UltimateDisney.com: The Ultimate Guide to Disney DVD
APRIL 1-15, 2005: NEWS ARCHIVES
April 15, 2005 - For several months now, "Boy Meets World" fans have been wondering just where is that Third Season DVD promised for spring 2005. It appears we may have an answer now. As 'Angela' points out on our forum, Amazon.com has put up a listing for Boy Meets World: Season 3 with an August 23rd release date and a $39.99 suggested retail price ($10 cheaper than the first two seasons). Further searching reveals more Touchstone Television shows slated for the same day. Life as We Know It: Season 1 would actually house the complete run of the short-lived, hour-long series ($39.99 SRP) set in a Seattle high school. In addition, there's listing the same day for Once and Again: Season 2. This box set will arrive just a shade under three years after the debut season's DVD release. Oddly enough, Season 1 appears to coming (again) in August as well; this is probably a repackaging or repromotion. We'll have more details on these sets when Buena Vista decides to announce them.
While on the subject, Buena Vista has specified just one bonus feature on June's lone sitcom set, Home Improvement: The Complete Second Season. The 25 sophomore year episodes will be accompanied by "Loose Screws 2", a highlight reel of funny moments from the 1992-93 season. Unlike Season 1's 3-disc set, there are no audio commentaries slated this time.
April 14, 2005 - There's a new addition to the Coming to Theaters page: Invincible, a real-life drama about a Philadelphia Eagles fan who made the team. The film (title likely to change) will begin shooting this summer for a fall 2006 release. Mark Wahlberg is in talks to star.
The widescreen edition of The Pacifier is now up for preorder (30% off) at Amazon.com. This Vin Diesel-headed family/ action/comedy, which has grossed over $100 million at the box office, comes to DVD June 28th with deleted scenes, bloopers, star interviews and more.
April 13, 2005 - Cover art has come in for three Disney DVDs due this August. As has become the norm for new direct-to-video sequels, Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch will be presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and dual 5.1 tracks (Dolby Digital and DTS varieties). Bonus features for this disc (slated for August 30th) will include the Experiment Extravaganza quiz game, a music video, and the all-new short film "The Origins of Stitch", with more specifics and possibly more extras to be announced. The first two volumes of Timeless Tales (arriving on the 16th) will house about an hour of shorts each, ranging from the 9-minute 1933 classic "The Three Little Pigs" to half-hour featurette-length cartoons "The Wind in the Willows" (first released in 1949 as part of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad) and "The Prince and the Pauper" (1990). Each DVD in this new series carries a $19.99 SRP and comes with a collectible storybook and discussion questions for families. Cover art closely resembles the Walt Disney's Fables, a DVD line of cartoon shorts available in the UK and elsewhere. Large versions of all three new covers can be viewed here; each is subject to change.
Five stills from the Pocahontas 10th Anniversary Edition DVD can be viewed here. The photos depict a couple of deleted scenes and "If I Never Knew You", the optional fully-restored sequence. After a very long wait, this remastered 2-disc re-release will be available in just three weeks.
While full sites are yet to be launched, the official Walt Disney Pictures website has finally acknowledged upcoming theatrical releases Howl's Moving Castle, Valiant, and The Greatest Game Ever Played. Their latest update also includes a splash page for summer's superhero movie Sky High. Of course, information on these four and all other Disney films due in 2005 can be found right here at UD.
April 12, 2005 - Two new press releases have just been posted for upcoming Disney DVDs. The Disney Channel's recently-aired Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama arrives on May 10th in an extended widescreen version with a never-before-seen episode. On August 23rd, the direct-to-video movie Little Einsteins: Our Huge Adventure launches a new animated series geared to those youngsters who have outgrown the "Baby Einstein" line.
The website Latino Review has posted Disney's U.S. Valiant poster and they also point to The Sun Online who has pictures of Keira Knightley and Johnny Depp on the set of the now-filming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
||Tuesday's New Releases
April 11, 2005 - snowhite8 brings you the 411 for 4/11 in her latest, fun-filled Weekly Update Video (WMV, 964 kb) on Tuesday's new Disney DVDs and more.
As the site's next countdown of Disney Heroes & Heroines approaches, we have some reflections on powerful villains who missed the cut of our Villains Countdown held last fall. James Reader and Lindsay Mayer offer insight into the characters of The Warden from Holes, Glenn Close's live action embodiment of Cruella De Vil (who made the countdown in animated form), The Coachman from Pinocchio, and Man, the felt but unseen menace of Bambi. You can read and discuss their comments here. They're also a terrific example of the types of write-ups needed for both the obvious selections and the less likely but still outstanding protagonists who will occupy the forthcoming Heroes & Heroines countdown.
Amazon.com has lowered the price on the Cinderella: Collector's Gift Set to $32.49 (35% off retail). They've also adjusted the preorder discount on the standard 2-disc Cinderella: Platinum Edition back to $19.49 (35% off). Both DVD versions will be released on October 4.
April 9, 2005 - Howl's Moving Castle, the latest animated film from Japan's Hayao Miyazaki, will open in the US on June 10th distributed by Disney. We have put together a preview of the film including the newly-unveiled American poster art.
Voting for UltimateDisney.com's Heroes & Heroines Countdown has ended, but there's still time to send in comments on your favorite protagonists. See here.
Release dates have been assigned for some of the Disney films due in 2006. Antarctica and The Santa Clause 3 join the already penciled-in Glory Road, Cars, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest on the studio's promising theatrical slate for next year.
