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UltimateDisney.com: The Ultimate Guide to Disney DVD
FEBRUARY 15-28, 2005: NEWS ARCHIVES


Bambi: Platinum Edition comes to DVD this week!

Tuesday's New Release - Buy a classic and support the site!

Bambi: Platinum Edition is released this Tuesday!
ReviewPreviewInterviewDiscuss It

Order from:
Amazon.com ($19.49)
BestBuy.com ($15.99, plus free Thumper plush)
CircuitCity.com ($17.99)
eBay

Other Bargains:
BestBuy.com: Animated Disney DVDs on sale this week. (Online)
BestBuy.com, CircuitCity.com: Free In-Store Pickup
Amazon.com: Free US Shipping on orders of $25 or more

February 27, 2005 - Today's new review covers The Incredibles, the other of March's two highly-anticipated Disney DVDs. The DVD pleases in just about every way, from cinematic excellence to digital perfection, with a wealth of great supplements thrown in for good measure. Our review includes a mostly-new take on Pixar's wonderful film, detailed critiques of all the extras, a guide to twelve Easter Eggs, and plenty of screencaps. Read the full review.

February 26, 2005 - Three new stills from June's direct-to-video Tarzan II can be seen here.

February 25, 2005 - UltimateDisney.com is currently at work on a review of the fantastic 2-disc Collector's Edition of The Incredibles, which should be finished before the weekend is done. In the meantime, you can enjoy five bonus feature stills from Disc 2.

UD Reader Johnnie has sent in early Tarzan II cover art, care of an etailer's website. It's without the Disney DVD logo, so one assumes it's subject to change. We have also posted 4 new stills from the film.

Those June Disney Channel Original Movie DVDs will not be "barebones" at all. The Even Stevens Movie will contain audio commentary on select scenes from stars Shia LaBeouf and Christy Carlson Romano, the Disney Channel First Look featurette "The Stevens Get Even", the "Even Stevens Survival Challenge" game, and an Island Adventure DVD-ROM party planner. Cadet Kelly's planned extras are similar in nature. They'll include select scenes commentary with Ms. Romano and Aimee Garcia, the featurette "Learning the Drills", Cadet Captain Stone's Drill Team Challenge, and a Boot Camp DVD-ROM party planner. (Let the good times roll!) As expected, both television movies will be presented in their original fullscreen aspect ratios and Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.

February 24, 2005 - We're happy to bring to you today a special interview with Don Dunagan, the actor who sixty-five years ago gave voice to Bambi, the title deer of Walt Disney's fifth animated film. In the years after working on the film, as a decorated sergeant in the Marines, Dunagan did not talk much about his role. But yesterday afternoon, he was glad to reflect on his experience of providing the vocals for the endearing protagonist at age 5˝. You're well aware that Bambi comes to DVD at last on Tuesday, and Dunagan is one of several who participated in the excellent Disc 2 documentary "The Making of Bambi: A Prince is Born." But you won't have to wait until next week to read our interview with Bambi.

Brand new cover art has just been posted for the two Disney Channel Original Movies which come to DVD on June 28th: The Even Stevens Movie and Cadet Kelly. In addition, covers for two of May 3rd's many DVDs have undergone mild revision, although they're not the two with the typos: National Treasure and In Search of the Castaways.

Disneymania isn't something your doctor can diagnose you with (I don't think), but rather a series featuring remixes of beloved Disney songs by pop stars. Aaron Wallace looks at the new DVD Disneymania in Concert and the new CD Disneymania 3, both released last week.

February 23, 2005 - Some aspect ratio information has trickled in for April 12th's catalogue debuts and it's not very promising. According to Disney's Feedback people, only The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin will be presented in widescreen (1.66:1, enhanced for 16x9 screens). Lt. Robin Crusoe, USN, The Barefoot Executive and Million Dollar Duck will all reportedly be offered in fullscreen only. Whether that means pan-and-scan, open matte, or some kind of original ratio remains to be seen, but we'll examine the matter in our reviews when the time comes. See this thread for the entire upcoming catalogue slate with synopses and preorder links.

Two new promotional images from Tarzan II can be seen here.

Despite a World War II setting and Nazi falcons, Valiant has received a "G" rating from the MPAA. Disney still has said nothing on this CGI comedy in years, but it's set to hit theaters in less than 2 months.

February 22, 2005 - Video Business reports that when Cinderella makes its DVD debut this October (the movie's first home video release in 10 years), it will be offered in a Collector's Gift Set ($49.99 SRP) in addition to the expected $29.99 SRP 2-disc Platinum Edition. The Gift Set will include a limited edition book, character sketches by animator Ollie Johnston and a numbered film frame.

We have a clearer view of the Home Improvement: Complete Second Season box art, as well as our first look at the three discs.

