Toy giant Mattel, Inc. has commissioned Vancouver-based Mainframe Entertainment to produce a series of animated videos based on Hot Wheels storylines and characters created by Starlight Runner Entertainment to promote the 35th anniversary of the toy car products. The CGI toons, HOT WHEELS HIGHWAY 35, will follow five Hot Wheels race teams as they compete across the challenging terrains of parallel universes thwarted by a cadre of villains.
Category: Home Entertainment
The action/gadget packed SPY KIDS 2: THE ISLAND OF THE LOST DREAMS is now available on a collector's series DVD and VHS from Dimension Home Video. The action follows Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara) after they saved their parents and have become full-fledged SPYkid operatives within the secret OSS. They embark on a mission to a mysterious island that has the effect of disabling their precious gadgets. Houses that contributed visual effects to the family movie include Cinesite, Digiscope, Hybride Technologies, Janimation, K.N.B.
Daredevil will battle it out with Spider-Man in the new Buena Vista Home Entertainment release, DAREDEVIL VS. SPIDER-MAN. Discover the origins of Daredevil plus catch the animated action as "The Man Without Fear" teams up with the webslinger to take down their supreme nemesis, the powerful Kingpin. DVD bonus features include "Stan Lee's Soapbox" with legendary comics creator Stan Lee, the 1966 episode "King Pinned," and a FANTASTIC FOUR bonus episode featuring Daredevil. Available now for $19.99 (DVD) and $14.99 (VHS), it runs approximately 80 minutes.
After previously announcing that the short film FINAL FLIGHT OF THE OSIRIS, directed by Square USA, will have its theatrical premiere with the feature film DREAMCATCHER, Warner Home Video and Village Roadshow Pictures have now announced the DVD release date for THE ANIMATRIX. The nine animated episodes that make up THE ANIMATRIX (including FINAL FLIGHT OF THE OSIRIS) will be released worldwide on DVD and videocassette on June 3, 2003.
The ever-popular VeggieTales characters are trekking to DVD and VHS on March 4, 2003 with the Artisan Home Entertainment and Big Idea Productions release of JONAH - A VEGGIETALES MOVIE. Starring Larry the Cucumber (as Pirate Larry, the laziest pirate in the world) and Bob the Tomato (as himself), as well as upper-crusty Archibald the Asparagus as Jonah, the monocle-sporting prophet, JONAH - A VEGGIETALES MOVIE is the first VeggieTales story to receive a theatrical release.
Milestone Films has released two interesting collectors editions on DVD. Lotte Reiniger's animated feature THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED is now available on DVD.
After opening at number one at the box office, STUART LITTLE 2 faded away quickly from theaters, but now has another shot at success with the release of a special edition DVD. Combining live-action and CG animation, and featuring a voice cast including Michael J. Fox, Melanie Griffith and James Woods, STUART LITTLE 2 continues the story of the little mouse who lives with his human parents in New York City.
Among the notable animation home video releases for December 3 are Disney's LILO & STITCH and two excellent offerings in the Walt Disney Treasures collection, plus Miyazaki's MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO on DVD.
Two blockbuster special editions are available on DVD November 26, 2002 and both feature some innovative CG animation.
The DVD battles are on! It's a little over two weeks since SPIDER-MAN claimed the one day sales victory (with 7 million units), and now Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has announced that STAR WARS: EPISODE II ATTACK OF THE CLONES is the "fastest selling" home video release of the year. "Our tracking shows that the sales velocity for EPISODE II is faster than any other major title released this year -- and possibly ever," noted Mike Dunn, executive VP of sales and marketing, Fox Home Entertainment. Fox stated that more than 25% of initial shipments were purchased at traditional retail outlets throughout North America on the first day of release (November 12, 2002), with sales at retail topping $75 million for that first day alone. Although the studio declined to give actual numbers, it is estimated that after one week in stores, EPISODE II has sold about 7 million units. SPIDER-MAN has been available since November 1, 2002, and is estimated to have sold double that amount. Considering EPISODE II is still in many theaters, including the recently released big screen version ATTACK OF THE CLONES THE IMAX EXPERIENCE, it's unlikely that this installment of the STAR WARS saga will outsell the web-slinger, which took in a home video record of $190 million in three days.
Matt Damon is the voice of Spirit, the defiant wild mustang who must journey across the frontier to save his homeland in DreamWorks' SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON.
Now this is what DVD is made for. Special editions of two amazing special effects films are hitting the home video shelves on Tuesday, November 12, 2002, along with the complete first season of SOUTH PARK.
STAR WARS: EPISODE II "ATTACK OF THE CLONES"
October 2002 saw Disney/Pixar's animated hit MONSTERS, INC. earn a one day sales record of 5 million video and DVD units, and now Columbia Tri-Star Home Entertainment has announced that SPIDER-MAN has sold an estimated 7 million DVDs and videocassettes on its first day (Friday, November 1, 2002), based on day-one reporting. Columbia Tri-Star Home Entertainment shipped over 40 million units worldwide, with orders for 26 million in North America alone.
