Battle for Terra, Superbeasto, Scooby-Doo, Hot Fuzz, Sarah Connor, Wallace & Gromit on DVD/Blu-ray
This week (9/22/09) offers the DVD/Blu-ray release of BATTLE FOR TERRA (Lionsgate, $12.99 and $19.99); THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO (Anchor Bay, $12.99 and $19.99); HOT FUZZ (Universal Home Ent., $18.99); SCOOBY-DOO! THE MYSTERY BEGINS (Warner Home Video, $19.99, $24.99); TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES -- THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON (Warner Home Video,$36.49, $44.99); and WALLACE & GROMIT: A MATTER OF LOAF AND DEATH (Lionsgate, $9.99) and WALLACE & GROMIT: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION (Lionsgate/HIT, $21.99, 19.99).
BATTLE FOR TERRA is the acclaimed indie animated feature from Aristomenis Tsirbas, based on his short. It's WAR OF THE WORLDS turned on its head, told from the perspective of the aliens whose beautiful planet is invaded by humans fleeing a dying Earth. It features the vocal talents of Evan Rachel Wood, Brian Cox, Luke Wilson, Justin Long, Amanda Peet, Chris Evans and Dennis Quaid.
The small production team was based in L.A. and split into two departments: character animation, which was created in Autodesk Maya, and the remainder, which was modeled, textured, lit and rendered in NewTek's LightWave 3D.
"When making TERRA, I thought I'd make a very dramatic film," the director explains. "But as we were making it, I ran into a lot of hurdles along the way, so that it couldn't be straight, dramatic, adult fare. It really needed to appeal to kids. So I brought in a screenwriter who had experience doing Disney films [Evan Spiliotopoulos] and we younged it up and put humor in it. And for the longest time, we were struggling with that. We couldn't revolutionize the animated film overnight. But I still stuck to my guns and tried to keep things dramatic as well."
Bonus features on the DVD and Blu-ray include a making-of featurette, audio commentary by Tsirbas, deleted scenes and original storyboards and the original short, TERRA.
From Starz Animation comes THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO, an unstoppable superhero masked wrestler, producer/director/star of BeastoWorld Enterprises -- and world-famous man of action. In his first full-length animated adventure based on the comic book created by Rob Zombie, Beasto and his super-sexy sister Suzi X must stop the unholy marriage of foul-mouthed stripper Velvet Von Black and diabolical Dr. Satan, or unleash all the sudsy powers of Hell! Features the voice talents of Tom Papa, Sheri Moon Zombie, Rosario Dawson, Brian Posehn and Paul Giamatti as Dr. Satan.
HOTT FUZZ is a spot-on UK crime parody with vfx from Double Negative, Framestore, Baseblack, Machine FX, among others. London's top cop, Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg of STAR TREK) is unceremoniously kicked out because he's too good and given a new detail in the small town of Sandford, Gloucestershire, where he must cope with a whole new set of challenges. HOTT FUZZ dazzles on Blu-ray and boasts several commentaries and a host of featurettes, including "Hearsay: Plot Holes & Comparisons, Special Effects: Before & After."
The new live-action SCOOBY-DOO! THE MYSTERY BEGINS (with vfx by Stargate Studios, Animation Picture Co., among others) reveals the never-before-told tale of how the Mystery Inc. crew originally came together along with the world's most famous Great Dane. A co-production of Warner Premiere and Cartoon Network, the film also features an array of enhanced content, including behind-the-scenes yearbook footage, a Mystery Inc. personality quiz, pop-up facts and even Scooby ring 'rones!
Directed by Brian Levant (BEETHOVEN, SNOW DOGS) and produced by Brian Gilbert (WRONG TURN), Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins features Robbie Amell (LIFE WITH DEREK) as Fred along with Kate Melton as Daphne, Hayley Kiyoko as Velma and Nick Palatas as Shaggy. Frank Welker, a member of the original SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU! voice cast, provides the voice of Scooby-Doo.
TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES (with vfx from Entity FX) never quite found its audience and concluded with its second season, with the characters trying to rescue their uncertain and turbulent future due to the ever shifting balance of power that defines the present.