March 17 releases include the DVD/Blu-ray debut of PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, plus AZUR & ASMAR, the second through fourth seasons of A PUP NAMED SCOOBY DOO, two volumes of THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN and season one of THE ZETA PROJECT on DVD. Saturday, March 21 brings the DVD bow of TWILIGHT and the Blu-ray release of BOLT.
AZUR & ASMAR: THE PRINCES' QUEST on DVD
Embark on an exciting and dangerous journey with two princes when AZUR & ASMAR: THE PRINCES' QUEST arrives on DVD March 17 from Genius Products and The Weinstein Company. This meticulous CGI animated fable from acclaimed French filmmaker Michel Ocelot (KIRIKU AND THE SORCERESS) dazzles with its lush visuals. Rich in story, the tale follows Azur, a nobleman's blond blue-eyed son and Asmar, the nursemaid's dark-skinned and dark-eyed child. As kids they fought and loved each other as brothers; as grown-ups, they mercilessly become rivals in the quest to rescue a beautiful fairy princess.
BAKUGAN Volume Three: Good Versus Evil on DVD
Get into the action and excitement with the BAKUGAN Volume Three: Good Versus Evil DVD from Cartoon Network and Warner Home Video. BAKUGAN is the story of Dan and his friends as they battle their Bakugan monsters to save the parallel universe of Vestroia and ultimately the Earth from destruction. What these young warriors initially thought was just a game has become a race to restore peace throughout the universe! Episodes included are: "A Perfect Match," "Grandpa's Got a Brand New Bakugan," "Bakugan Stall" and "Just for the Shun of it." This full screen DVD is available in English language.
The DVD comes packaged with an exclusive BAKUGAN trading card from Spin Master. BAKUGAN can be seen on Cartoon Network on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 6:30 a.m. (ET/PT).
BARBIE PRESENTS THUMBELINA on DVD
Discover an all-new, magical world beneath the wildflowers when BARBIE PRESENTS THUMBELINA premieres exclusively on DVD on March 17, 2009 from Universal Studios Home Ent. This fresh new twist on the beloved character brings a "green" perspective to a classic fairy-tale. Harnessing the magic of nature, Barbie as Thumbelina, sets out to prove that even the smallest person can make a big difference. Meet a tiny girl named Thumbelina who lives in harmony with nature in the magical world of the Twillerbees, hidden among the wildflowers. At the whim of a spoiled young girl named Makena, Thumbelina and her two friends have their patch of wildflowers uprooted and are transported to a lavish apartment in the city. Here they learn of construction plans that threaten to destroy the land of the Twillerbees! Harnessing the magic of nature, Thumbelina sets out to prove that even the smallest person can make a big difference.
Special Features Include:
-- Flying Fairy Recycling Game-- Thumbelina's Green Thumb Challenge
Beginning March 17, 2009, consumers will be able to purchase and download Universal Studios Home Entertainment's Barbie animated features from select online destinations, including iTunes. In addition to BARBIE PRESENTS THUMBELINA, available titles online include BARBIE IN THE 12 DANCING PRINCESSES, BARBIE FAIRYTOPIA: MAGIC OF THE RAINBOW, BARBIE AS THE ISLAND PRINCESS, BARBIE MARIPOSA and BARBIE & THE DIAMOND CASTLE.
BUNNYTOWN: HELLO BUNNIES! on DVD
Get ready to dance, count, laugh and sing when hit Playhouse Disney Series BUNNYTOWN: HELLO BUNNIES! comes to Disney DVD for the first time ever on March 17, 2009.
BUNNYTOWN: HELLO BUNNIES! features rollicking, hip music, colorful bunny characters, humorous skits, and important lessons on perseverance, sharing and teamwork. Sail the seas with Pirate Bunnies, save the "Crunch Carrot Festival" with Super Bunny and soar through the galaxy with Space Bunny as they go about their musical day. With four hilarious episodes chock full of rock, country and disco music and bonus material including an engaging activity ("Bunny Dance) and a fun multiple choice game( "It's that Time Again), BUNNYTOWN: HELLO BUNNIES! makes the perfect Easter gift. Plus, viewers will get the chance to catch an exclusive sneak peek of the all-new movie Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse "Mickey's Adventure in Wonderland."
