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The Disney Channel Original Movie "High School Musical" has shattered several records in the past few months. It sings and dances its way to DVD on May 23rd. Click for full details.
PRESS RELEASES
It's a Small World of Fun: 1&2
High School Musical
Dumbo: Big Top Edition
Glory Road
Home Improvement: Seas. 4
Lady and the Tramp II
Eight Below
Leroy & Stitch
Cow Belles
The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: Taking Over the Tipton
That's So Raven: Raven's Makeover Madness
Walt Disney's fourth animated film, "Dumbo", is revisited in a Big Top Edition DVD on June 6. Click for full details plus a look at the menus.


Baby Einstein: Baby's Favorite Places - First Words
The Shaggy Dog (2006)
Pooh Learning Adventures
Brother Bear 2
Desperate Housewives S2
Grey's Anatomy: Season 2
The Little Mermaid: Platinum
Lost: Season 2
Commander in Chief: S1
Disneyland: Secrets...of
the Happiest Place on Earth
"Glory Road" tells the story of Texas Western's triumph through the 1966 NCAA basketball tournament. Click for information on the DVD, coming June 6.
TOP PREORDERS
1. Secrets, Stories & Magic of the Happiest Place on Earth
2. High School Musical
3. The Little Mermaid: Platinum Edition
4. Lost: Season 2
5. Walt Disney's It's a Small World of Fun! Vol. 1
6. Walt Disney's It's a Small World of Fun! Vol. 2
7. Dumbo: Big Top Edition
8. Leroy & Stitch
9. Grey's Anatomy: Season 2 - Uncut
10. Home Improvement: Season 4
11. Desperate Housewives: Season 2
12. Cow Belles
Preview "The Wild", "Cars" "Pirates of the Caribbean 2", "The Santa Clause 3" and other upcoming Disney films.
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Past Previews
Top 100 Disney Songs Countdown
CD REVIEWS
Spring 2006 CD Roundup
Holidays 2005 CD Roundup
Fall 2005 CD Roundup
Summer 2005 CD Roundup
Top 50 Disney Heroes & Heroines Countdown
INTERVIEWS
An Interview with Leonard Maltin, Disney Treasures
Will Stronghold Speaks: Michael Angarano, Sky High
Interview with Herbie Director Angela Robinson
A Chat with Cinderella:
Ilene Woods & Don Hahn

An Interview with Pocahontas: Irene Bedard
An Interview with Bambi:
Donnie Dunagan

From Mouseketeer to Musician: Don Grady
An Interview with Jim Brickman, Disney Songbook
A Bite with Sharkboy:
Taylor Lautner
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MAY 1-15, 2006: NEWS ARCHIVES

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Buy Pooh's Grand Adventure and save $3 on another Winnie the Pooh DVD
Buy Meet the Orchestra and save $3 on any other Baby Einstein DVD

May 14, 2006 - Today's new DVD review covers It's a Small World of Fun! Volume 2, one of two entries in an animated compilation line launching this week. Adhering to the now oft-employed Classic Cartoon Favorites formula (an hour of shorts, no bonuses), this collection is distinguished by the fact that its six shorts are set in different parts of the globe. On the quality and variety of the cartoons, this merits a look, but the disc disappoints with spotty picture quality and a brief runtime. Still, with the entire lineup only available on either edited '40s anthology films, long-discontinued Treasures, as an extra, or not at all, this package may be tempting to many. Read the full review.

May 13, 2006 - We have for you today a very first look at the Brother Bear 2 cover art. Click here to view it.

May 12, 2006 - Hot off the presses, we bring you Disney's formal announcements of The Shaggy Dog (2006) and the Winnie the Pooh Disney Learning Adventures, both due August 1st. While Shaggy's press release most touts the "Disney first" that is "Bark Along Bone-Us Feature" (with audio tracks for both canines and humans!) as well as Disney's FastPlay (making its way to live action fare for the first time), it is also revealed that a director/producer feature audio commentary will slip in under the radar. Meanwhile, we've also made available to you the studio's full fact sheets for upcoming Touchstone Television box sets: "Desperate Housewives" The Complete Second Season - The Extra Juicy Edition, "Grey's Anatomy" The Complete Second Season Uncut, "Lost" The Complete Second Season - The Extended Experience (with 7 menu screens), and "Commander in Chief" The Complete First Season (which appears ready for a name change to "The Complete Series").

