The world of adult animation gets a decidedly urban turn with the release of THE CONTRACT on October 22, 2002. Urban Entertainment (UE) is venturing into the DVD market with its first release of an original animation project created for the Web. THE CONTRACT is the story of Bishop, a professional assassin who works his way up the ranks from an enforcer to a low-level drug dealer to the point man for international crime lord, Damien Wiles. Bishop must contend with his feelings when he is assigned to watch and eventually kill Damiens girlfriend, Cynda.
Category: Home Entertainment
In one week of sales, Disney/Pixar's MONSTERS, INC. sold 11 million DVD and videocassette units in the United States and Canada, shattering every DVD-era home entertainment industry sales record. Only THE LION KING, in its 1995 pre-DVD era release, sold more units in its first week of sales (20 million videocassettes). On September 18, 2002 Buena Vista Home Entertainment reported that 5 million DVD and videocassette copies of MONSTERS, INC. were sold, topping the industry one day sales record previously reported at 4.5 million units.
The season of record-setting DVD sales has officially begun. Pixar and Walt Disney have announced that on its first day, the home video release of MONSTERS, INC. sold 5 million units on DVD and video in North America, topping the previous record of first day sales held by Disney's THE LION KING at 4.5 million units.
This winning animated musical, with songs by recent Oscar-winner Randy Newman, features the trials and tribulations of Danny the cat when he goes to Hollywood to become a big star. Not a lot of extras on the DVD, but it is presented in widescreen anamorphic format and includes the "Hooray for Hollywood!" interactive adventure and the "Cat Concerto" cartoon. Suggested retail price: $19.99 (DVD).
Mark Segall reviews CATS DON'T DANCE and finds it a classy and charming animated musical.
Hollywood-based producer and distributor C Cubed Entertainment has acquired distribution rights for ADVENTURES IN ODYSSEY, an animated series from Christian radio ministry Focus on the Family. C Cubed will distribute the made-for-video series, based on the radio program of the same name, to all non-religious television and home entertainment entities worldwide. Although this distribution agreement marks Focus' first entry into the mainstream entertainment arena, ADVENTURES IN ODYSSEY is one of the Christian broadcaster's most successful franchises.
MONSTERS, INC. makes its home entertainment debut on VHS and a 2-disc Special Edition DVD on September 17, 2002. For those of you that can't wait, a sneak peek at "Mike's New Car," the new animated short film created exclusively for the DVD and video release can now be seen on the Internet at www.monstersinc.com and www.apple.com/trailers. The VHS and the 2-disc DVD also includes the Academy Award-winning Pixar short film "For the Birds," MONSTERS, INC. "outtakes," an exclusive look at the upcoming feature film FINDING NEMO, and more.
SecondSun Entertainment plans to add new dimensions to Heathcliff the cat, when they re-launch the feline in 3D on two direct-to-video releases. Together with Los Angeles partners Pterodactyl/Kew Productions (P/K), SecondSun plans to begin production on the feature length videos later in 2002. P/K writer/producers Barney Cohen and Kathryn Wallack (SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH) will be responsible for updating Heathcliff's style, while Aaron L. Gilbert, will executive produce and spearhead the initial licensing and re-branding the HEATHCLIFF franchise.
Don Hertzfeldt's Bitter Films has released their Academy Award nominated short film REJECTED as a special limited edition DVD "single" for fans and friends of the film. Extras include deleted scenes, commentary, animated menus, hidden surprises and more. Bitter Films plans to release a compilation of all Hertzfeldt's films plus unseen footage on DVD sometime in the next year or two, after his next film is completed. The REJECTED DVD is currently available exclusively at Don Hertzfeldt's Website.
Anime and manga distributor ADV Films has acquired the short anime film THE VOICES OF A DISTANT STAR and plans a DVD-only release for the title. Using a mix of traditional and computer animation, the film was written, directed, edited and animated by Makoto Shinkai using a Power Macintosh 7600/120 computer and several consumer and professional-level design and animation software programs. Shinkai recently won the award for "Most Valuable Newcomer" at the 2002 Tokyo Anime Fair.
Home video distributor New Video has been granted the exclusive U.S. retail distribution rights to Scholastic Entertainment's Scholastic Video Collection, a series comprised of award-winning animated stories from Weston Woods including Maurice Sendaks WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, Kevin Henkes CHRYSANTHEMUM and Crockett Johnsons HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON. The deal marks the first major foray into the childrens video arena for New Video, a leading home entertainment company that serves as the exclusive distributor of A&E Home Video, The History Channel and Docurama.
The National Film Board of Canada has compiled on one DVD, seven short animated films, each created with a different technique. SEVEN TO SEE/SEPT À VOIR!
From an Oscar-nominated animated boy hero to World War II to Plymptoons, July has a little bit of everything in the way of home video releases.
