64.92.
SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS - SPONGEBOB GOES PREHISTORIC (Paramount Home Ent., $16.99) is the latest themed disc highlighted by last week's well-received Nick special, SPONGEBOB GOES PREHISTORIC, which drew nearly six million viewers on March 5, 2004. Includes eight other episodes: "Nature Pants," "Fools In April," "I'm With Stupid," "Patty Hype," "Squid On Strike," "The Great Snail Race," "Plankton's Army" and "Squilliam Returns."
Extras include BATTLE FOR BIKINI BOTTOM PC Game demo.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Ent. confirmed that it has snapped up domestic DVD rights to Mel Gibson's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, which has earned an astounding $213.8M in 12 days. Fox, which has a first-look deal with Gibson's Icon Pictures and passed on domestic theatrical distribution, is also negotiating to distribute in key foreign theatrical markets. No release date has been officially set for the DVD, but one unconfirmed online report says it's August.
New Line Home Ent. announced on Monday that THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING will be released May 25, 2004 on DVD in its theatrical version for $29.95, and that the Extended Edition will arrive in time for the holidays.
Although a major disappointment when released theatrically last year, LOONEY TUNES - BACK IN ACTION has quickly become a cult favorite among LOONEY fans for its inspired irreverence (a wild pursuit through paintings in the Louvre is just one of the many highlights) and cutting edge hybrid animation and vfx. On March 2, LOONEY TUNES is back in action on DVD (Warner Home Video, $27.95).
As part of its promotion for the May 21, 2004 release of SHREK 2, DreamWorks will be releasing SHREK 3D, which was part of the Shrek 4-D attraction at Universal Studios, on DVD with the re-release of SHREK on May 11. The two-disk set will be priced at $16.95. Four pairs of 3D glasses will be included.
The 15-minute short follows Shrek and Donkey on another adventure to rescue his wife Fiona and features the original voice cast of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and John Lithgow.
Despite fan quibbling about the packaging and lack of significant extras, STAR TREK VOYAGER - THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (Paramount Home Ent., $129.99) nonetheless arrives on DVD with all 15 original episodes from '95 looking and sounding better than ever. For some, the series is better than NEXT GENERATION with its emphasis on the science, intrigue and fun of time travel, wormholes and four-dimensional creatures.
Buena Vista Home Ent. reports that sales of THE LION KING 1 1/2 have now reached six million combined DVD/VHS units in the first three weeks of release in North America. That's worth more than $130 million when combining purchase and rental dollars. The second sequel to THE LION KING (the first was SIMBA'S PRIDE, which will be reissued as a special edition this summer) is also the biggest selling DVD produced directly for the home entertainment market, surpassing last year's STITCH! THE MOVIE, VARIETY reports.
DIC Ent. and Mainframe Ent. will co-produce an all-new CGI INSPECTOR GADGET television special and DVD release, INSPECTOR GADGET SAVES THE DAY MAYBE. Mainframe will handle distribution in Canada, Australia and the U.K. with handling the title internationally and Lions Gate's Family Home Ent. handling the U.S.
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:
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.