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Summer doesn't officially start for over a month, but Buena Vista Home Entertainment is already finalizing their DVD plans for the season they call "fall." Our inside sources have scooped up some news for you today. As expected, Brother Bear 2 has been slated for release on August 29th. This last Tuesday before Labor Day has previously been used for such direct-to-video sequels as Stitch! The Movie (2003), The Lion King II: Simba's Pride (2004, Special Edition), and Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (2005). This follow-up to 2003's modestly-performing, well-selling animal flick will reunite still-a-bear Kenai (now voiced by Patrick Dempsey) with Nita (Mandy Moore), a human girl he once knew. Jeremy Suarez, Rick Moranis, and Dave Thomas return as Koda, Rutt, and Tuke, respectively, while comedienne Wanda Sykes joins the cast as Innoko, a sassy "shawoman."

A week later, on September 5, Disney will begin pushing family-friendly Halloween DVDs. Amidst repromotions (the Disney Channel's Halloweentown Trilogy, Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie) and repricings (The Haunted Mansion and the Playhouse Disney double feature Rolie Polie Olie: A Spookie Ookie Halloween/The Book of Pooh: Just Say Boo! will each newly boast a $14.99 list price), two new DVDs will be released. The 1998 video Sing Along Songs: Happy Haunting - Party at Disneyland will make its format debut with a $14.99 SRP, while Escape to Witch Mountain: 2-Movie Collection will present the beloved 1975 sci-fi flick together with its 1978 sequel Return from Witch Mountain at only $19.99 SRP, presumably retaining the many special features that each film's 2003 Special Edition DVDs offered.

Three weeks later, on September 24th, four animated DVDs -- Brother Bear, Valiant, Mulan: Special Edition and Mulan II -- will be undergoing temporary price reductions through Christmas, which should find each in stores for around $15 for most of fall.

May 11, 2006 - On Tuesday, The Walt Disney Company held its quarterly conference call to reflect on the financial results of the Q2 of the 2006 fiscal year. Though the session ran over an hour, there was not much of interest to report for fans of the "Disney" brand and its filmed entertainment. The company reported considerable declines in home entertainment, which was attributed to the success of The Incredibles in the same period last year, even though Disney's unmentioned in-house CGI flick Chicken Little was treated to the exact same early-November theatrical/mid-March DVD release window in 2005-06. The studio expects to reverse their fortunes with the end-of-the-year DVD releases of the anticipated summer blockbusters Cars and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. In addition, plenty of time was used to discuss the company's revolutionary idea of offering television programs supported by unskippable ads on a box, the difference being the box is a computer and the viewer downloads on their own schedule. You can listen to a webcast of the relatively uneventful conference call on Disney's corporate website.

Performing unusually well for a television series (especially a 15-year-old one), "Dinosaurs": The Complete First and Second Seasons (review) was the 11th best-selling DVD of last week, according to Nielsen VideoScan's latest chart, as reported by Home Media Retailing.

Our latest DVD review looks at "Scrubs": The Complete Third Season, which offers a decline in bonus features but the half-hour comedy series at its very best. Season Three amps up the comedy, the characters, and the guest stars while focusing on two central relationships - one that is in place and one that might be. With a detailed critique, episode synopses, and over 40 screencaps, our 2-page review gives you everything you need to know about the show, season, and just-released DVD box set.

Today is the last day to get "Ellen" The Complete Season One (review) for just $19.98 (50% off its list price) from A&E's Shop. Discounts on the thirty other items currently selling for half off are also set to end tonight.

