UltimateDisney.com: The Ultimate Guide to Disney DVD
JUNE 1-15, 2005: NEWS ARCHIVES
June 15, 2005 - Our newest DVD review looks at The Even Stevens Movie, the feature-length conclusion to the popular Disney Channel comedy series. Like the half-hour show that preceeded it, the movie raises the bar for Disney Channel programming. It's a smart, very funny, and surprisingly well-written story of the Stevens family's dream vacation gone bad. In addition to satisfying audio/video, the DVD delivers a great audio commentary by the two stars and more fun in the spirited multi-level game and party planner bonuses. Overall, it's a disc that's easy to recommend. Read the full review.
Just in time for Kwanzaa and Boxing Day, the 2-disc Special Edition re-release of Toy Story 2 will apparently arrive on Monday, December 26th. So says this brand new trailer for the Toy Story: 10th Anniversary Edition, which is due on September 6th. The unusual Monday and day-after-Christmas release date is a bit perplexing, but this holiday reissue of the blockbuster sequel was hinted at in recent weeks at Pixar's first quarter conference.
As mentioned last week, we're hoping to launch our next DVD contest very soon. The winner of this, our Summertime Screencap Challenge, will get a free DVD (up to $29.99 SRP) of the summer Disney movie of their choosing. "What's a summer Disney movie?", you ask? Well, we're defining it as any Disney movie which first came to theaters (or TV or video, if that's where it debuted) some time in the months of May through August, which Hollywood defines as the summer season. Active forum members will get two shots to win. Check back soon for more details.
June 14, 2005 - Our Upcoming Cover Art section has been updated with Cinderella: Platinum Edition disc art, covers and discs for upcoming Studio Ghibli debuts Pom Poko and My Neighbor the Yamadas, final cover art for the Halloweentown Trilogy, and simply covers for this fall's A Very Playhouse Disney Holiday and seasonal Classic Cartoon Favorites Classic Holiday Stories and Holiday Celebration with Mickey and Pals. See them all here.
Variety reports that Disney has acquired the film rights to the upcoming young adult novel I'd Tell You I Love You, but Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter. The story is set in a girls' boarding school outside of Washington, D.C., where all of the students are daughters of spies. Trouble ensues when the daughter of the school's headmistress falls for a local civilian boy. No production timeframe has been set, but the book is slated to be published by Disney's Hyperion in the fall of 2006.
June 13, 2005 - Among the numerous properties that Disney now owns are The Power Rangers. As such, Aaron Wallace has today reviewed Power Rangers S.P.D.: Volume 1 - Joining Forces, a five-episode compilation of the children's action series' "pretty unremarkable" latest incarnation.
Amazon.com now has the recently-announced The Parent Trap and The Parent Trap II: 2-Movie Collection up for preorder at $13.99 (30% off retail price). Arriving on DVD the same day (September 20) and also up for preorder at 30% off are the four theme park-inspired Sing-Along Songs DVDs: Disneyland Fun - It's a Small World, Beach Party at Walt Disney World, Campout at Walt Disney World, and Flik's Musical Adventure at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
June 12, 2005 - Itchin' to get some new Love Bug action? According to Box Office Mojo, Disney's upcoming Herbie: Fully Loaded will be exhibited as a sneak preview next Sunday at 800 theaters across the nation. The film opens in full three days later, on Wednesday, June 22. More on the film...
June 11, 2005 - Today's new DVD review covers The Pacifier, an entertaining but predictable fish-out-of-water comedy which has been Disney's biggest box office hit this year so far. The film stars Vin Diesel as a Navy S.E.A.L. whose latest assignment is to protect a suburban family of five kids. Outside of a commentary, the DVD skimps on bonus features, but audio/video is expectedly exemplary.
Disney has opened up the official website for Sky High, their upcoming comedy set in an academy for budding superheroes. It's cleverly designed like a school website, though only half of the sections are accessible. The available content includes profiles of past and current students, a photo gallery, a history of the institution, and, of course, the film's trailer. Sky High opens in theaters on July 29.
June 10, 2005 - Aaron Wallace has Miramax on his mind for a thorough DVD review of this week's 2-disc Director's Cut Collector's Series of Sling Blade, the studio's award-winning 1996 drama. The film put writer/director/star Billy Bob Thornton on the Hollywood map and this re-release puts him at the center of attention, with a multitude of biographic bonuses that rival the film's extended cut in running time. The extras may be a little superflous, but the decent amount of relevant material supplements "an exceptional and fantastic film." Still, heed the R rating: "this isn't one for the kids."
