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APRIL 1-15, 2009: NEWS ARCHIVES
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April 15, 2009 - We've updated our Disney DVDs Schedule with information on Santa Buddies. The 9th Air Bud movie and 4th since the series turned to talking puppies, this one will reach stores on November 24th in no fewer than four different versions. In other fall Disney DVD news, the 7-disc Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy box set is now scheduled for release on September 29th. No word yet on what it will offer, but with a $100 list price, it better be a lot of special stuff.
If Amazon's typically reliable listings are to be believed, then Disney has planned one additional angle to its Public Needs Blu-ray operation. Besides streeting seven weeks ahead of the two-disc Platinum Edition DVD, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' 2 Blu-ray discs, 1 standard DVD Combo will arrive on October 6th in separate packaging, one posing as a DVD + Blu-ray Combo, the other as a Blu-ray + DVD Combo. Never mind that the price and disc composition will apparently be the same; the studio must assume that those buying won't even notice or care they're missing the second disc of the DVD, which will only show up November 24th.
In less depressing news, Disney plans to offer three premium editions of Snow White, each centering on the Blu-ray/DVD combo. Details are sparse thus far, but you'll be able to get Walt's first animated feature in a 7 Dwarf Plush Pack ($79.99 SRP), with book packaging ($59.99 SRP), or in a Limited Edition Box Set ($249.99) housing at least a book, pins, lithographs, and some fancy packaging. Though the premium sets are not yet up for preorder, we've added a tentative packaging shot to our Upcoming DVD Cover Art page.
April 14, 2009 - The mix of Tax Day and the economic recession has produced one of the slightest DVD/Blu-ray release dates in history. Still, you can consult DVDizzy.com's April 14th Schedule for information on this week's few noteworthy debuts. More...
April 12, 2009 - Our newest DVD review covers The Spirit. Sin City and 300 creator Frank Miller adapts Will Eisner's beloved comic strip series into a heavily-stylized PG-13 action flick starring Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes, Scarlett Johansson, Dan Lauria, Paz Vega, and others. Lionsgate's 2-Disc Special Edition includes an audio commentary and video interview with Miller, an alternate ending, a making-of featurette, a digital copy, and the trailer. It's out Tuesday, but you can read our full review right now.
April 11, 2009 - Cover art for Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure has been posted here.
April 9, 2009 - Believe it or not, it's been five years since our countdown of The Top 100 Disney Songs. That's enough time for albums to go out-of-print, DVDs to get upgraded, and links to become outdated. Since this is one of the most popular features on UltimateDisney.com, we went back and brought the countdown up to date. Now, you can listen to songs and download them for less than a dollar (DRM-free!) through Amazon.com MP3 or pick up complete soundtracks featuring the chosen works. All links to relevant articles and reviews have been verified and updated. What better time than now to revisit -- or discover -- what site readers picked as the very best of Disney music. Check it: Disney Songs Countdown.
April 8, 2009 - Last year's Academy Award winner for Best Picture returns to DVD this week in No Country for Old Men: 3-Disc Collector's Edition. The Coen Brothers' thriller gives us three distinct perspectives to a crime story involving a money-filled satchel recovered near the Texas/Mexico border. Miramax's new set retains everything from the original disc and adds over five hours of new bonus features plus a digital copy and a mail-in rebate offer for repeat buyers. Full review...
April 7, 2009 - Kelvin Cedeno concludes our coverage of the first wave of Walt Disney Animation Collection DVDs with his review of Volume 3: The Prince & The Pauper. Mickey Mouse pulls double duty as both of Mark Twain's title characters in the half-hour 1990 cartoon, called "one of the stronger shorts the studio has ever put out." It's joined by four Medieval-themed single-reel shorts from the 1930s and '40s. Read the full review.
It's Tuesday, which means that we've got a detailed overview of the week's new releases ready for you to gaze right here. As an added bonus, we've updated all three pages of the DVDizzy.com schedule to alert you of planned DVD and Blu-ray debuts through July.
April 6, 2009 - Another of this week's new releases gets covered with our review of Yes Man. Jim Carrey returns to what he's best known for in this comedy about a banker who agrees to say "yes" to every opportunity that comes his way. Zooey Deschanel is his love interest. Warner's 2-Disc Special Edition includes 40 minutes of video bonus features plus a digital copy. More...
April 4, 2009 - Kelvin Cedeno brings us an early look at My Friends Tigger & Pooh: Tigger & Pooh and a Musical Too, an hour-long movie making its DVD premiere Tuesday. The computer-animated Playhouse Disney series maintains its stylings while upping the ambition and delivering seven original songs. The DVD includes a number of repeat value-enhancing playback modes, a thinking game with Rabbit, and a Kenny Loggins music video. Read the full review.
A scanned insert from Canada provides us with another sign that a Region 1 Pete's Dragon: Special Edition DVD is in the works. The ad announces a Fall 2009 date for the 1977 mixed-medium musical, which earlier this year saw a half-hour of new bonus material certified by the British Board of Film Classification.
April 3, 2009 - The subject of our newest DVD review is "Bunnytown": Hello Bunnies!, the recent 4-episode compilation of the Playhouse Disney show. This UK-produced variety puppet series shuns didacticism and narrative in favor of music and comedy bits involving -- what else? -- a host of colorful bunny rabbits. Read the full review.