May 10, 2006 - A post in our Disney Movie Club forum reveals that despite what was clearly promoted in member mailings, the two recently-released Club-exclusive DVDs of The Wonderful World of Disney/Color installments The Bluegrass Special and The Yellowstone Cubs are NOT accompanied by Runaway on the Rogue River and Flash, the Teen-Age Otter as they were on VHS. This means the discs, each regularly priced at $14.95 and not available for enrollment, are not Double Features, but instead 45-minute episodes of Walt's long-running anthology program. Along with the concurrently-issued A Tiger Walks, the DVDs are also not equipped with chapter stops or bonus features.

Another forum thread points to news in which Disney's Chief Executive Robert Iger confirms that work has begun on a Toy Story 3. Presumably being conducted by the recently-acquired Pixar Animation Studios and intended for theaters, this marks a new chapter in the life of a third Toy Story installment after a Disney-supervised concept was put to rest earlier this year. No release date has yet been set.

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* Buy The Golden Girls: S5 and The Golden Girls: S4 and save $10 at Amazon.com
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@ Buy The Golden Girls: Season 5 and save $10 on Seasons 1-4.
# Buy Scrubs: Season 3 and save $10 on either Season 1 or Season 2.
Buy Pooh's Grand Adventure and save $3 on another Winnie the Pooh DVD
Buy Meet the Orchestra and save $3 on any other Baby Einstein DVD

May 9, 2006 - Two popular Touchstone Television sitcoms - one past, one present - make their way to DVD today in 3-disc box sets. Aaron Wallace has a review of "The Golden Girls" Season 5, which dips a bit below Season 4 thanks to some heavy-handed drama but still enters the 1990s delivering plenty of the clever comedy that made the series a perennial ratings force. Countering the slight drop-off in show quality, Disney's fifth season release finally scores points for worthwhile bonus features: three of the leading ladies each revisit two of their favorite episodes in solo audio commentaries. As if that wasn't enough of a breakthrough, the season also includes a guest appearance by Disney Legend Dick Van Dyke as a lawyer-turned-clown. Click here for Aaron's full two-page review.

May 8, 2006 - With a comprehensive two-page critique of Walt Disney Treasures: The Complete Goofy, David Willis makes his UD review debut and brings us one step closer to in-depth coverage of all the Treasures. He offers high praise for the 2-disc, 46-cartoon collection which spans over two decades of the anthropmorphic dog's shorts series. From hilarious "how to" hijinks to comic misadventures of an identifiable family man, Goofy's shorts reflect inspiration and avoid repetition. While the set can be faulted for lacking a "Play All" option and a few of the Goof's apparently non-canon appearances, Disney fanatics and others alike should be pleased by these shorts, presented in their original form and boasting glorious picture and sound. Read the full review.

Our first look at three menus from next month's re-release Dumbo: Big Top Edition has been added to its press release. Two selection screens from the Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure reissue have also been posted.

After a hiatus and sporadic sendings, UD's e-mail newsletter has been put back on track with the mailing of the latest issue earlier today. To sign-up for this free weekly mailing and gain access to all past issues, send a blank e-mail to UltimateDisney-subscribe@topica.com to subscribe. You'll be privvy to exclusive offers, gain extra chances in select UD contests, and stay informed even when you forget to visit the site. Unsubscribing is free and e-mail address will never be used for any other purpose. What more could you want?!

May 6, 2006 - The Tim Allen remake The Shaggy Dog is now available for preorder at 30% off at Amazon.com. By now, you should know the drill - the discount will likely last for about two days before the DVD reverts to full list price. As previously reported, the disc will be released on August 1st, containing both 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen and 1.33:1 fullscreen versions of the film, plus deleted scenes, bloopers, and a bark-along feature for dogs.

High-resolution images of the 2006 The Shaggy Dog's tentative cover and the final cover art for May 23rd's Growing Up with Winnie the Pooh volumes have been added to our Upcoming Cover Art page.