Home Improvement: Season 2 cover art -- click for larger view Home Improvement: Season 2 Disc 1 -- click for larger view Home Improvement: Season 2 Disc 2 -- click for larger view Home Improvement: Season 2 Disc 3 -- click for larger view

A second chapter of the behind-the-scenes Internet shorts on The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe has been released. This 3-minute piece focus on the vision of director Andrew Adamson. Click here to view (QuickTime, 33 MB).

In our last of three reviews on the new Studio Ghibli sets, Lindsay Mayer looks at Porco Rosso, Miyazaki's 1992 film about a mustachioed pig who's pretty good when it comes to flying a plane. Despite that unusual premise, the reviewer was won over by its winning blend of character drama and action.

JimHillMedia.com says that Song of the South will be coming to DVD as a 60th Anniversary set in the fall of 2006. You can discuss this here.

February 21, 2005 - As promised, here is our review of Bambi, the long-awaited DVD debut and fifth Platinum Edition. While lighter in supplements than past Platinums, this set offers much insight to the final chapter of "Early Disney", particularly in the alternative to a commentary (which brings you "Inside Walt's Story Meetings") and Disc 2's thorough documentary. The benefit of being long missing from DVD is that Bambi looks and sounds better than any other Disney film from its era, thanks to extensive restoration efforts. Plus, after all these years, the movie still rocks. Full 2-page DVD review.

Later in the week, we'll be posting more screencaps from the Bambi DVD, as well as something special that you won't want to miss.

More power is on the way! Buena Vista will release Home Improvement: The Complete Second Season on June 7th. Like Season 1, this 3-disc set will carry a SRP of $49.99. It will hold all 25 episodes from the 1992-93 season of the popular Tim Allen family sitcom. It is now up for preorder for 30% off at Amazon.com.

Two Disney Channel Original movies never before released on home video are coming to DVD on June 28th. The Even Stevens Movie, a feature-length final adventure starring the show's cast including Shia LaBeouf and Christy Carlson Romano, and Cadet Kelly, a 2002 military comedy with Hilary Duff and Ms. Romano, both will carry a suggested retail price of $19.99. Bonus features, if any, are to be announced. Amazon.com now has both up for preorder for just $13.99 each (and free shipping if you buy both): The Even Stevens Movie, Cadet Kelly. Maybe "Even Stevens" box sets aren't so far off?

Nausicaä, Porco Rosso
Tuesday's New Releases
The Cat Returns, Ellen: Season Two
  Amazon BestBuy CircuitCity eBay
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (Review)
$20.99
$17.99
$17.99
*
Porco Rosso (Review)
$20.99
$17.99
$22.99
*
The Cat Returns (Review)
$20.99
$17.99
$22.99
*
Touchstone Television:
Ellen: Season Two (Review)

$34.97

$25.99

$39.99

*
Amazon.com: Free shipping on all orders of $25 or more. (Any 2 of this week's DVDs.)
BestBuy: Buy any of the new Miyazakis and save 10% on any regularly-priced anime DVD.
BestBuy: Save $10 when you buy both Ellen: Season 1 and Ellen: Season 2.
BestBuy.com and CircuitCity.com: Free in-store pickup.

February 20, 2005 - In our second review of Tuesday's new Studio Ghibli sets, Lindsay Mayer exalts Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Miyazaki's early '80s epic adventure, which is given a "great DVD release" by Disney.

There's a good article in Sunday's New York Times about Disney's filming of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Though it reveals little, it ponders much, specifically about how the studio will approach the Christian symbolism of Aslan, the lion king in what's expected to be Disney's biggest film of 2005.

February 19, 2005 - Disney has opened their official website for Ice Princess, which opens in four weeks. The site includes wallpapers, buddy icons, photos, and some information on the soundtrack.

February 18, 2005 - As promised, new reviews are here. Aaron Wallace takes a look at next Tuesday's "Ellen": The Complete Season Two, a 3-disc box set from A & E Home Video carrying all the 1994-95 season episodes of Touchstone's Ellen DeGeneres-headed sitcom. Alex Pantoja reviews this week's new direct-to-video anime adventure Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys, distributed by Miramax. Lastly, yours truly critiques The Cat Returns, a well-paced, well-written film, produced but not directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It's our first of three reviews covering Tuesday's new two-disc sets of animated works from Studio Ghibli.

Our Coming to Theaters section for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has been updated with a larger version of the recently-released trailer and two new stills from the film.

February 16, 2005 - Our first review of "2-Disc Week" takes an in-depth look at Dinosaur: Collector's Edition, one of Disney's most outstanding DVD releases. The film itself is an ambitious production that wows you with its state-of-the-art visuals and bores you with a humdrum story. The DVD delivers hours of material on the film's making, exhaustive galleries, and first-rate picture and sound.

We've added a scan of the current cover art for Cinderella: Platinum Edition.