April 7, 2005 - Today's new review is our last look at next week's catalogue DVD debuts. The Million Dollar Duck (1971) utilizes a common Disney formula, with Dean Jones headlining as the straight man affected by a wacky comic premise. Jones' co-stars include a duck who lays golden-yolked eggs on demand and Sandy Duncan. Read the full review.
Studio Ghibli's My Neighbors The Yamadas has just received a PG rating "for mild thematic elements" by the MPAA. This 1999 film directed by Isao Takahata is one of the Ghibli films to which Buena Vista Home Entertainment holds Region 1 DVD distribution rights. The deal between Disney and Tokuma Publishing covers six existing films which have not yet been released to DVD in the United States. Besides Yamadas, there are the Takahata-directed Only Yesterday and Pom Poko (which was also recently classified), the long-delayed My Neighbor Totoro and Howl's Moving Castle (which will open in US theaters this June) from Hayao Miyazaki, and Yoshifumi Kondo's Whisper of the Heart. Disney is expected to release at least one other wave of Studio Ghibli DVDs before the end of 2005, and earlier reports suggested that the next batch would include Totoro, Yesterday, and Pom Poko. It's unclear if, as the classification of The Yamadas suggests, those plans have since changed. When more is known, we'll fill you in.
|March's Most Popular DVDs on UltimateDisney.com
April 5, 2005 - The poster art for Disney's golf drama The Greatest Game Ever Played has been revealed and can be viewed here. Meanwhile, storyboard images from a teaser for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe can be seen and discussed here. Both films open in theaters this fall.
DVD Exclusive has an article on what does and doesn't make good material for a Disney direct-to-video sequel.
Variety (subscription required) reports that Jeff Bridges is in talks to star as a coach in Stick It!, Disney's comedy about teenage gymnasts which starts filming next month and is slated for spring 2006 release.
April 4, 2005 - After an off week, snowhite8's Weekly Video Update is back (WMV, 959 kb) with a look at Tuesday's new release and more.
Today's new review looks at The Barefoot Executive, a delightful 1971 comedy that is given a weak DVD debut. Kurt Russell stars as a young employee at a television network who rises to the ranks with the help of a chimpanzee who can pick hit shows. It's not Shakespeare, but the film remains highly entertaining more than three decades later.
April 2, 2005 - The second review of April's catalogue DVDs is now up. The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin is another one of Walt's final live action films. This spirited Western follows a Boston butler (played by Roddy McDowall) and his young master to San Francisco, where they search for gold and find a variety of other adventures. This comedy co-stars Karl Malden and Suzanne Pleshette. Though it's certainly not one of Disney's most-known films, Bullwhip offers plenty of fun. On DVD at last, the bad news is there's no extras. The good news: the film is presented in a terrific anamorphic widescreen transfer. Read the full review.
While details remain scarce on August's direct-to-video Lilo & Stitch 2, one bonus feature that will be included is an all-new animated short created exclusively for the DVD which reveals the secret origin of Stitch. Sounds fun!
April 1, 2005 - Theater-to-DVD release windows seem to keep getting shorter and shorter. It was just four weeks ago that The Pacifier opened in cinemas and now it's slated to come to DVD on June 28th. This PG-rated family/action/comedy film, which has grossed $90 million domestically to date, will be offered in separate widescreen and fullscreen versions and carry the standard $29.99 SRP. Bonus features will include bloopers, deleted scenes, exclusive star interviews, and "lots more." A full press release has not yet been issued, but temporary cover art which maintains the theatrical poster's look is now available here. Read more on The Pacifier here. Can an Ice Princess announcement be far off?
The Haunted Mansion, Snow Dogs, and Squanto: A Warrior's Tale will be undergoing price drops this summer. Those three Disney DVDs are joined by 46 from Buena Vista's other film branches slated to be reduced at the beginning or end of July. See the full list here.
March 31, 2005 - Our new review today is the first of four covering April's DVD debuts of classic live action films. Dick Van Dyke stars in Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N., a 1966 castaway comedy based on a story by Walt Disney himself. Both the movie and the DVD leave a fair amount to be desired. On a related note, Amazon.com has discounted all four of the April 12th catalogue DVDs to $14.99.
March 15, 2005 - Buena Vista Home Entertainment has just issued one massive sales announcement that lays out many of the upcoming Disney DVDs that we've been wondering about. The announcement contains information on Cinderella, July 12th's Disneyland DVDs, August's live action catalogue, upcoming direct-to-video films Lilo & Stitch 2 and Pooh's Heffalump Halloween, the new Timeless Tales series of cartoon shorts, the next Disney Princess wave, DVD releases of 7 Disney Channel Original Movies including the Halloweentown trilogy, Season 1 sets of Touchstone Television hits "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives", and those previously-mentioned Touchstone and Miramax Special Editions. Read all here.
Recent Disney DVD Reviews:
Sacred Planet - Picturesque but unfocused IMAX documentary on Earth's natural beauty.
Disney Learning Adventures: Mickey and the Beanstalk - Provides the Ludwig von Drake-hosted version of the classic 1947 short both uninterrupted and with preschool activity asides, but not the educational entertainment promised.
JoJo's Circus: Animal A Go-Go and Take a Bow! - Collections of short episodes of the likable Playhouse Disney series that encourages youngsters to move around.
Disney Learning Adventures: Mickey's Around the World in 80 Days - The two "Mouse Works" shorts are fun, but this program is still mostly dull.
Recent Touchstone, Miramax, and Buena Vista Reviews:
Beyblade: The Movie - Fierce Battle - Adapted from a series of spinning tops, this anime film is loud, confusing, and unstimulating.
Carolina - Yearns to be a resonant romantic comedy, but in spite of fine performances, there's little to appreciate or relate to.
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