MUTANT ALIENS, the latest feature by maverick animator Bill Plympton, who is graphic in both his art and point of view, resurfaced in a fully-loaded DVD on July 1, 2003 (Ventura Distribution, $19.90). In MUTANT ALIENS, an astronaut left in space returns after 20 years with a vengeance after being betrayed by a greedy corporate shark.
Not surprisingly, Plympton Studios has teamed with the artist-friendly label IndieDVD, based in Portland, Oregon, to best position his heralded indie feature in the retail market. "We think that we are on the epoch of something great here," suggests IndieDVD co-founder Jacob Loeb. "MUTANT ALIENS is both a space adventure and a space comedy, and our aliens are a heck of a lot cuter than Stitch. With the special features, we intend to entertain the older anime viewing fans of animation as well as the sci-fi fans, who, studies show, represent the majority of [Plympton's] regular enthusiasts."
IndieDVD employs DVD-9 technology on MUTANT ALIENS, which provides the same amount of information found on a two-disc set, all on one convenient, one-sided disc. The extra space on the DVD does not go underutilized, however, as the second disc comes fully loaded with extras, including full-length audio commentary by Plympton, a feature-length behind-the-scenes exposé on indie animation and an alien mutation game in which viewers are invited to cross breed two different species to receive a DVD-generated mutated monster.
As with many of Plympton's films, MUTANT ALIENS comes with controversy. Despite the cute factor of the mutants, there is a scene that reveals their true origin involving some, shall we say, unwholesome sexual practices. When IndieDVD submitted the film to be rated by the MPAA in May 2003, two members of the MPAA board apparently engaged in a heated argument over whether or not the scenes should be allowed. At the end of the debate, the MPAA granted IndieDVD an "R" rating, which IndieDVD chose to accept over a possible re-edit.
Ventura Distribution handles all IndieDVD films, including other PLYMPTOONS. For distribution contacts, Ventura can be reached at www.venturadistribution.com or by phone at 1-888-499-3700.