Special Features Include:
-- "Bunny Dance" -- Residents of Bunnytown and the Bunny Band use silhouetted dance moves to teach viewers how to dance.-- It's That Time Again" Game -- Multiple-choice game featuring segments with King Fluffy the Forth and Jester Bunny.-- Exclusive sneak peek of all-new movie Disney Mickey Mouse Clubhouse "Mickey's Adventure in Wonderland."
DRAGON TALES: OUR AMAZING PETS! on DVD
One of the top shows for preschoolers on PBS KIDS returns to DVD in an all-new, charming edition: DRAGON TALES: OUR AMAZING PETS!. Sony Pictures Home Ent. will release this new-to-DVD collection of five animated episodes featuring Emmy, Max and all their Dragon Land pals on March 17, 2009.
DRAGON TALES: OUR AMAZING PETS! includes fun and educational episodes that teach children the importance of caring for their special pet friends. Whether an orange furball, a leaping frog, a baby rhyming bird or a fuzzy pet caterpoozle, Dragon Land is full of many unique animals -- each of which has its own set of special needs to discover. The DVD also includes a fun Dragon Tales song, "Come On, Let's Blow," which parents and kids can enjoy singing together.
DRAGON TALES: OUR AMAZING PETS! represents the 17th Sony release of the popular brand. Like all other titles OUR AMAZING PETS! also contains Sony's "Quick-Start" auto-play feature.
"Wheezie's Hairball" -- Emmy and Max are greeted in Dragon Land by a strange orange fur ball, Zak and Wheezie's new pet, Slurpy. They're learning how to take care of him, and it isn't easy! Since he can't talk, Slurpy tries to communicate by bouncing twice and spinning around.
"Frog Prints" -- When Quetzal takes the gang on a ride through Dragon Lagoon, Max finds a new friend. He immediately loves "Hoppy," a little uni-croaker frog, and decides to take him home to keep as a pet. But Quetzal gently explains that's not possible.
"Bye Bye Birdie" -- When Emmy finds a baby rhyming bird left behind by its family, she wants to keep it for a pet. She names it Cutie Pie and becomes attached to the little bird. Her friends and Quetzal help her realize she must return the baby bird to its parents. Emmy feels very sad knowing she'll have to say goodbye to Cutie Pie, so her friends show her support, making the journey with her to find the bird's family.
"Goodbye Little Caterpoozle "-- Everyone loves to play with Cassie's fuzzy pet caterpoozle, especially Cassie. When Cassie discovers a transparent cocoon in the cage, they all believe that Poozie has died. To help Cassie feel better, the friends share favorite memories of Poozie and offer to help find another pet. None will do, until a caterpoozle a lot like Poozie crawls up Cassie's arm, nuzzles her neck and smiles at her.
"Green Thumbs" -- When the group finds a lost baby plant, they have to figure out how to care for her properly on their long journey to return her to her family and home.
PUNISHER: WAR ZONE -- Special Edition on DVD and Blu-ray
One of Marvel Comics' most popular superhero action franchises returns with the March 17, 2009 DVD and Blu-ray release of PUNISHER: WAR ZONE from Lionsgate Home Ent. Frank Castle is back and it is six years into his vengeance driven zeal as "The Punisher" and he is now set to take on the mob.
The 2-Disc Special Edition DVD and Blu-ray contain a standard definition digital copy of the film as well as thrilling bonus features including multiple featurettes examining all elements of making the film plus audio commentary. The Blu-ray Disc also features MOLOG, a BD Live application that allows users to insert and animate shapes, text, audio and other graphics right into the film as well as post "blogs" about the film to share with other registered MOLOG users. The standard one-disc DVD will include a Widescreen and Full Screen version of the film along with the theatrical trailer. PUNISHER: WAR ZONE features a hit sound track from today's hottest rock bands including Slayer, Slipknot, Seether, Rise Against, Hatebreed, Static-X and a new single from Rob Zombie.