On our always-active UD Forum, "N-Tony" points to a sneak peek for The Cheetah Girls 2: When in Spain, which reveals that the forthcoming Disney Channel Original Movie will be coming to DVD soon after its cable premiere. Expect the European-set sequel, which reunites Raven with the band that has lived on since 2003, to land on disc this December with an extended alternate ending, video diaries from each Cheetah Girl, music videos, and more to be announced. While no air date has been officially announced, online sources suggest an August debut.

May 5, 2006 - It's official! The Walt Disney Company announced today that it has completed its acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios.

Top Selling DVDs
1) The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (2-Disc CE)
2) Modern Marvels: Walt Disney World
3) CCF 10: Best Pals - Mickey & Minnie
4) CCF 11: Best Pals - Donald & Daisy
5) CCF 12: Best Pals - Mickey & Pluto
6) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
7) Pooh's Grand Adventure
8) Sleeping Beauty
9) The Greatest Game Ever Played
10) Lady and the Tramp: Platinum Ed.
11) The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (1-Disc WS)
12) WD Treasures: On the Front Lines
13) Little Einsteins: Team Up...
14) The Lion King: Platinum Edition
15) The Little Mermaid: Limited Issue
16) Little House on the Prairie
17) WDT: The Chronological Donald, V2
18) Dream On Silly Dreamer
19) The Cat From Outer Space
20) The Parent Trap I & II: 2-Pack
Top Selling Videos
1) Adv. in Wonderland: Helping Hands
2) Adv. in Wonderland: Missing Ring
3) WWoD: Donald in Mathmagic Land
4) The Ernest Green Story
5) The Thirteenth Year
Top Selling Books
1) The Imagineering Field Guide to Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World
2) 101 Things You Never Knew About Walt Disney World
3) The Art of Cars
4) The Walt Disney World Trivia Book
5) Disney's Little Einsteins - Mission: Color Discoveries
Top Selling CDs
1) Happiest Celebration on Earth
2) Jim Brickman: The Disney Songbook
3) High School Musical: Soundtrack
4) Little Einsteins: Musical Missions
5) Hercules: Soundtrack
Other Hot Sellers
1) LeapFrog Leapster L-Max
2) Rubbermaid Ice Cube Tray 2-Pack
Most Preordered DVDs
1) The Little Mermaid: Platinum Ed.
2) High School Musical
3) Dinosaurs: Seasons 1 & 2
4) Lost: Season 2
5) Animaniacs: Volume 1
6) Desperate Housewives: Season 2
7) Grey's Anatomy: Season 2
8) Eight Below (Widescreen Edition)
9) Leroy & Stitch
10) Cow Belles

A bit of news on The Fox and the Hound 2, DisneyToon Studios' direct-to-video sequel that is due by the end of 2006: the country-flavored feature will include the voices of Vicki Lawrence and Jeff Foxworthy in addition to, as the preview has noted, Patrick Swayze and Reba McEntire. Swayze and McEntire play Lyle and Dixie of The Singin' Strays, with McEntire performing three of the film's seven new songs.

May 4, 2006 - Earlier this week, the Hollywood Reporter announced that Walt Disney Pictures will re-release the Tim Burton-produced stop-motion film The Nightmare Before Christmas to theaters on October 20th in a new digitally remastered 3-D version. Originally released in 1993 under the Touchstone Pictures banner, Nightmare performed modestly (grossing $50 million domestically) but has since developed into something of a cult hit. Its 3-D treatment, which is being conducted by Industrial Light & Magic, follows last fall's treatment of Chicken Little and precedes next spring's Meet the Robinsons. It was previously reissued in 72 theaters in October of 2000.

May 3, 2006 - Our two-page DVD review of "Dinosaurs": The Complete First and Second Seasons has just been posted here. This early '90s sitcom from Michael Jacobs ("Boy Meets World") and Jim Henson Productions holds up fairly well as a satire of contemporary family life with more of an edge than most Disney fare. The 4-disc set provides over eleven hours of entertainment. Picture and sound are sufficient, if not extraordinary, and the bonus features (most of which are "Dino-Eggs") deliver welcome and insightful retrospection. Our review includes synopses of all 29 episodes, a guide to hidden extras, a comprehensive critique of the series, and 40 screencaps. Click here for the full review.