In this Oscar-nominated feature from Nickelodeon Movies, nerdy Jimmy Neutron and his robot dog fight evil, rescue his parents and save Earth. DVD features include, "The Making of Jimmy Neutron" featurette, two music videos, 12 promotional spots, seven DVD-ROM games and two theatrical trailers. Release Date: July 2, 2002. Suggested retail price: DVD $29.99.
Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber may be seen in a lot more homes now that Warner Home Video (WHV) and WEA Corporation have entered into a new sales and distribution arrangement with Big Idea Productions, the company best known for the VEGGIETALES video series. WHV will handle sales operations and WEA Corporation will handle distribution for all new and existing Big Idea Productions videos. WHV and WEA will be responsible for general market sales and distribution functions for VEGGIETALES, 3-2-1 PENGUINS! and the new superhero spoof, LARRYBOY - THE CARTOON ADVENTURES.
4Kids Entertainment is jumping into the home video market with the creation of 4Kids Entertainment Home Video. 4Kids has appointed FUNimation Productions, Ltd. as the exclusive distributor in the U.S. of videos and DVDs for the 4Kids' properties YU-GI-OH!, CUBIX - ROBOTS FOR EVERYONE, CABBAGE PATCH KIDS and TAMA AND FRIENDS. "The home video product today has become an important driver for children's properties and a necessary element in the retail merchandise mix," said Al Kahn, Chairman and CEO of 4Kids Entertainment.
ResFest, the travelling digital film festival, has collected a selection of 16 of the most popular films from past festivals and released them for the first time on DVD. THE BEST OF RESFEST VOLUME 1, released April 30, 2002, features live-action and animated shorts, including Tommy Pallotta and Bob Sabistons SNACK & DRINK, TONGUES & TAXIS by Michael Overbeck, festival favorite PASTA FOR WAR by Zach Schlappi and MAX, a war story told with GI Joe dolls created by Detroits AWOL collective.
A group of comic book classics have arrived on home video this week, including BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, X-MEN: EVOLUTION and JUSTICE LEAGUE. The feature-length debut of JUSTICE LEAGUE has DVD Extras including special DVD-ROM features and is available on DVD for a suggested retail price of $19.98. Additionally, the Caped Crusader swoops onto shelves with four new DVDs, BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES -- THE LEGEND BEGINS, BATMAN & MR.
The Special Edition 2-disc DVD release of Osamu Tezukas METROPOLIS is now in stores. Based on the classic manga by Osamu Tezuka and directed by Rintaro (X, GALAXY EXPRESS 999), METROPOLIS features a newly subtitled version of the film along with the dubbed version. Other features include: new fold-out packaging with outer sleeve, widescreen and full screen presentations, "The Making of Osamu Tezukas Metropolis" and "Interview with Rintaro Katsushiro" featurettes, animation comparisons and more. Suggested retail price: DVD $27.95.
John Goodman and Billy Crystal are back in the studio recording voice-over for "Mike's New Car," an all-new animated short that will be available exclusively on the DVD release of MONSTERS, INC. in stores September 17, 2002. The story of a little girl who invades the monsters' realm and then teaches them a thing or two, is given the grand treatment in a double-DVD set.
Following the record-breaking Season One DVD released last fall, SIMPSONS fans can continue to build their collections with the release of THE SIMPSONS: SEASON TWO DVD Collection on July 9, 2002. In addition to the entire second season of twenty two episodes (1990-1991), the special DVD features include interviews with series creator Matt Groening and producer James L. Brooks, early sketches, the very first Butterfinger commercials featuring Bart as the spokesperson, music videos and more. Suggested retail price: DVD US$49.98.
From a boy whose love is real, even if he is not, to a singing, bell-ringing hunchback, March video releases have something for everyone.
March 5, 2002
A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Special Edition.
TokyoPop, an international distributor of character-based entertainment, has acquired the rights to the Japanese TV series' MARMALADE BOY and BRIGADOON. Both shows will be available on DVD in the U.S. in summer 2002. BRIGADOON is a comedy sci-fi series animated by Japanese animation studio Sunrise, which is responsible for animating the series' GUNDAM WING, COWBOY BEBOP and OUTLAW STAR. MARMALADE BOY tells the story of teenage girl Miki, whose dysfunctional family gets her caught up in strange love triangles and situations.
Due to an unexpectedly strong box office performance, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment has changed the DVD and VHS release date for Osamu Tezuka's METROPOLIS to April 23, 2002. The film was previously scheduled to debut on home video on March 12. METROPOLIS has earned $446,810 in five weeks of limited release. It is currently playing on 13 screens in the U.S. and over the weekend of February 22, 2002 grossed an average of $2,425 per screen.
Genius Products and Warner Home Video (WHV), the home entertainment distributor for AOL Time Warner, have signed an exclusive, long-term production and distribution deal for the Baby Genius and Kid Genius branded lines of children's entertainment home video product. As a part of the agreement, Warner Home Video will pick up immediate distribution of the three current award-winning Baby Genius videos, MOZART AND FRIENDS, MOZART AND FRIENDS: SLEEPYTIME and THE FOUR SEASONS.