Waging his one-man war on the world of organized crime, ruthless vigilante-hero Frank Castle (Ray Stevenson) sets his sights on overeager mob boss, Billy Russoti (Dominic West). After Russoti is left horribly disfigured by Castle, he sets out to seek vengeance under his new alias: Jigsaw. With the "Punisher Task Force" hot on his trail and the FBI unable to take Jigsaw in, Frank must stand up to the formidable army that Jigsaw has recruited before more of his evil deeds go unpunished.
The film is based on Marvel's PUNISHER comic book series, written by Nick Santora and Art Marcum & Matt Holloway, and directed by Lexi Alexander.
Supervising the visual effects for the movie was Robert Short, an artist with a unique combined expertise in visual effects and make-up effects (he won the 1985 Academy Award in this category for BEETLEJUICE) alike. "I was responsible for overseeing and designing the vfx and make-up effects. This worked out well because of my background and the amount of overlap between the make-up effects and the digital effects. In order to produce our 285 shots, we used several houses in the United States, as well as in Canada and England. We had CIS London, Pixel Magic, XY&Z, 2-G and PIC. Montreal-based Maestro Studio created the make-up effects."
Short and his team had a very tight schedule to work with, which did not allow for a lot of guesswork or experimentation. "Having cut my teeth working in the business with Roger Corman, I've learned how to work quickly and effectively with directors. During pre-production, I storyboarded all of the vfx and make-up effects sequences and created booklets for all the departments, so that we would all be on the same page. Doing the storyboards allowed me to 'cut to the chase' regarding the best angles to use for the shots, and figure out just how much we will be able to do in camera."
2-Disc Special Edition DVD Special Features Include:
Disc One:-- "The Making of PUNISHER: WAR ZONE" featurette -- "Training to Become The Punisher" featurette-- "The Weapons of The Punisher" featurette-- "Meet Jigsaw" featurette-- "Creating the Look of The Punisher" featurette-- Audio commentary with Director Lexi Alexander and Director of Photography Steve Gainer-- Theatrical trailer
Disc Two:-- Digital Copy of the feature film
Blu-ray Special Features Include:Disc One:-- "The Making of PUNISHER: WAR ZONE" featurette -- "Training to Become The Punisher" featurette-- "The Weapons of The Punisher" featurette-- "Meet Jigsaw" featurette-- "Creating the Look of The Punisher" featurette-- Audio commentary with Director Lexi Alexander and Director of Photography Steve Gainer-- "MoLog" -- Movie Blog network connected community and interactive movie blog tool set-- Theatrical trailer
Disc Two:-- Standard Definition Digital Copy of the feature film
A PUP NAMED SCOOBY DOO: Seasons 2-4 on DVD
The spookiest monsters and the most baffling mysteries don't stand a chance against the Scooby-Doo Detective Agency on the hit animated series A PUP NAMED SCOOBY-DOO, whose second, third and fourth seasons are slated for release in one set on DVD March 17, 2009 by Warner Home Video.
Aimed at preschoolers and kids, A PUP NAMED SCOOBY-DOO follows the young adventures of the lovable Great Dane Scooby-Doo, along with kid-sized versions of the Mystery Inc. gang that includes Daphne, Velma, Fred and Shaggy as they solve mysteries and embark on exciting adventures.
Outrageous hijinks and crazy shenanigans abound throughout the second, third and fourth seasons of A PUP NAMED SCOOBY-DOO. In "Commander Cool," Shaggy's diagnosed with amnesia and thinks he's Commander Cool. The gang investigates a giant hamburger creature in "Night of the Living Burger" while in "The Computer Walks Among Us," Velma is suspect to a series of mysterious locker robberies. The monster of Chickenstein tries to scare everyone off in "Chickenstein Lives" and a ghost clown haunts the Coolsville amusement park in "Terror, Thy Name is Zombo." A strange hair monster terrorizes the Coolsville mall in "Horror of the Haunted Hair Piece" while a giant snail terrifies everyone in New York City in "Mayhem of the Moving Mollusk."
