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February 2, 2009 - Mary Poppins: 45th Anniversary Edition DVD Review The Secret of the Magic Gourd DVD Review

January 30, 2009 - Available next week, Oliver & Company: 20th Anniversary is our newest DVD review subject. Disney's 1988 animated feature turns Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist into the story of orphaned New York City kitten who joins a band of street dogs.
This modest musical hit preceded Disney's '90s animation boom. How does this single-disc reissue compare to 2002's "Special Edition"? For that, you'll have to read the review.

Two DCOMs, one DVD. Neither Hatching Pete nor Dadnapped has aired yet, but the winter 2009 Disney Channel movies are already scheduled to come to DVD together in a Double Feature disc ($26.99 SRP) on May 12th. The tween-friendly comedies, which star Jason Dolley ("Cory in the House") and "Hannah Montana" sidekicks Mitchel Musso and Emily Osment will be presented in fullscreen and Dolby 5.1 sound. Pete will hold the featurette "Unmasking the Mascot", while Dadnapped serves up an animated graphic novel and an extended ending.

One week earlier, on May 5th, Playhouse Disney's biggest hit returns to DVD in "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse": Mickey's Big Splash ($19.99 SRP). This compilation holds four summer episodes plus an unaired fifth one and a game. Alongside it, fellow preschool show "Imagination Movers" will make its DVD debut in a Warehouse Mouse Edition. The widescreen disc ($19.99) holds four episodes.

January 29, 2009 - The new fun fact-equipped Walt Disney Family Classics DVD version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea has been cancelled. The line's other planned reissues, of Escape to Witch Mountain and Return from Witch Mountain, are still scheduled to arrive on March 10th.
The original 20,000 Leagues Special Edition is one of 21 specially-marked live-action Disney DVD titles that will include a free ticket (valued up to $8 or $12) to see Race to Witch Mountain in theaters through early April.

"Better late than never" is hopefully what you think when we tell you we've just posted our review of this week's new Mary Poppins: 45th Anniversary Edition DVD. It may seem like only yesterday that Disney pulled out all the stops for its decorated 1964 musical fantasy. In fact, it was a bit over four years since Mary got the two-disc treatment. This, the film's fourth and latest release, retains almost everything from that deluxe set and adds a documentary, performance, gallery, and MP3 from the Broadway stage show soon to tour the country. Upgrade, downgrade, or neither? You'll have to read our thorough, full review to find out.

January 27, 2009 - Our Disney Forum is abuzz with reports that the present editions of Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Pete's Dragon and Hocus Pocus are being quietly discontinued this year. That's usually the sign of new DVD versions being on the horizon, and newly-posted classifications from Britain suggest that's also the case here.

Once our review of the new Mary Poppins DVD is posted, we'll have covered four of this week's new releases in depth. But you can learn about four times as many of today's new offerings on our DVD/Blu-ray Schedule.

January 23, 2009 - Our latest DVD review subject, Fireproof, surprised the movie industry with its strong performance in theaters last fall. The third film made on a small budget by a Georgia Baptist church group, this PG-rated drama stars "Growing Pains" alum Kirk Cameron as a fire chief whose marriage is on the rocks. Rather than file for divorce, he accepts The Love Dare, a 40-day program intended to save the troubled relationship. The Sony-distributed DVD serves up an audio commentary by pastors/filmmakers the Kendrick Brothers, deleted scenes, outtakes, featurettes, and more. It's in stores Tuesday, but you can read our full review right now.

January 22, 2009 - Our newest DVD review covers The Secret of the Magic Gourd, a 2007 Chinese film that Disney made with Hong Kongs effects house Centro Pictures. Based on a 1950s fairy tale, this G-rated, live-action fantasy tells of a lazy 11-year-old boy named Raymond and the potent, talking gourd who grants his every wish. High School Musical's Corbin Bleu voices the gourd in the English dub. Available next week, the disc also includes English bloopers and a game, a half-hour Chinese making-of featurette, and Baby Zhang's music video for the Mandarin end credits tune. Read our full review.

