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FEBRUARY 16-28, 2007: NEWS ARCHIVES
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February 26, 2007 - Genuine cover art has just been posted for "Scrubs": The Complete Fifth Season, arriving on May 22.
February 24, 2007 - Buena Vista Home Entertainment has scheduled "Scrubs" The Complete Fifth Season for DVD release on May 22, 2007. Timed to coincide with the NBC sitcom's sixth season finale, the 3-disc set (SRP: $39.99) will offer all 24 episodes from last season, plus deleted scenes, an extended cut of the 100th episode, and "a special look back at five seasons." New materials fail to mention the never-before-seen animated episode that has been promoted in DVD spots. Also tapped to arrive on the same day are a couple of Oscar nominees: Touchstone's Mel Gibson-directed Mayan drama Apocalypto will include a commentary, a DTS track, a deleted scene, and an in-depth documentary, while Miramax's Venus starring Peter O'Toole will provide a featurette. Finally, ABC Family's original sci-fi series "Kyle XY" will be treated to a 3-disc Complete First Season box set (subtitled "Declassified" and listing for $39.99), which will hold ten hour-long episodes, plus an alternate premiere, an extended season finale, commentaries, "show secrets", and more.
February 23, 2007 - In our latest interview, Renata Joy talks with Kathryn Beaumont, the voice and live-action reference model for both Alice of Alice in Wonderland and Wendy Darling of Peter Pan. The London-born Beaumont discusses being part of the second Golden Age of Disney Animation, from modeling for animators to knowing Walt Disney himself. She recalls working with Bobby Driscoll, her fear of flying, and continuing to voice her beloved heroines in recent years for TV, the theme parks, and video games. With vivid anecdotes and a number of great behind-the-scenes photos from the forthcoming Peter Pan Platinum Edition DVD, UD's Interview with Kathryn Beaumont is one you definitely won't want to miss. Plus, be sure to return next week; in our continuing countdown to Peter Pan's re-release, we'll be bringing you a detailed review as well as an interview with Margaret Kerry, the live-action model for Tinker Bell.
February 22, 2007 - We've just unveiled our 20th contest. The Winter Trivia DVD Giveaway just may be our easiest one yet. If you can successfully answer five simple questions regarding Disney movies and UD, you could win the Disney DVD of your choosing. Eligible prizes include Peter Pan: Platinum Edition, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Cinderella III, and 50 other titles. Read the directions, answer the questions, and win a DVD...it's definitely worth checking out Contest #20: Winter DVD Giveaway.
February 20, 2007 - Our latest DVD review covers Touchstone Pictures' PG-13-rated drama The Prestige. This week's only new disc from Buena Vista Home Entertainment holds one of last year's best films. Visionary director Christopher Nolan (Memento, Batman Begins) again invokes non-linearity to deliver an engulfing and suspenseful tale of two magicians (played by Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale) obsessed with one-upmanship in Victorian England. Rich characters and crafty treatment result in a masterful film which, like a good a magician's act, keeps you guessing throughout. Sparse on bonuses, satisfactory on picture and sound, the DVD comes recommended based on the many merits of the film. Read the full review.
February 16, 2007 - A new DVD review looks at The Brave Little Toaster, the 1987 animated feature that launched Hyperion Pictures with acclaim and awards, but no conventional theatrical release. Produced by a former Disney chief, made by many veterans of Disney and Pixar animation (including the late Joe Ranft), debuted on the Disney Channel, and ultimately distributed by Disney Home Video, this charming adventure feels closely connected to the Mouse. With a mix of old-fashioned qualities and a contemporary setting, Toaster succeeds where not all of Disney's post-Walt, pre-Renaissance 'toons did. Original and fun, it places its leads (five living household appliances) in an involving world with lively songs. BVHE's 2003 DVD disappoints with spotty video, possibly inaccurate framing, and only a sequel-oriented featurette as a bonus. Read the full review for detailed background information and analysis.
February 15, 2007 - In our 543rd and latest DVD review, Aaron Wallace wraps up coverage of "The Golden Girls" with a critique of the recently-released Complete Seventh Season box set. In its final year, NBC's long-running sitcom isn't quite at its strongest, but it remains hilarious and in top form dramatically. The 3-disc set scores points for the inclusion of a new 15-minute retrospective feature. It also boasts the series' best picture quality to date, albeit with a few curiously and mildly matted episodes. Click here for the full review.
A booklet inside Peter Pan: Platinum Edition confirms that, after October's The Jungle Book reissue, 101 Dalmatians will be the next Disney animated classic to receive Platinum treatment. The 1961 film is scheduled for a remastered 2-disc Platinum Edition DVD to arrive in early March 2008. Another trailer on the set reveals that the theatrically-released 2002 sequel Return to Never Land will be returning to DVD in the undetermined near-future. Finally, a promo for The Aristocats: 2-Disc Special Edition makes mention of a Virtual Kitten game and a newly-rediscovered song. Perhaps posing more reason to upgrade is the likelihood of a 16x9-enhanced matted widescreen transfer, which the letterboxed preview suggests.
Bridge to Terabithia, the new film from Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media, opens in theaters tomorrow and we've got an advance movie review today. Adapted from Katherine Paterson's best-selling 1977 novel, Terabithia is not the effects-laden fantasy it's being advertised as. In fact, it's heavily grounded in imperfect real life, telling the story of two fifth grade outsiders (played by Josh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb) who form a friendship and pool their vivid imaginations to transform a forest into a magical kingdom all their own. Though the movie isn't what the marketing campaign foretells, it is a winning adaptation, thanks to solid performances, even direction and the wise text that is faithfully tapped here. Read our full, spoiler-free review, which includes six pictures from this PG-rated film.