Disney has announced the second digital age release of the one that started it all, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The studio has actually said little about the presentation itself beyond the fact that the Blu-ray/single-disc DVD Combo ($39.99 SRP) will be available on October 6, 2009, while those opting instead for the standard two-disc DVD ($29.99 SRP) will have to wait seven additional weeks until its November 24, 2009 street date. The 2-day lead used on Bolt must not have been deemed enough of a push for customers to want the Blu-ray combo over standard DVD, where Snow White was first released in October of 2001. (It probably didn't help that many retailers have ignored/misinterpreted the studio's instructions, putting out both versions simultaneously, often ahead of the established street dates and with Disney's apparent blessings.)
April 2, 2009 - Available next week, Walt Disney Animation Collection: Classic Short Films, Volume 2 - Three Little Pigs holds not only the hit 1933 Silly Symphony, but two of its sequels and four other animal comedy shorts. Read our full review.
March 31, 2009 - Our newest DVD review critiques Doubt. John Patrick Shanley adapted and directed this drama from his 2004 play. Meryl Streep stars as Sr. Aloysius, a Catholic school nun/principal who suspects the pastor priest (Philip Seymour Hoffman) of having an inappropriate relationship with an altar boy. Streep, Hoffman, and castmates Amy Adams and Viola Davis all received Oscar nominations, as did Shanley's script. Available next week, the disc includes a commentary by Shanley and four featurettes. Read the full review.
Our latest review covers Walt Disney Animation Collection: Classic Short Films, Volume 1 - Mickey and the Beanstalk. One of three volumes that will launch Disney's new cartoon shorts DVD line, this one serves up the Ludwig von Drake version of the half-hour Fun and Fancy Free segment plus four other Mickey Mouse cartoons from the 1930s and '40s. Read the full review.
March 28, 2009 - Today, we bring you our Bedtime Stories DVD Review. Adam Sandler stars as a goofy hotel handyman surprised to discover aspects of his nightly tales to his sister's kids actually occurring. This PG-rated comedy fantasy co-stars Keri Russell, Russell Brand, and Guy Pearce. Disney's Deluxe Edition DVD serves up outtakes, twelve deleted scenes, a few short featurettes (including a new Dylan and Cole Sprouse infomercial for Blu-ray), and a digital copy. More...
Recent Disney DVD Reviews:
• "Hannah Montana": Keeping it Real - Although the cover advertises a sneak peek at Hannah's new look, there is more interest in the inclusion of a bonus Season 3 episode and a code for a ticket to see Hannah Montana: The Movie.
• Schoolhouse Rock! Earth - This 45-minute program serves up eleven new musical cartoons educating on ways to help the environment by recycling and conserving energy. Writers and singers from the fondly-remembered ABC interstitial series have returned for this project, which also features a vintage short and Mitchel Musso's music video covering Jack Johnson's twist on "Three is a Magic Number." Our review includes previews of the songs.
• Lilo & Stitch: 2-Disc Big Wave Edition - Disney's 2002 animated hit finally gets the special treatment fans wanted years ago with a set that closely follows editions released overseas earlier. The comedic story of a girl and her new "dog" (who's really an advanced extraterrestrial) is joined by a 2-hour documentary, an audio commentary, various behind-the-scenes "footnotes", previously-unseen deleted scenes, and nearly everything from its original DVD.
• Bolt - The 48th and latest Disney animated feature, this CGI comedy centers on the canine star of an action television series who gets lost in New York. Helping him back to the West Coast and his beloved owner are an alley cat named Mittens and Rhino, a hamster who moves about in his plastic exercise ball. John Travolta and Miley Cyrus head a full voice cast. The Deluxe Edition DVD serves up the all-new short Super Rhino, deleted scenes, three featurettes, a music video and featurette for Travolta and Cyrus' duet, and a digital copy. [Related Interview: Virtual Roundtable with story supervisor Nathan Greno and Rhino's voice Mark Walton]
Recent Non-Disney DVD and Blu-ray Reviews:
• Follow That Bird: 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition - The first and more esteemed Sesame Street movie, this 1985 comedy sends Big Bird to an Illinois family of Dodos. Leaving them to return home, he sets off a cross-country search. Warner's new disc grants the film a widescreen presentation and adds an interview with Big Bird/Oscar puppeteer/voice Caroll Spinney.
• The Odd Couple: Centennial Collection - The 1968 film version of Neil Simon's Tony-winning play stars Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau as divorced Manhattanites whose personalities clash when they become roommates. Paramount's new two-disc edition contains an audio commentary by the stars' sons, five new featurettes, photo galleries, and the movie's original trailer.
• Marley & Me - Adapted from John Grogan's bestselling book, Fox's holiday season hit stars Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston as a married couple who build a family and journey through life with a badly-behaved Labrador in their ranks. The 2-Disc Bad Dog Edition DVD accompanies the feature dramedy with nearly a half-hour of deleted scenes, a number of featurettes, a gag reel, and finalist and winner videos from a Purina Dog Chow contest.
• Australia - Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman star in this Baz Luhrmann's fourth film, an epic drama set down under at the turn of the 1940s.
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