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Buy Meet the Orchestra and save $3 on any other Baby Einstein DVD
Buy Pooh's Grand Adventure and save $3 on another Winnie the Pooh DVD

Disney's ongoing celebration of Winnie the Pooh's 80th Anniversary is bringing a new 3-disc box set on July 9th. Pooh's Anniversary Collection will contain the existing DVDs of The Tigger Movie, Piglet's Big Movie, and Pooh's Heffalump Movie in a snazzy new box and at the low suggested retail price of $34.99. This 3-pack will only be available until December 24th, the 81st anniversary of the Christmas Eve on which the London Evening News published the first chapter of A.A. Milne's first Pooh book. It is unclear if the individual movies' current DVDs will be discontinued in July, December, or at all.

A new trailer for The Fox and the Hound: 25th Anniversary Edition appears on the first two volumes of the It's a Small World of Fun compilations and reveals that the reissue of the 1981 Disney 'toon is now due "Fall 2006." The only things disclosed about this potential upgrade are that it will offer "restored picture and sound" and that it will precede The Fox and the Hound 2, which is expected in December. On a side note, the Small World of Fun DVDs are Disney's first to come without an insert since the summer of 2003.

May 2, 2006 - Disney has just unleashed new previews for two films heading to theaters this summer. JBFans.com has a new trailer from the blockbuster-to-be Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (thanks to "PatrickvD"), while DisneyPictures.com provides our first look at the period NFL drama Invincible.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment has issued fact sheets for the four hour-long ABC/Touchstone Television dramas recently pinned for box set treatment. Each soon-to-be-wrapped season set will present its series in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby Digital 5.1. "Desperate Housewives": The Complete Second Season (The Extra Juicy Edition) will contain an exclusive unaired storyline involving Susan (Teri Hatcher), "Anatomy of a Show: Director's Diary", "Iconic Housewives" on famous TV housewives, audio commentaries, deleted scenes, and "Marc & Mom" - an interview with creator/executive producer Marc Cherry and his mother. "Lost": The Complete Second Season (The Extended Experience) will include over eight hours of extras including "Lost Connections" (the interactive look at the relationships between characters and numbers), "Lost: On Location" (an up-close look at the making of 10 episodes), audio commentaries, never-before-seen "Lost Flashbacks", "Secrets of the Hatch", bloopers, deleted scenes, and "Fire and Water: The Anatomy of an Episode." "Grey's Anatomy": The Complete Second Season - Uncut will offer deleted scenes, audio commentaries, three extended "too steamy for TV" episodes, and a fan roundtable Q & A session. Finally, "Commander in Chief": The Complete First Season (The Inaugural Edition) will provide an exclusive interview with star Geena Davis, unaired scenes, bloopers, and creator audio commentaries. Each set leaves room for additional content with an "and much more" disclaimer, but also points out that the announced content is "subject to change."

May 1, 2006 - With the theatrical release of Cars less than six weeks away, Disney and Pixar have revved up promotions for the computer-animated film. One neat way in which the studios are getting the word out is CARS Road Trip '06, in which life-sized versions of star automobiles Lighting McQueen and Sally Carrera are spending three months touring the nation. We've got a report with eight photographs from the Road Trip's weekend stop in Minnesota. Check it out for thoughts on the film, a list of the goodies obtained, and a schedule of the tour's upcoming stops through mid-July.

Final cover art has been posted for the upcoming reissue of Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure.

Now that July's light slate of Disney DVDs seems to have already been filled up with no news on the repeatedly-delayed Lilo & Stitch: Special Edition (which late last year was penciled in for release on July 25, 2006), we have reclassified the two-disc set (widely available outside the US) back to "To Be Announced" on Upcoming DVD Schedule.

As promised, the folks at ChimneySweepstakes.com jump today to daily giveaways tailored to Disney fans. Be sure to check it out!