The long-running sitcom "Home Improvement" will become the Touchstone series with the second-most season sets to its name on May 15, 2007. This is, according to Amazon.com, when Buena Vista Home Entertainment will issue The Complete Sixth Season. The 1996-97 season of Tim Allen's ratings king will arrive, like past seasons, in a 3-disc box set. However, if Amazon's listing is accurate, the set will carry a list price of just $24.99, $15 below what past seasons have retailed for. You can now preorder "Home Improvement": Season 6 for just $17.99. Meanwhile, BVHE has made it known that on the same week, it will be lowering the price tags on "Home Improvement" Seasons 1 and 2, presumably to the $39.99 SRP that Seasons 3-5 currently hold.
February 11, 2007 - New high-res cover art has been posted for "Dinosaurs": The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons and "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse": Mickey's Great Clubhouse Hunt.
February 10, 2007 - In the wake of news of a live action Aladdin, Variety is reporting that Disney is looking to tap another popular animated subject for live-action big screen treatment. Nicolas Cage and Todd Garner will produce The Sorcerer's Apprentice as a feature film for Walt Disney Pictures. The project -- working on a script by Mark Rosenthal and Lawrence Konner (the screenwriting duo behind Disney's Mighty Joe Young and Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes, among others) -- is inspired by Johann Wolfgang's Goethe 1797 ballad, which was earlier adapted for the most famous segment of Fantasia. The movie is being developed as a possible starring vehicle for Cage, who will be seen later this year in National Treasure: The Book of Secrets.
February 9, 2007 - A press release has been posted for "Dinosaurs" The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons. The announcement mainly reiterates what we told you last month: the ambitiously-produced Michael Jacobs/Jim Henson sitcom will return to DVD on May 1st with the show's final 36 episodes spread across four discs. Announced bonuses are two audio commentaries led by producer Brian Henson, the music video for "I'm the Baby, Gotta Love Me!", and the featurette "Creatures With a Cause" on the series finale and the show's tackling of issues. See the full press release for more information.
February 5, 2007 - With the DVD re-release of Peter Pan, the ninth title in Disney's prestigious Platinum collection, just four weeks away, the company has treated the film to an exclusive two-week engagement at its lavish Hollywood cinema, the El Capitan Theatre. In his UD debut, Scott Wolf turns in a special report on last Thursday's opening night festivities. With nearly 20 pictures and a descriptive article, he recreates the experience for those who missed it. Costumed characters, a discussion panel comprised of those who lent their voices and likenesses to the 1953 classic, excerpts of the DVD's bonus features, a musical performance by T-Squad, even a Tinker Bell spotting complete with pixie dust. It's all inside "Return Flight: Peter Pan's Opening Night at El Capitan."
Recent Disney DVD Reviews:
• "DuckTales": Volume 2 - One of Disney's earliest, most successful, and greatest animated TV series returns to DVD in a 3-disc box set resembling the previous year's collection, delivering 24 episodes for about a dollar each. Presented among the series' second quarter are the five-episode pilot and another 4-part arc. Once again, bonus features are null, while picture and sound fall short of perfection but surpass most of the series' kin.
• Walt Disney's It's a Small World of Fun! Volume 3 - More 1930s, '40s, and '50s cartoons set around the globe arrive in another bonus-less, sub-hour budget compilation. The six shorts here offer hijinks with Mickey, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto in idealized locales like India, Mexico, and the Swiss Alps, while the disc's most substantial 'toon is the Johnny Appleseed portion of Melody Time, which looks different (and dirtier) than its movie's DVD presentation.
• Mr. Toad's Wild Ride - Despite a distinguished cast (including writer/director Terry Jones, Steve Coogan, Eric Idle, and cameos from other Monty Python troupe members), this live action British adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows received very limited theatrical release ten years ago, thanks to a Sony-Disney lawsuit. Though not flawless, this diverting jaunt deserves a larger U.S. audience and better treatment than what it's been dealt.
• Walt Disney's It's a Small World of Fun! Volume 4 - Another addition to the long string of animated shorts compilations, this one holds just five cartoons, three of which are no longer in print elsewhere. The discs consists of The Reluctant Dragon (an early '40s adaptation of Kenneth Grahame's witty tale), a pair of 'toons finding Goofy and Donald out of their natural environments, Silly Symphony The Goddess of Spring, and non-series outing The Little House.
• Walt Disney Treasures: More Silly Symphonies (Volume 2) - Though many of the most famous shorts in Disney's 1929-1939 series were part of the long-discontinued first volume, there's a great deal of interest among the remaining 38 vintage cartoons presented here, from seasonal medleys to famous fairy tales. Picture and sound are not perfect, but reflect sufficient restorative efforts. The two-disc set also includes a mixed bag of commentaries on more than half the shorts, a featurette, some unearthed footage of Disney animators, three extensive galleries, and an Easter Egg.
• Cinderella III: A Twist in Time - A huge improvement over Cinderella II and one of Disney's best sequels, this follow-up takes viewers back into the world of the original 1950 classic, with its twist being that the glass slipper fits stepsister Anastasia instead. This adventuresome and fresh outing's DVD meets present-day DTV standards, delivering dazzling picture and sound but only a few bonus features, most notably a piece on a similar Disney Cruise Line musical. Related Interview with Cinderella III director Frank Nissen
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