Disc One:Episodes from Season 2 include: "Curse of the Collar," "The Return of Commander Cool," "The Spirit of Rock'n Roll," "Chickenstein Lives," "Night of the Living Burger," "The Computer Walks Among Us," "Dog Gone Scooby," "Terror, Thy Name is Zombo."
Disc Two:Episodes from Season 3 include: "Night of the Boogey Biker," "Dawn of the Spooky Shuttle Scare," "Horror of the Haunted Hairpiece," "Wrestle Maniacs."
Episodes from Season 4 include: "The Weredog of Doo Manor," "Ghost of Mrs. Shushman," "Catcher of the Sly," "The Wrath of Waitro," "Mayhem of the Moving Mollusk."
THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN: Volume 2 and Volume 3 on DVD
Everyone's favorite web slinging super hero returns to home screens in two new-to-DVD animated collections: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN: Volume 2 and Volume 3 arriving March 17 from Sony Pictures Television. Executive produced by Stan Lee, Craig Kyle, Eric S. Rollman, and produced by Greg Weisman, Victor Cook and Diane A. Crea, these latest volumes were created from episodes of the hit kids' television show on the CW. The network series drew more than 1.8 million viewers weekly and will re-launch in 2009 on Disney's XD network. THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN: Volume 2 and Volume 3 are the next chapters in the series of releases. Both volumes feature a "Play All Episodes" function for seamless viewing with credits.
In the action-packed THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN: Volume 2, Peter Parker's ability to tackle an onslaught of menacing super-villains is put to the ultimate test. He must take on the evil likes of some of his most daunting rivals ever -- the Shocker, Sandman and Rhino, all while finding time for his Chemistry lessons.
In THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN: Volume 3, Peter finds himself amidst more dangerous arch enemies -- the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus and Tombstone.
THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN: Volume 2 has a run time of 69 minutes and is rated TV Y7.THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN: Volume 3 has a run time of 70 minutes and is rated TV Y7.
THE VELVETEEN RABBIT on DVD
From Starz/Anchor Bay, in this brand new feature film, one of the most beloved family tales of all time comes to life in an enchanting combination of live -- action drama and animated adventure. It's the story of a young boy named Toby who is sent by his busy father to spend the holiday season in the home of his stern grandmother. Toby's world instantly changes when he discovers the house's 'magic attic' where three forgotten toys - including a special stuffed rabbit - unlock a world of imagination that will change all their lives forever.
The voice talents of Jane Seymour, Tom Skerritt and Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn stair in this heartwarming story about how we bring the things we love to life, inspired by the classic children's book by Margery Williams and directed by Michael Landon, Jr.
THE ZETA PROJECT: Season 1 on DVD
Warner Home Video and DC Comics bring Zeta, the experientially infiltrated robot from BATMAN BEYOND, to DVD in THE ZETA PROJECT: The Complete First Season, on March 17. The multi-disc compilation is a spin-off from the animated series BATMAN BEYOND and includes bonus episodes from BATMAN BEYOND that feature Zeta and a featurette with producer Robert Goodman.
Zeta, a robot programmed by the U.S. government to fight the country's enemies using weaponry and a holographic self-projector, evolves to the point where he acquires both emotion and a conscience. As the value of human life became evident, he flees the government, who believes he has been reprogrammed by a foreign power. On the run, Zeta encounters Rosalie "Ro" Rowan, a street orphan who is wanted by the law herself. Join Zeta and Ro in THE ZETA PROJECT: The Complete First Season as they set out across America to find both Ro's parents, and Zeta's creator who can prove the robot is acting of his own free will.