Columbia Tri-Star Home Entertainment is releasing its summer blockbuster SPIDER-MAN to DVD and home video on Friday, November 1, 2002. Given that most home video releases occur on Tuesdays, look for SPIDER-MAN to do heroic business in home video sales this weekend. SPIDER-MAN will be available in wide and full screen editions on DVD, with a host of exclusive features such as comic-to-feature comparison, a historical documentary on the character and never-before-revealed Spidey factoids.
Touchstone Home Entertainment is finally giving Roger Rabbit what he deserves. Not a trip to The Dip, but a deluxe VISTA Series 2-disc DVD release. Scheduled for release on March 25, 2003 in celebration of the film's 15th anniversary, this newly restored version of WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT will be presented in widescreen format with digital sound and a host of bonus features that go behind the scenes of this groundbreaking mix of live-action and animation.
The world of adult animation gets a decidedly urban turn with the release of THE CONTRACT on October 22, 2002. Urban Entertainment (UE) is venturing into the DVD market with its first release of an original animation project created for the Web. THE CONTRACT is the story of Bishop, a professional assassin who works his way up the ranks from an enforcer to a low-level drug dealer to the point man for international crime lord, Damien Wiles. Bishop must contend with his feelings when he is assigned to watch and eventually kill Damiens girlfriend, Cynda.
In one week of sales, Disney/Pixar's MONSTERS, INC. sold 11 million DVD and videocassette units in the United States and Canada, shattering every DVD-era home entertainment industry sales record. Only THE LION KING, in its 1995 pre-DVD era release, sold more units in its first week of sales (20 million videocassettes). On September 18, 2002 Buena Vista Home Entertainment reported that 5 million DVD and videocassette copies of MONSTERS, INC. were sold, topping the industry one day sales record previously reported at 4.5 million units.
The season of record-setting DVD sales has officially begun. Pixar and Walt Disney have announced that on its first day, the home video release of MONSTERS, INC. sold 5 million units on DVD and video in North America, topping the previous record of first day sales held by Disney's THE LION KING at 4.5 million units.
This winning animated musical, with songs by recent Oscar-winner Randy Newman, features the trials and tribulations of Danny the cat when he goes to Hollywood to become a big star. Not a lot of extras on the DVD, but it is presented in widescreen anamorphic format and includes the "Hooray for Hollywood!" interactive adventure and the "Cat Concerto" cartoon. Suggested retail price: $19.99 (DVD).
Mark Segall reviews CATS DON'T DANCE and finds it a classy and charming animated musical.
Hollywood-based producer and distributor C Cubed Entertainment has acquired distribution rights for ADVENTURES IN ODYSSEY, an animated series from Christian radio ministry Focus on the Family. C Cubed will distribute the made-for-video series, based on the radio program of the same name, to all non-religious television and home entertainment entities worldwide. Although this distribution agreement marks Focus' first entry into the mainstream entertainment arena, ADVENTURES IN ODYSSEY is one of the Christian broadcaster's most successful franchises.
MONSTERS, INC. makes its home entertainment debut on VHS and a 2-disc Special Edition DVD on September 17, 2002. For those of you that can't wait, a sneak peek at "Mike's New Car," the new animated short film created exclusively for the DVD and video release can now be seen on the Internet at www.monstersinc.com and www.apple.com/trailers. The VHS and the 2-disc DVD also includes the Academy Award-winning Pixar short film "For the Birds," MONSTERS, INC. "outtakes," an exclusive look at the upcoming feature film FINDING NEMO, and more.
SecondSun Entertainment plans to add new dimensions to Heathcliff the cat, when they re-launch the feline in 3D on two direct-to-video releases. Together with Los Angeles partners Pterodactyl/Kew Productions (P/K), SecondSun plans to begin production on the feature length videos later in 2002. P/K writer/producers Barney Cohen and Kathryn Wallack (SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH) will be responsible for updating Heathcliff's style, while Aaron L. Gilbert, will executive produce and spearhead the initial licensing and re-branding the HEATHCLIFF franchise.
Don Hertzfeldt's Bitter Films has released their Academy Award nominated short film REJECTED as a special limited edition DVD "single" for fans and friends of the film. Extras include deleted scenes, commentary, animated menus, hidden surprises and more. Bitter Films plans to release a compilation of all Hertzfeldt's films plus unseen footage on DVD sometime in the next year or two, after his next film is completed. The REJECTED DVD is currently available exclusively at Don Hertzfeldt's Website.
Anime and manga distributor ADV Films has acquired the short anime film THE VOICES OF A DISTANT STAR and plans a DVD-only release for the title. Using a mix of traditional and computer animation, the film was written, directed, edited and animated by Makoto Shinkai using a Power Macintosh 7600/120 computer and several consumer and professional-level design and animation software programs. Shinkai recently won the award for "Most Valuable Newcomer" at the 2002 Tokyo Anime Fair.