UltimateDisney.com: The Ultimate Guide to Disney DVD
APRIL 16-30, 2005: NEWS ARCHIVES
May 1, 2005 - Ten years ago, Disney fans were looking forward to seeing Pocahontas in theaters. Today, Disney fans are looking forward to picking up Pocahontas's 10th Anniversary Edition DVD. In honor of Tuesday's special two-disc re-release, we bring you ten screencaps from the DVD here. We'll have ten different screencaps the next two days as well. Enjoy!
April 30, 2005 - After two weeks of no new Disney DVDs, the studio delivers a hearty serving next Tuesday of six enticing releases. As such, snowhite8 returns for the wonderful Weekly Video Update (922 kb, WMV). This, the first of two fun-filled installments, looks at the trio of Hayley Mills discs that make their long-awaited debut.
We've just gotten our first look at the snazzy Cinderella Collector's Gift Set, which includes the 2-disc Platinum Edition DVD, animators' sketches, a frame from the film, and a hardcover companion book. This deluxe box set is available the same day as the standalone Platinum Edition, October 4th.
Our second review of Tuesday's catalogue debuts is now up and looks at Summer Magic, a 1963 musical drama which stars Hayley Mills, Dorothy McGuire and Burl Ives. Mills is the eldest daughter of a family that moves from Boston to rural Maine near the turn of the century. While noticeably slow and uneventful by today's standards, there's an old-fashioned sweetness to this film, which is pleasantly presented in anamorphic widescreen.
This fall, Disney will give DVD enthusiasts even more incentive to pick up the fine double-disc sets of Alice in Wonderland (Masterpiece Edition), Brother Bear, and The Incredibles. These three collector's releases, plus Home on the Range, Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas, and Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas, will undergo temporary price reductions effective September 25th, making them even more appealing purchases for the holiday season.
April 29, 2005 - What's this? USA Today reveals that there is a 10th Anniversary Edition DVD of Toy Story coming on September 6th! This 2-disc re-release is reported to "bump up" picture and sound quality (a challenge on such a fine first release) with a higher bitrate and enhanced work from sound designer Gary Rydstrom. Pixar's first feature film will also be accompanied by brand new bonus features including "The Legacy of Toy Story", which interviews celebrated filmmakers on the movie's importance, ten deleted scenes, a new making-of documentary, early animation tests, and a new music video of Lyle Lovett and Randy Newman performing their end credits duet of "You've Got a Friend in Me." (Thanks to Dan for the news!)
Coinciding with August 23rd's release of Touchstone Television season sets including "Boy Meets World" Season 3, Buena Vista will be ushering in temporary price reductions on several currently-available season sets of youth-centric series the same week. The affected sets are the first two seasons of "Boy Meets World" and "Popular", plus Season 1 of "Sweet Valley High". It's not yet clear how much the prices will be lowered and for how long.
Disc art for the fullscreen version of Ice Princess (which should be similar for the properly-framed version of the movie) has been posted here. Disney has also clarified that the audio commentary for the DVD (which comes on July 19th) will feature "young cast members" from the film, though no specific actors have been specified.
Don't panic. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy opens in theaters across the nation today. Like a number of other recent films from The Walt Disney Company, this one bounced back-and-forth between the Disney and Touchstone labels, before settling at the latter. This PG-rated sci-fi/comedy is the latest incarnation of a phenomenon that has been available in several forms before: BBC radio and television series, a best-selling series of books, and even a computer game. Its process to feature film adaptation has taken over two decades, but the project began to materialize under the guidance of creator Douglas Adams, who died unexpectedly four years ago. Read more on the film: UD Preview / Film Reviews
See clips of the film (QuickTime, high-bandwidth): "We're Gonna Die" • "Vogsphere Slaps" • Whale Scene • Complete Dolphin Opening "Thanks for the Fish Song"
Zaphod Beeblebrox Music Video
April 28, 2005 - Fact sheets and press releases galore! Disney has issued formal announcements for several DVDs coming in the months ahead. Several Disney Channel Original Movies will making their home video debuts, beginning next month with the release of Get a Clue (May 31) and continuing with The Even Stevens Movie and Cadet Kelly on June 28th, and the Halloweentown Trilogy on September 13th.
New single-disc volumes of the Disney Channel comedy series "Phil of the Future" and "That's So Raven" (both featuring audio commentaries) arrive on August 16. A week later, on August 23rd, three Touchstone Television series get season sets treatment: "Boy Meets World" Season 3 (which will house a trivia game, but appears to be without commentaries), "Once and Again" Season 2, and "Life as We Know It": The Complete Series, which comes bearing bonuses in a 3-disc set.