January 21, 2009 - We've updated our Disney DVD Schedule with details, dates, and preorder links for two dozen releases coming over the next three months. Cover Art has also been brought up-to-date and then some.

Giving customers yet another push to go Blu at a premium, Disney has announced that the Blu-ray/DVD combo of Bolt will be available on March 22nd, two days before the single and two-disc DVD versions. In addition to the aforementioned game, the high-def release will also contain an exclusive art gallery while carrying a list price $7-$10 above its standard DVD counterparts. Bolt is now available for preorder in single-disc DVD, 2-disc DVD, and Blu-ray versions.

January 20, 2009 - We look at City of Ember, available today on DVD. Adapted from Jeanne DuPrau's novel, this Fox/Walden Media fantasy tells of an underground postapocalyptic community troubled by blackouts and dwindling supplies. Atonement Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan and Harry Treadaway lead a cast that includes Bill Murray, Tim Robbins, and Martin Landau. Read the full review.

All of today's new releases get detailed on our DVD/Blu-ray Schedule.

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January 18, 2009 - Chuck Norris is "Walker, Texas Ranger". We've just posted our review of Paramount's recently-released The Sixth Season set, which provides nearly twenty hours of the maverick law enforcer doing what he does to Dallas' numerous avenues of crime. Don't miss our review.

January 16, 2009 - In our newest DVD review, we take an early look at You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown. Warner's seventh DVD of Peanuts animation, this one holds two 1970s specials -- one involving a motocross race,
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the other a decathlon. The bonus featurette includes comments from Charles Schulz's son Craig, whose interest in motocross inspired the title short. Full review.

Bolt, the latest film from Walt Disney Feature Animation, has been scheduled for three home video releases on March 24th. A single-disc DVD ($29.99 SRP) will include the all-new short Super Rhino. A 2-Disc Deluxe Edition DVD ($32.99 SRP) adds deleted scenes; the featurettes "Creating the World of Bolt", "Act, Speak! The Voices of Bolt", and "A New Breed of Director: A Filmmaker's Journey"; stars Miley Cyrus and John Travolta singing "I Thought I Lost You" in the studio; and a digital copy. Finally, for $39.99 SRP, you get the Blu-ray (with the exclusive Bolt's Be-Awesome Mission Game), the DVD, and the digital copy. Cover art, which aside from a border is the same for all three, has been posted here.

In other Disney animation news, a Special Edition DVD reissue for 1985's The Black Cauldron is being promoted on upcoming releases. Extras touted: "an all-new game, deleted scenes, and more." Based on Disney's past release patterns, we can probably expect this disc in June.

Recent Disney DVD Reviews:
• "Hannah Montana": The Complete First Season - The hokey Disney Channel sitcom that launched a tween empire and made Miley Cyrus a household name shows us the life of an ordinary girl who secretly is a major pop star. The four-disc set holds 26 episodes, the first installment of this year's Disney Channel Games, and a featurette with Miley and father Billy Ray at their Nashville ranch.

Recent Non-Disney DVD Reviews:
• Eagle Eye: 2-Disc Special Edition - Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan star in this high-energy suspense thriller about two strangers united by anonymous, threatening phone calls and an assortment of peril. The premium version of DreamWorks' $100 million hit includes deleted scenes, an alternate ending, a gag reel, the trailer, a photo gallery and several featurettes.
• Brideshead Revisited - Miramax's new feature film adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's esteemed 1945 novel stars Watchmen's Matthew Goode as a young man intrigued by aristocracy, the Catholic family that introduces him to it, and their stately palace. Julian Jarrold (Becoming Jane) directs a cast that includes Emma Thompson and Michael Gambon. The DVD-only release includes an audio commentary, deleted scenes, and a 20-minute featurette.
• Swing Vote - Touchstone's PG-13 political dramedy stars Kevin Costner as a simple New Mexico man whose single vote will determine the next American president. The cast of this flop includes Kelsey Grammer and Dennis Hopper as the candidates, Stanley Tucci and Nathan Lane as their campaign managers, Paula Patton and George Lopez as journalists covering the story, and Madeline Carroll as the precocious daughter. The DVD includes a commentary, deleted/extended scenes, a music video by Costner's band, and a making-of featurette.
• "Alvin and the Chipmunks": The Chipettes - Paramount's latest compilation of the 1980s cartoon holds six 12-minute episodes, with all pop covers intact and the Chipmunks' female counterparts typically in focus.
• Ghost Town - British funnyman Ricky Gervais stars as a misanthropic dentist who starts seeing New York City's ghosts after a surgery renders him temporarily dead. Directed and co-written by Spider-Man scribe David Koepp and co-starring Greg Kinnear and Tιa Leoni, this PG-13 romantic comedy is now available with audio commentary, a substantial making-of featurette, outtakes, and a short visual effects reel.

