ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 4.2 - MAY 1999

Home Video

Vampires In Havana! The Cinema Guild has released the animation cult classic, Vampires In Havana! Juan Padron, best known in the US for his Quinoscopo shorts, directed the 1985 Cuban film which was released theatrically in the USA in 1987. Vampires In Havana! is a spoof of horror and gangster movies, presented in a style reminiscent of Fritz The Cat. It features Professor von Dracula, a vampire scientist who leaves Transylvania for Cuba where he invents "Vampisol," a potion that allows vampires to live in sunlight. When the professor announces that he intends to donate the formula to vampires throughout the world, the Vampire Mafia from Chicago and the European Group of Vampires from Dusseldorf try to steal the formula for their own benefit. Despite relying a bit much on dialogue, and starting slowly, this is an amusing variation on the vampire myth. However, don't expect to laugh as hard as you did at Padron's Quinoscopo films. This VHS release is in Spanish with English subtitles and retails for $69.95. For further information contact The Cinema Guild in the USA at 1-800-723-5522; or by e-mail at TheCinemaG@aol.com; also visit www.cinemaguild.com.

Rupert Arrives On DVD. George Pal's first feature film, The Great Rupert (1950), is being released onto DVD by Image Entertainment for the first time. The film, an Arnold Leibovit Entertainment Presentation, will be released on May 7 and retails for $24.99. It stars the legendary Jimmy Durante, Tom Drake and Terry Moore (Jill from the 1949 film Mighty Joe Young); as well as Rupert, a dancing squirrel brought to life using Pal's trademark Puppetoon animation technique. The rarely seen film was transferred from one of the few 35mm nitrate prints in existence.

Ottawa Festival To Release Videos. The Ottawa International Animation Festival and Canadian Film Institute have acquired the North American video rights to all Estonian animation films produced by the studios Tallinnfilm, Eesti Joonisfilm, and Nukufilm. The collection includes award winning films by Priit Parn (Hotel E, Breakfast on the Grass, and The Night of the Carrots); Rao Heidmets (Hell); Mati Kutt (Underground, Smoked Spout Baked in the Sun); Janno Poldma (Birthday); Rein Raamat (Hell); and many more. A five volume video set entitled Before and After Independence: 40 Years of Estonian Animation will be released in the Fall of 1999. Last summer, the Ottawa Festival also acquired the rights to the films of Polish animator, Stefan Schabenbeck. For more information call 1-613-232-8769 or email oiaf@ottawa.com.

Heikki Jokinen visited Estonia in our February 1998 issue of Animation World Magazine in Little Big Estonia: The Nukufilm Studio.

Rugrats Debut On Video. The new Paramount Home Video release of The Rugrats Movie was the best selling video in the US for the week ending April 4, 1999. Rugrats out sold its nearest rivals, Tae-Bo Workout and Mighty Joe Young, by about four to one. However, Mulan, which debuted on video in the US earlier this year, sold about 40% more copies during its debut week than Rugrats sold during its first week. Rugrats was also released on DVD where it debuted at #2, just behind Buena Vista's The Waterboy with Adam Sandler.


Note: Readers may contact any Animation World Magazine contributor by sending an e-mail to editor@awn.com.


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