Speaking of contests, it's been over a month since our last one and some readers have been wondering, "When will there be another?" The answer to that question is "Four weeks from today." Memorial Day marks the start of the summer movie season, and we will again be bringing you a Summer Screencap Challenge, with a slightly tweaked prize list and a new set of film frames to identify.

Desperate Housewives: The Complete Second Season - The Extra Juicy Edition -- click for larger viewGrey's Anatomy: The Complete Second Season Uncut -- click for larger viewLost: The Complete Second Season - The Extended Experience -- click for larger viewCommander in Chief: The Complete First Season - The Inaugural Edition -- click for larger view

Sources within and close to Disney have told us that Secrets, Stories and Magic of the Happiest Place on Earth has been tentatively re-slated to arrive on DVD this fall. Originally planned for release on July 12, 2005, the disc was delayed at the 11th hour for no clear reason. Long the most-preordered title among all UltimateDisney.com readers, this much-anticipated DVD will contain a number of things, all related to the world's premiere theme park, Disneyland. The main program is Disneyland: Then, Now and Forever, a brand new, never-before-seen, feature-length documentary on the Anaheim resort. Supplements, as originally announced, are to include the "Wonderful World of Disneyland" trivia game (with beginner and advanced levels), interviews with Diane Disney Miller and former Imagineer Rolly Crump, rare footage of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse on stage at Radio City Music Hall in 1962, the 12 sing along songs from Disneyland Fun, and, inside the case, a collectible replica of the original Disneyland E-ticket book. Those contents are subject to change, as is the expected autumn timeframe. But judging from the active forum thread (with menus!) we have dedicated to this title, this news was too good not to share, as it offers hope for a DVD some have thought would never see the light of day. We'll keep you fully updated on any new developments. If the planned release date holds up, we should be getting a new announcement in anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Recent Disney and Disney-Related DVD Reviews:
"Little Einsteins": Team Up for Adventure - Holds three episodes of Playhouse Disney's top-rated preschooler series including one that has not yet aired. The program has qualities both good and bad, while the disc is technically sound but somewhat light.
"Under the Umbrella Tree" Volume 2 - Four-episode volume compilation includes the half-hour Valentine's Day special "Love" and new introductions featuring the characters. Check it out for everything you remember about the stellar puppet show which aired on the Disney Channel in the 1980s and '90s.
Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin - Clearly predating Disney's preschool-ization of the Hundred Acre Wood gang, this 1997 film holds up rather well for being one of the studio's earliest direct-to-video forays. It's not perfect or on par with the best Pooh fare, but Grand delivers plenty of fun. Its widescreen transfer is a minor issue as picture is mostly great and sound is top-notch. While the bonuses do not deserve the label "Special Edition", they do include the biggest highlight of the bear's animated career.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - Special Two-Disc Collector's Edition - Easily Disney's best film of 2005, this blockbuster fantasy adaptation is treated to the finest Disney DVD of 2006 thus far. Hours of interesting bonus material and slick packaging largely satisfy for now, but leave room for future improvement. Our review includes a look at the journey C.S. Lewis's novel took to the big screen and its religious overtones.
Modern Marvels: Walt Disney World - The History Channel's documentary does as good a job as 89 minutes allow in looking at the achievements in construction and technology for which Florida's much-visited resort is responsible. The program divides its attention among all four parks, boasting nice computer graphics, insights from Disney Imagineers and an adequately-upheld focus. This disc should delight Disney parks enthusiasts and stimulate those with even a slight interest.

Recent Buena Vista DVD Reviews:
April 2006 DVD Roundup - Casanova, a comic, largely fictionalized account of the 17th century charmer's life and the consciously artistic love triangle drama Shopgirl (both R-rated and from Touchstone) join the PG-rated action/comedy Spymate in our second capsule-format article.
"Power Rangers S.P.D.": Volumes 3-5 - This 13th incarnation of the curious kid-oriented, internationally-influenced franchise follows young law enforcements and their battles against assorted villains in the year 2025. Each disc sports five episodes, plus related bonus features.

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