The direct-to-video animated film My Scene Goes Hollywood: The Movie (August 30) is adapted from a line of Barbie dolls and joined by a number of bonus activities on DVD. In addition, new information on August 2nd's catalogue DVDs reveals that three out of four look to be presented in their original aspect ratios, and Johnny Tremain and The World's Greatest Athlete (which will be anamorphically enhanced) will be accompanied by some (gasp!) bonus features!
Finally, a fact sheet looks at the two DVDs in Wave 3 of the Disney Princess Collection, providing overview of what sounds like more recycled TV episodes (Stories: Vol. 3) and 12 reformatted musical numbers from animated classics and more (Sing Alongs: Vol. 2).
Our new DVD review looks at In Search of the Castaways, a 1962 adventure adapted from a Jules Verne novel. The film, which stars Maurice Chevalier and Hayley Mills, makes its DVD debut next Tuesday in minimalist fashion.
April 27, 2005 - In an effort to establish a special DVD line for Disney Channel Original Movies, an official website on the subject has opened. The site currently houses the basics on the four such DVDs coming in the next two months (which you can just as easily find here), but it also provides a couple of PDF files from the DVD-ROM party planners of Cadet Kelly and The Even Stevens Movie.
In honor of Disneyland's 50th Anniversary, nine Disney DVDs will be undergoing temporary price reductions effective June 26th. Some are movies adapted from Disneyland attractions (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, The Haunted Mansion, The Country Bears), others are just popular animated DVDs released last year (Mulan: Special Edition, Aladdin, Brother Bear, Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers), and then there's the odd choice of Inspector Gadget 2. You should be able to find these DVDs for below $15 this summer, which is already where Country and Pirates are priced. While the others will eventually return to their current prices, Haunted Mansion is slated for a permanent price drop in August. Reviews of most are here.
Just posted: slightly revised and now high-res artwork for the first two volumes of Timeless Tales which are due August 16th. We've also put up a fact sheet on these two releases.
April 26, 2005 - After much toil, our latest DVD review is now available. In the spotlight is the highly-anticipated Pocahontas: 10th Anniversary Edition, which offers a drastic digital remastering, a new extended cut of the film, and hours of bonus features. This is one of UD's most extensive reviews to date, providing the usual level of detailed analysis, a comparison to the Gold Collection DVD, and more than 40 screencaps. This 2-disc Pocahontas re-release becomes available a week from today. Read the full review.
The Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie thread has been updated with story and bonus feature information on this September direct-to-video.
Cover art for Ice Princess has been posted here.
April 25, 2005 - Press releases have been issued and posted for The Pacifier and Ice Princess. The latter will arrive on July 19th in separate widescreen and fullscreen versions with an alternate opening, deleted scenes, audio commentary, and two music videos. Both comedies are still playing in theaters.
April 24, 2005 - Variety reports that "The King of Queens" star Kevin James has signed a deal with Disney to star in Field Trip, a comedy about a substitute teacher who must manage an unruly sixth grade class on their annual field trip. Don't look for this in DVD stores anytime soon; the studio has yet to select a writer.
April 23, 2005 - Our latest DVD review looks at National Treasure, last fall's blockbuster adventure. The film feels much more like producer Jerry Bruckheimer than Disney, but there's substance in addition to style as the quick-moving story keeps you thoroughly enthralled. Solid performances, skillful direction, and tight plotting allow the film to succeed in spite of a bizarre premise. There's room for improvement among the bonus features, but the DVD presentation is definitely satisfactory, and the film is one of the studio's most entertaining live action entries in recent memory.
More Disney Channel DVDs are coming this summer. On August 16th, Disney will release two discs containing favorite episodes: "That's So Raven": Disguise the Limit and "Phil of the Future": Gadgets & Gizmos, which marks the comedy time-travel series' DVD debut. SRP is $19.99 and you can currently preorder each from Amazon for $13.97. Bonus features and episode titles to be announced; each disc is expected to carry 4 episodes.
May is a promising month for Disney DVD fans, and the fun begins on the first Tuesday of the month with six new releases. We've just gotten these in and will be reviewing them over the next two weeks, beginning with National Treasure later today.
April 22, 2005 - Before they were multi-platinum pop stars and tabloid fodder, Britney, Justin, and Christina were Mouseketeers. The pre-fame trio adorns disc art for the Best Of '90s Mickey Mouse Club DVD coming July 12th.
April 21, 2005 - Cover art and six pictures from Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie have been posted here. This direct-to-video feature from DisneyToon Studios streets September 13th.
We've just posted the colorful poster art for Sky High. This live action film about a family of superheroes stars Disney legend Kurt Russell and opens in theaters the last weekend of July.