THE ZETA PROJECT: The Complete First Season will be a multi-disc DVD with approximately 260 minutes of twelve 22-minutes episodes including: "The Accomplice," "His Maker's Name," "Remote Control," "Change of Heart," "The Next Gen," "West Bound," "Hicksburg," "Shadows," "Crime Waves," "Taffy Time," "Kid Genius" and "Ro's Return."
Originally broadcast on Kids' WB, THE ZETA PROJECT was a two season adventure that left fans in suspense with no conclusion ever written for the series.
Special Features Include:
-- Featurette: Finding Freedom -- With no conclusion ever written for the series, fans have been left to wonder what happened to Zeta and Ro. In a roundtable discussion, the cast speculates on various theories of where the show would have gone while producer/show runner Robert Goodman and his team give the fans the definitive answers.-- Bonus Episodes from BATMAN BEYOND that feature Zeta: "Zeta" and "Countdown."
TWILIGHT on DVD March 21
Based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer, TWILIGHT adds a dangerous twist to the classic story of star-crossed lovers and will debut on DVD on Saturday, March 21 from Summit Home Ent. Summit will release the Blu-ray on May 5.
Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) doesn't expect much when she moves to the small town of Forks, Washington, until she meets the mysterious and handsome Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) -- a boy who's hiding a dark secret: he's a vampire. As their worlds collide and hearts collide, Edward must battle the bloodlust raging inside him as well as a coterie of undead that would make Bella their prey.
Visual Effects Supervisor Richard Kidd recalls, "When I first came on the show, there were about 350 vfx shots planned. We thought that would grow to 500, but between early pre-production and when we actually started to shoot, we went down to about 95 shots. Of course, we knew it would grow back up again." Kidd, whose extensive credits include ARMAGEDDON, THE MUMMY, TRANSFORMERS, SPIDER-MAN 3, HANCOCK, CAST AWAY and THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH & THE WARDROBE, knew it was crucial to home in on the absolutely essential effects that reveal the vampires' powers. "There are only a certain percentage of shots you can do if you don't prepare."
"The director's focus was on the acting and the story," notes Kidd. "Catherine has a very documentary style -- sort of run and gun, which doesn't lend itself to visual effects. So my job in pre-pro and on set was to give her what she needed without changing her style. We just had to let it evolve. But at the same time, the idea was to plan in such a way that we could minimize the amount of visual effects shots. The whole process was to let them shoot this in such a way that we didn't end up with 500."
Available Only at Target, a TWILIGHT 3-Disc Deluxe Edition DVD includes the 2-Disc Special Edition plus an exclusive bonus disc with over 45 minutes of additional never-before-seen content. This exclusive edition also includes an iTunes download of the film and all bonus content, including a conversation with Stephenie Meyer, Robert Pattinson on "Becoming Edward," Kristen Stewart on "Becoming Bella," Catherine Hardwicke's vampire kiss montage, Bella's lullaby remix music video and Edward's piano concert.
Special Features Include:
Disc One:-- Extended scenes not seen in theaters-- Audio commentary by director Catherine Hardwicke, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson-- Music videos from Muse, Paramore and Linkin Park
Disc Two:-- A detailed, seven-part documentary that gives you the ultimate insider's look at how TWILIGHT was created -- from book to script to screen -- plus never-before-seen deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes pass to the Comic-Con event and more.
BOLT on Blu-ray March 22
Fully awesome! Walt Disney Studios Home Ent. will release BOLT in high definition early as a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital File combo on Sunday, March 22, 2009. Two days following, the standard DVD versions will be available.
The DVD 2-disc Deluxe Edition and BD 3-Disc both include a special "DisneyFile" Digital Copy of the movie -- enabling DVD and Blu-ray owners to receive a digital version of Walt Disney Pictures' BOLT in their choice of iTunes or Windows Media formats for the fan on the go. BOLT is jam packed with fully awesome bonus features including "Super Rhino," a new exclusive short film starring Bolt's biggest fan.
Nominated for two Golden Globe Awards for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song ("I Thought I Lost You"), BOLT was produced by Pixar co-founder and CGI pioneer John Lasseter (director of TOY STORY, A BUG'S LIFE and CARS).