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January 1-16 Archives
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Archives Index

Disney Checks, Labels, Covers
All Upcoming DVD Schedule
Disney DVD Schedule
Upcoming DVD Cover Art
Coming to Theaters
Disney Blu-ray List
Recent Disney DVDs
Disney DVD Price Drops
Disney DVD Easter Eggs
Mary Poppins: 45th Anniversary Edition DVD Review
Latest Reviews (rated):
Oliver & Company: 20th Ann.
Mary Poppins: 45th Anniv.
Secret of the Magic Gourd
City of Ember
Walker, Texas Ranger: S6
Good Sport, Charlie Brown
Eagle Eye (2-Disc SE)
Brideshead Revisited
Swing Vote
Alvin and The Chipettes
Ghost Town
Hannah Montana: Season 1
The Little Mermaid II: SE
The Women
Fireproof DVD Review
X-Files: I Want to Believe
Happy Days: Season 4
Horton Hears a Who!
High School Musical Game
Narnia: Prince Caspian (CE)
Step Brothers (2-Disc)
The Best of Dr. Katz
Bottle Rocket: Criterion
Sisterhood of the...Pants 2
Fred Claus
Hancock (Unrated Edition)
Alvin and the Chipmunks: SE
WALL•E (3-Disc Blu-ray)
Tropic Thunder (Director's)
Chronological Donald, V4
Hannah Montana DVD Game
WALL•E (Special Edition)
Disney Treasures: Annette
Kung Fu Panda (& Secrets)
WDT: Dr. Syn - Scarecrow
All Reviews (Old Index)
City of Ember DVD Review
Top 100 Disney Songs Countdown
CD Reviews Index
Holidays 2007 CD Roundup
& 2007: Year in Review

Summer 2007 CD Roundup
Spring 2007 Roundup
Holidays 2006 CD Roundup
& 2006: Year in Review

Fall 2006 CD Roundup
A Musical History of Disneyland 6-CD Review
Summer 2006 CD Roundup
Spring 2006 CD Roundup
Holidays 2005 CD Roundup
Fall 2005 CD Roundup
Summer 2005 CD Roundup
Count down the best of Disney's villains!
Top Heroes & Heroines
Top Disney Villains
Top 100 Disney Songs
Top Live Action Films
Top Animated Classics
Top 50 Disney Heroes & Heroines Countdown
Interviews Index
• Mary Costa, voice of Sleeping Beauty's Aurora
• Henry Selick, Nightmare Before Christmas director
• Jon Turteltaub, National Treasure director
• Andreas Deja, veteran Disney animator
• Alice Davis, legendary Disney costume designer
• Lisa Davis, voice of Anita in 101 Dalmatians
• Mitchel Musso, "Hannah Montana"
• Dominic Scott Kay, star of Snow Buddies
• Tony Baxter, Senior VP of Walt Disney Imagineering
• Gore Verbinski, Director of Pirates of the Caribbean
• Margaret Kerry, the Model for Tinker Bell in Peter Pan
• Kathryn Beaumont, the voice of Alice and Wendy
• Brenda Song, "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" star
• Vince Papale, Inspiration for Invincible
• Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio, Pirates of the Caribbean
• Moira Kelly, The Voice of Nala, The Lion King
• An Interview with Don Hahn, Veteran Producer
• An Interview with Leonard Maltin, Disney Treasures
• An Interview with Pocahontas: Irene Bedard
• Donnie Dunagan, Voice of Bambi
All Interviews
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