Still more September cover art comes in, now for the Halloweentown movies which arrive on the 13th. It may not be final artwork and is only as high-res as scanning from a low-res source (the insert from this month's Disney Channel movie DVDs) allows, but it's the best we've got thus far for the trilogy of spooky family films.
A snazzy new silver front for September's Toy Story: 10th Anniversary Edition, while old school cover art resurfaces for the upcoming DVD debuts of theme park Sing Along Songs volumes first released to VHS last decade. Click here for a closer look. In addition, revised and reversed artwork has been posted for Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (or is it now Stitch & Lilo 2?) - check it out.
Howl's Moving Castle, the animated film Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki claims is his last, opens in 36 theaters throughout America today. You can read UltimateDisney.com's review, or you can view four film clips, two TV spots, the trailer and a making-of featurette (all in the QuickTime format) in our updated preview section.
June 9, 2005 - We have a special big screen review for you today of Hayao Miyazaki's compelling fantasy Howl's Moving Castle, which opens in 35 theaters tomorrow and expands more next Friday.
June 8, 2005 - Our newest DVD review tackles Miramax's The Best of Tokyo Pig, which holds eight episodes of a hyper and bizarre anime series about a smart 9-year-old boy and his powerful pet pig. It's definitely not a set for those who aren't anime fans, but those looking for something different may enjoy the show's quirky sense of humor and randomness.
The latest word from Disney's CEO-elect Robert Iger is that he's had "really good discussions" with Pixar about striking a new distribution deal with the successful CGI studio. Read more.
June 7, 2005 - The latest update on Secrets, Stories & Magic of the Happiest Place on Earth from Buena Vista's publicity department states that this brand new Disneyland documentary DVD is still slated to arrive on July 12th. This new information contradicts Disney's customer hotline and Amazon, who claim the disc has been indefinitely postponed. Details on this and the three other DVDs being released in conjunction with the theme park's 50th Anniversary are available here.
Our Upcoming DVD Schedule has been completely updated with the information from last night's eight announcements, news of a Chicken Little Sing-Along in the works, and the cancellation of Adventure Through Narnia. The documentary-based DVD on C.S. Lewis's world was set for release in December, three days before Disney/Walden's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe opens in theaters. While it could resurface next spring with the Wardrobe DVD, it is definitely off the schedule for now.
The Pacifier press release thread has been updated with four of the DVD's colorful menus.
June 6, 2005 - When it rains, it pours. Disney has just issued a whole bunch of new DVD announcements including The Muppet Show: Season One, The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, and September's low-priced Parent Trap: 2-Movie Collection holding the 1961 original and 1986 sequel.
The studio's holiday slate has also been clarified with press releases. The holiday-themed Classic Cartoon Favorites third wave offers Volume 8 (housing the DVD debut of Don Bluth's 1978 featurette-length short The Small One) and Volume 9 (seven wintry shorts). A Disney Channel Holiday will contain Christmas episodes of the cable network's popular series Lizzie McGuire, Kim Possible, and That's So Raven, the Even Stevens show "Heck of a Hannukah" (its first foray onto DVD), never-before-seen episodes of newcomer The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and Phil of the Future, plus unspecified music videos. The Disney Princess: A Christmas of Enchantment announcement is unsurpris-ingly vague, while Playhouse Disney Holiday's merely describes featured series JoJo's Circus, Higglytown Heroes, and Shanna's Show.
In addition, we learn that four new Disneyland/Disney World-themed sing-along titles will make their debut this September as part of a 10 preschool DVD promotion coinciding with Disneyland's 50th Anniversary.
Aaron Wallace reviews Storytelling with Bear, the one never-before-released volume of this week's four new "Bear in the Big Blue House" DVDs. He gives the preschool series high marks, praising its communication of life lessons and entertaining nature, while noting that at the disc's low price, "you can't go wrong."
Two new exclusive DVDs have been added to the Disney Movie Club: The Wonderful World of Disney's 2000 musical Geppetto starring Drew Carey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the 1995 big screen adventure Tall Tale with Patrick Swayze and Nick Stahl. Both movies have not previously been available in Region 1 and are presented in fullscreen with no apparent bonus features and a $19.95 list price (subject to normal Club discount deals). For Tall Tale, a 1.33:1 transfer means you'd be missing just over 40% of its widescreen theatrical dimensions. As with the past three DMC Exclusives, both titles are available on DVD overseas in Region 2 and in their original aspect ratios. (Join the Club / Browse International Exclusives List)
Aaron Wallace touches on Touchstone for a look at the 15th Anniversary Special Edition of their Steve Martin comedy remake Father of the Bride. While the package may not be all one hopes for, it nonetheless delivers "a really good movie on a decent DVD."