Bolt (John Travolta) is the star of the biggest show in Hollywood. The only problem is, he thinks the whole thing is real. When the super dog is accidentally shipped to New York City and separated from Penny (Miley Cyrus), his beloved co-star and owner, Bolt springs into action to find his way home. Together with his hilarious new sidekicks Rhino (Mark Walton) -- Bolt's #1 Fan -- and a street-smart cat named Mittens (Susie Essman), Bolt sets off on an amazing journey where he discovers he doesn't need super powers to be a hero.
Co-director Chris Williams says, "There's something in our DNA where we're always referencing back to Disney classics. But at the same time, we work with John Lasseter now and he's always going to be pushing you to create really great original characters that resonate. And that's very much the Pixar way, where you want to do something new and exciting. So I think we're in a place where we can benefit from that Pixar approach to constructing story, but at the same time, have this heritage that people are always talking about: those classic Disney movies. You always feel that flavor, I think."
Meanwhile, for the character animators, the challenges of BOLT meant creating a completely new working method. While Bolt is the lead character, Rhino posed the most unique problems. The first thing was to make the character look appealing. To hone in on the best designs, the team created something called "paloozas," which are a creative refining process that began with a successful "Boltapalooza" (for the dog) and progressed to "Mittenspalooza" (for the cat), "Pennypalooza" (for the human girl) and "Rhinopalooza" (for the hamster). The team also underwent an enormous change in workflow. Instead of moving from modeling to rigging to animation, which would then go back and forth for approvals, and could cause huge problems if a rigging change was required, they worked more collaboratively. There was the formation of a character team that worked interactively, starting with modeling and moving to rigging and then to animation, but proceeding back and forth in a fluid, circular motion. This system has proved so effective that the change in workflow has become the new standard at Disney.
Single-Disc DVD Bonus Features:
-- Bonus Short: SUPER RHINO -- BOLT breakout star Rhino, the hyperactive hamster, gets a chance to headline his very own adventure.
Two-Disc DVD Bonus Features:
-- Bonus Short: SUPER RHINO -- BOLT breakout star Rhino, the hyperactive hamster, gets a chance to headline his very own adventure.-- "I Thought I Lost You" Music Video featuring the movie's stars, Miley Cyrus and John Travolta.-- In Session with John Travolta and Miley Cyrus -- A behind-the-scenes look at recording Bolt's signature song "I Thought I Lost You."-- A New Breed of Directors: A Filmmakers' Journey -- First-time directors Chris Williams and Byron Howard take fans along as they traverse the road from concept to completion.-- Act, Speak! The Voices of BOLT -- Join the voice cast in session: John Travolta (Bolt), Miley Cyrus (Penny), Susie Essman (Mittens), James Lipton (Director) and Mark Walton (Rhino).-- Creating The World of BOLT -- Bolt's painterly backgrounds have wowed audiences across the globe. The filmmakers explain how they fashioned the unique look of this CG movie.-- Deleted Scenes -- With optional introductions by directors Chris Williams and Byron Howard.-- DisneyFile Digital Copy -- Watch your DisneyFile Digital Copy on the go.
Blu-ray Special Features Include:
The Blu-ray includes all the bonus features on the DVD, the standard definition DVD, DisneyFile Digital Copy, and these exclusive-to-BD features:
-- BOLT's Be-Awesome Mission -- In order to defeat the Green-Eyed Man, Bolt has to find his way through three challenging levels in an exciting interactive game. Viewers can join in collecting clues, conquering ninjas and unleashing the power of the Super Bark!-- BOLT Art Gallery -- Animation enthusiasts can check out the film's early creative concepts in the BOLT Art Gallery, which contains the building blocks of a big screen blockbuster, from storyboards to character mock-ups. Gallery sections include Visual Development, Character Development, Storyboard Art and Color Script Images.-- BD-Live including Movie Chat, Movie Mail, Movie Challenge and Movie Rewards