Forum member C3PO reveals that he just learned from Disney's consumer hotline that the four Walt Disney Treasures releases due this December are called Disney Rarities, Legendary Heroes (we presume this is the "Swamp Fox" collection mentioned last week), Spin and Marty, and as expected, The Chronological Donald, Volume 2. These four limited edition 2-disc tins would street on December 6, but Disney has not yet made a formal announcement. "Disney Rarities" sounds promising, though we're not sure what it would encompass. "Spin and Marty" was a serial about two boys at a summer ranch which aired as part of "The Mickey Mouse Club" in the fall of 1955. The second volume of The Chronological Donald is expected to contain the irascible duck's cartoon shorts from 1942 through 1948 or 1949.

The exclusive first full trailer for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is now up at Amazon.com. This sci-fi/comedy adaptation, which is now back at Touchstone, has been bumped up a week and will open on April 29th. Disney has done some more release date shifting for their upcoming theatrical films. Tentatively slated for this spring, The Greatest Game Ever Played, a real-life golf drama starring Shia LaBeouf, is now set to open on the 30th of September. The true sports drama that was planned for the fall, Glory Road from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, has been pushed back to January 13, 2006. Meanwhile, Sky High, has been delayed just two days, to open on Friday, July 29th, 2005. The changes leave a minimum of nine films bearing the "Walt Disney Pictures" name on tap for the remainder of this year. Check Coming to Theaters for the full slate.

February 15, 2005 - Preliminary information on a few of this October's Cinderella Platinum Edition bonus features reveals the set will include "a look at great Cinderella moments where artists, entertainers and other people have overcome obstacles to achieve their dreams", a featurette on the world of royalty and castles, and a room make-over feature. Meanwhile, Lady and the Tramp has been officially established as March 2006's Platinum Edition, becoming the 7th entry into the studio's most prestigious DVD line.

Cover art has been released for the next three Classic Cartoon Favorites volumes titled Extreme Sports Fun, Extreme Music Fun, and Extreme Adventure Fun. Each will land in stores on May 31st with the low suggested retail price of $14.99. The only contents we have right now are what's expected for Volume 5 (Sports) and can be found on the Upcoming Schedule.

Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 5 - Extreme Sports Fun (click for larger view). Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 6 - Extreme Music Fun (click for larger view). Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 7 - Extreme Adventure Fun (click for larger view).

Fans of Disney's other branches (Touchstone and Miramax) will be glad to know that Amazon.com is now listing re-releases due June 7th for Gone in 60 Seconds: Director's Cut, Sling Blade: Collector's Series, Coyote Ugly: Unrated Edition, and Father of the Bride (1991) which celebrates its 14th anniversary. Each is up for preorder at 30% off.

Recent Disney DVD Reviews:
Disney Princess Party: Volume Two - One good episode, one weak DTV segment, and seven games which provide inspired but brief diversion. Though there's plenty of room to improve, it's the better of the 2 new Princess discs.
Piglet's Big Movie - Despite a mundane plot, Pooh fans will enjoy this. Excellent picture and sound, but light on extras.
Babes in Toyland - Walt's first live action musical is flawed, but fun, although its DVD is frill-less.
Disney Princess Stories: Volume Two - Tales of Friendship - Light on substance and almost all old material.
Growing Up with Winnie the Pooh: Volume 2 - Friends Forever - This review covers Pooh's journey from literature to TV, in addition to critiquing this episode compilation.
Growing Up with Winnie the Pooh: Volume 1 - A Great Day of Discovery - While it's nice to have the "New Adventures" TV series on DVD, this compilation offers a light sampling of episodes and subpar picture quality.

Recent Touchstone and Miramax Reviews:
Shall We Dance? - Miramax's 2004 Hollywood remake offers a mindlessly entertaining romp.
Shall We Dance? - The original Japanese version finally lands on DVD with no frills.
Mr. 3000 - A likable comedy starring Bernie Mac as a former slugger who returns to the pros. Not a home run, but a solid hit, with some good extras.

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Disney's Upcoming DVD Schedule - 2005 and Beyond!
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Bambi: Platinum Edition DVD Review
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Latest Reviews:
The Incredibles
Disneymania in Concert
Porco Rosso
Bambi: Platinum Edition
Nausicaä of the Valley...
The Cat Returns
Ellen: Season Two
Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys
Dinosaur: Collector's Edition
Disney Princess Party Vol. 2
Piglet's Big Movie
Shall We Dance? (2004)
Babes in Toyland
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind DVD Review
Disney Princess Stories V2
Winnie the Pooh: Friends Forever
Winnie the Pooh: A Great Day of Discovery
Shall We Dance? (1997)
Mr. 3000
Ellen: Season One
Mulan II
Aladdin II & III Collection
CCF: Vol. 4 - Chip 'N Dale
CCF: Vol. 2 - Donald
Great Locomotive Chase
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The Buried Secret of M. Night Shyamalan
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The Incredibles
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