Rating news from the MPAA: Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch has been hit with a PG rating for "some mild action", which makes it Disney's first direct-to-video sequel to receive anything above a G. A G rating is exactly what the direct-to-DVD Little Einsteins and theatrical release Herbie: Fully Loaded have been given.
April 20, 2005 - High-res cover art for the Cinderella: Platinum Edition has been posted here, and it's safe to say that it will be revised before release date. In fact, the "Platinum Edition" moniker is nowhere to be found on this otherwise catchy artwork.
The slightly updated and now final cover art for The Pacifier, plus a first look at the quack-tastic disc art has been posted here. In addition to the previously-announced bloopers and deleted scenes, the June 28th release of this $100 million-grossing blockbuster action/comedy will include star featurettes "On the Set with Mr. Diesel: Action Hero and Nice Guy" and "On the Set with Brad Garrett: Unpacified", plus an audio commentary with writers Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant and director Adam Shankman. Look for a full press release in the days ahead.
Animated-News.com points to the just-released US theatrical trailer for Howl's Moving Castle, the latest fantasy film from Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. Click here to view or save the trailer (36.8 MB, QuickTime) or here to read more on the film, which opens in select cities on June 10th and expands a week later.
April 19, 2005 - Disney has opened an impressive official website for The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, which comes to theaters this December. Wallpaper downloads, character profiles, a third installment of "Behind the Magic" videos and more can be found at the site. (More on the film...)
April 18, 2005 - Thanks to a certain marketing website based in L.A. that doesn't appreciate free publicity, we obtained title logos and new information on The Shaggy Dog (the Tim Allen-headlined remake now slated to hit theaters March 2006) and The Wild, Disney's jungle-to-jungle CGI comedy due on the big screen next April. While the 'pirated logos' have been removed at the indirect request of these unspecified Los Angeles offices, the news, including updated voice cast and premise information, is still here in our Coming to Theaters sections on The Shaggy Dog and The Wild. (Speaking of pirates, we have also officially set up a section for the in-production sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.)
Disc art has just been added for Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama, Get a Clue, and Tarzan II.
Two new listings at Amazon.com declare that the week that Herbie returns to theaters, he'll also be making his way to audio CD and GameBoy Advance, with the release of Herbie: Fully Loaded soundtrack and video game just days before the film opens. The soundtrack will include a cover of Tom Cochrane's "Life is a Highway" performed by star Lindsay Lohan.
AOL Moviefone's First Look has an amusing scene from The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which opens in theaters next week.
April 17, 2005 - Our grossly outdated section on International Disney DVDs has at last been revisited. The updates involved removing or correcting DVDs that have since come to Region 1 through the Disney Movie Club or general retail. An effort has been made to clarify previously Region 2/Region 4 DVD lines that have made their way over to America with different names (such as "Disney's Fables" becoming "Timeless Tales" here). There are also some general additions to the page ("Timon & Pumbaa", I-Man, etc.). Overall, this page is well worth a read, as it outlines the DVDs that you'll find in Germany, France, and the UK that are unavailable in North America. And for those with multi-region playback capabilities, these Euro-pean exclusives can be purchased with just a few clicks. Read on.
April 16, 2005 - Disney has just issued a press release for the four DVDs being released this July in celebration of Disneyland's 50th Anniversary. While no new light is shed on Vintage Mickey (which contains some of the mouse's classic black & white shorts) or the Mickey Mouse Club "Best Of's" (which offer highlights from the original '50s and pop-star-producing '90s versions of the show). But, the announcement provides specifics on the most anticipated disc of the bunch, Disneyland - The Secrets, Stories and Magic of the Happiest Place on Earth. In addition to a brand new feature-length documentary on the theme park, the DVD will deliver a "Wonderful World of Disneyland" trivia game, Disneyland sing-along songs, extended interviews, a Cinemascope short of Walt and Mickey at Radio City Music Hall, and a collectible replica of the original E-ticket book. Not too shabby for $19.99 SRP! More here.
A press release for "Home Improvement": The Complete Second Season has been posted here.
Recent Disney DVD Reviews:
• The Million Dollar Duck - Utilizes the Disney formula of Dean Jones straight man affected by wacky comic premise: this time, a duck who lays golden-yolked eggs on demand. Not as fun as the studio's other films in this mold.
• The Barefoot Executive - This delightful comedy about a TV network employee who rises to the ranks with a chimp's help remains highly entertaining three decades later. Unfortunately, it receives a weak DVD debut.
• The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin - This spirited Gold Rush Western offers plenty of fun as it follows a Boston butler and his young master to San Francisco. No extras, but a terrific anamorphic widescreen transfer.
• Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N. - Both the movie (a 1966 castaway comedy based on a story by Walt Disney himself) and the DVD leave a fair amount to be desired.
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