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Lilo, Walt And Mickey Join My Neighbor Totoro On DVD

Among the notable animation home video releases for December 3 are Disney's LILO & STITCH and two excellent offerings in the Walt Disney Treasures collection, plus Miyazaki's MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO on DVD.

LILO & STITCH. Disney's animated feature LILO & STITCH hits video stores on December 3 and includes loads of bonus features. The animation for LILO & STITCH includes the Disney Studio's first extensive use of watercolor backgrounds in over six decades, and this technique is nicely captured in the digital transfer. Bonus features include: deleted scenes, presented in various stages of animation: "Stitch's Trial," "Bedtime Story" and "Gantu Challenges;" the four "interSTITCHal" teaser trailers featuring Stitch elbowing his way into parts of Disney's BEAUTY & THE BEAST, ALADDIN, THE LITTLE MERMAID and THE LION KING; and brand new "interSTITCHals" created exclusively for the home video release featuring Stitch trying to break his way into SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, LADY & THE TRAMP, 101 DALMATIANS and other Disney classics. Other features include Jumba's "Create Your Own Aliens" game; "The Look of Lilo and Stitch" featurette; "Animating The Hula" featurette; and a 20 minute documentary about the making of the film. Suggested retail price: DVD $29.99; VHS $24.99.

WALT DISNEY TREASURES. Two notable releases in the Walt Disney Treasures collection are in stores on December 3: BEHIND THE SCENES WITH WALT DISNEY and MICKEY MOUSE IN BLACK AND WHITE. These limited edition 2-disc DVD sets are presented in a collectable tin for a suggested retail price of $32.99 (each). Behind the scenes with Walt Disney compiles several of Disneys best-known "behind the scenes" films and television shows - along with Leonard Maltin as the informed tour guide. MICKEY MOUSE IN BLACK AND WHITE includes 34 shorts and covers Mickeys films from his 1928 debut in STEAMBOAT WILLIE to the last of his black and white shorts, MICKEYS SERVICE STATION, in 1935.

MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO. No doubt bolstered by the critical acclaim of SPIRITED AWAY, Hayao Miyazaki's latest effort, 20th Century Fox is releasing one of his previous Studio Ghibli films, MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO. This 1988 anime classic tells the story of two young sisters who spend a summer in the Japanese countryside where they encounter exotic creatures and a trio of furry, woodland sprites who can only be seen by children. As Fox does not have a widescreen master, the DVD is not presented in its original aspect ratio, which may be a disappointment to fans. A widescreen release remains a possibility when the video rights revert from Fox back to Studio Ghibli in 2004. Suggested retail price: DVD $14.98.

Also released on home video December 3, 2002: Warner Bros.' animated retelling of Pinocchio in THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO. Suggested retail price: DVD or VHS $14.98.