CBS/Fox, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and DIC Entertainment are producing a direct-to-video title based on the life of Martin Luther King Jr., called Our Friend, Martin. The one-hour film will combine new animation with live-action archival footage of the late civil rights activist. Several celebrities are lending their voices to the production, including Whoopi Goldberg, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones, Susan Sarandon, John Travolta, Jaleel White and Oprah Winfrey.
Category: Home Entertainment
On October 27, Walt Disney Home Video releases "The Lion King II: Simba's Pride," a direct-to-video animated feature sequel to the 1995 blockbuster theatrical feature, "The Lion King." Disney hopes to achieve similar success to that of the film's predecessor, which has made history as both the number one animated movie and best-selling video of all time.
On October 13, Columbia TriStar Home Video released "Buster & Chauncey's Silent Night," a direct-to-video animated musical based on the true story of "Silent Night." The 48-minute film was produced by Buzz Potamkin and is Columbia TriStar's first in-house direct-to-video animated feature. Voice talent, directed by Susan Blu, includes the late Phil Hartman, Tom Arnold and Marie Osmond.
DreamWorks animated feature film, Antz has grossed over $36 million in the past 10 days since its U.S. theatrical release, topping two weeks box office charts. Reeling from this success, DreamWorks is developing a direct-to-video sequel to Antz. The film would, like its predecessor, be produced by computer animation studio Pacific Data Images (PDI). It is also being considered for theatrical release. Either way, a studio spokesperson confirmed that if the production is green lit, it would be 18-24 months before its release.
On October 8, McDonalds restaurants in the U.S. will start distributing a new animated video series starring the company spokes-clown, Ronald McDonald. All three of the productions were produced by Los Angeles-based animation studio, Klasky Csupo. Just in time for Halloween, the first release is a 40-minute video titled Scared Silly (directed by John Holmquist), featuring Ronald and friends on a camping trip to a haunted house. It will be available for $3.49 with any purchase.
Warner Bros. Family Entertainment has released a new, direct-to-video animated title, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island. The production was done at Hanna-Barbera (now a part of the Warner Bros. family), executive produced by Jean MacCurdy, produced by Cos Anzilotti with supervising producer Davis Doi, directed by Jim Stenstrum and written by Glenn Leopold. The video was released today and is priced at U.S. $19.96. A huge promotional push for the video includes tie-ins with 1-800-COLLECT, Wendys Restaurants, Cartoon Network, LEGO and Nascar.
Golden Books Family Entertainment has signed a deal with animation production company Varga tvc Ltd. (formed last year between Hungarian Varga Studios and TVC London) to produce animated video specials based on the Golden Books titles: "The Poky Little Puppy," "Saggy Baggy Elephant" and "Scuffy the Tugboat." The three videos will be available by Spring 1999. All animation production will take place at Varga tvc's London studio, with a production team that includes writer Bruce Talkington, creative director Dave Unwin and director Ramon Modiano.
On September 1, Buena Vista Home Entertainment released the English-language dubbed video of Hayao Miyazaki's animated feature, "Kiki's Delivery Service." The family film tells the story of a 13-year-old witch named Kiki. The English voice track features Kirsten Dunst, Phil Hartman, Matthew Lawrence, Debbie Reynolds and Janeane Garofolo. The film is 104 minutes, rated "G" and priced at U.S. $19.99. The Walt Disney Company will distribute several more of Miyazaki's films, including "Princess Mononoke" (theatrical release by Miramax, summer 1999) and "Castle in the Sky" (video release 1999).
Fall is upon us, and so is the season of many video releases. Following is a list of upcoming U.S. video releases of Japanese anime films. A.D.V. Films and their label Urban Vision will release "Tekkamen Blade II - Stage 3: Final Encounter" (9/22/98), "Dark Warrior" (10/06/98), "MAPS 1 & 2" (10/06/98), "Dark Warrior - First Strike" (10/06/98), "Cutey Honey Volume 2" (10/13/98), "Delinquent in Drag" (10/20/98), "Ruin Explorers 2" (10/27/98) and "Slayers: Dragon Slave!" (11/10/98).
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainmentis flooding the kids home video market with eight new releases priced atU.S. $5.98 (Canadian $7.98) each. The titles being released on April 7 arere-releases of the TV series episodes and vault films: "The Adventures ofRaggedy Ann & Andy: The Mabbit Adventure," "Bobby's World: Roger 'n Me,""Cinderella," "Life With Louie: For Pete's Sake," "Life With Louie: TheMasked Chess Boy," "Snow White" and "The Tick: The Tick vs. Arthur." In
Disney-owned DIC Entertainment will provide fivehours of animation programming a week to Paxson Communications' new U.S.family entertainment network, Pax Net. An exclusive, two year agreementreached between the two companies names DIC as the sole provider ofchildren's programming for the television network group, which will launchon August 31, 1998. Much of the programming will be from DIC's existinganimation library, packaged as an educational program block called"Freddy's Firehouse," which will air for three hours on Saturday and two