June 5, 2005 - In our first review covering this week's new "Bear in the Big Blue House" DVDs, we go Visiting the Doctor with Bear with three health-themed episodes from the fun, musical children's series.
New DVD cover art has been posted for The Muppets' Wizard of Oz.
June 4, 2005 - As promised, we bring you a DVD review of Tarzan II, Disney's latest direct-to-video sequel. Though the audio/video quality is praiseworthy, that and a trio of Phil Collins songs may be the only things about the DVD that are. This "midquel" about Tarzan's boyhood tribulations lacks the subtlety, visual power, and universal appeal of its predecessor. The result is an unexciting, sitcomish tale insistent on catering purely to very young viewers. The handful of fluffy bonus features aim for the same demographic.
June 3, 2005 - It has been clarified that The Parent Trap: 2-Movie Collection will contain two discs and be released on September 20th. From the sounds of it, Disc 1 will hold both 1961's The Parent Trap and 1986's made-for-TV sequel The Parent Trap II, while Disc 2 will offer bonus material, presumably ported from the original film's 2002 Vault Disney DVD set. As of now, it appears that The Parent Trap II (which is making its US home video debut) will not be available separately, but that is subject to change.
|May's Most Popular DVDs on UltimateDisney.com
June 2, 2005 - Another new DVD review has just gone up. Spider-Man: The Venom Saga houses five episodes of the mid-'90s cartoon series covering the origins and offspring of Venom, the dark and menacing fellow web-slinger who terrorizes Spidey and others.
The next batch of Walt Disney Treasures will be announced this summer, but in the meantime, Aaron Wallace journeys back to Wave 2 with a detailed 2-page review of Mickey Mouse in Black and White, which contains the likable mouse's earliest cartoon shorts.
"The Muppet Show" The Complete First Season is now up for preorder at Amazon.com for just $27.99 with a 30% discount. The 4-disc set of the debut 1976-77 season will be released on August 9th, the same day as the recently-aired telemovie The Muppets' Wizard of Oz.
June 1, 2005 - Odd but good news for fans of The Parent Trap II, the 1986 made-for-TV sequel starring grown-up Hayley Mills. It's slated to come to DVD sometime this September, but apparently exclusively in a "2-Movie Collection" Gift Set with the original 1961 film The Parent Trap. What's not yet clear: how much this will cost and whether both (or either) of the original film's Vault Disney discs will be included. We'll have more information for you when it comes in. In the meantime, cover art has been posted.
Today's new DVD reviews looks at "Home Improvement": The Complete Second Season". The 3-disc set could use more power in the extras department, but otherwise it presents the entertaining sophomore year episodes of the Tim Allen family sitcom with the utmost quality.
Disney racked up a number of nominations in the VSDA 2005 Home Entertainment Awards, announced yesterday. Among the studio's nominated DVDs are Bambi Platinum Edition (Archival Title of the Year), The Incredibles (DVD Extras of the Year, Family Title of the Year), Aladdin Platinum Edition (Family Title of the Year), Mulan II (Direct to Video/Limited Release from a Major Studio), and "The Golden Girls" Season 1 (Archival TV Series of the Year). See idealink.org for the full list of nominees. The awards will be held this July in Las Vegas at a ceremony hosted by comedian Richard Lewis.
May 28, 2005 - Midnight is here and with it, the end of our Disney Heroes & Heroines Countdown. Throughout the week, we counted down a list of the top 50 protagonists from all of Disney's films, as determined by a poll of UD readers this spring. A hearty thank you goes to all who voted and/or submitted their reflections on what makes these characters stand out among the studio's canon.
Recent Disney DVD Reviews:
• Get a Clue - Shallow Disney Channel mystery about Manhattan students in search of missing teacher; stars Lindsay Lohan and includes oddly-16x9 alternate ending.
• Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 7 - Extreme Adventure Fun - An inspired collection of outdoor-themed shorts most prominently featuring Donald and Goofy. Three cartoons make their debut in need of remastering work, but overall, an enduring lot which may be the ideal sampling of vintage animation.
• The Parent Trap (1998): Special Double Trouble Edition - Winning comedy marks Lindsay Lohan's debut as 11-year-old twins who plot to switch places. Contains a number of solid extras from the laserdisc and a great new 16x9 transfer.
• Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 6 - Extreme Music Fun - Fairly uneven blend of music-themed animation, with three Silly Symphonies, two Mickey cartoons, a twice-recycled Goofy short, and two previously-unavailable Pluto and Donald ones.
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