UltimateDisney.com: The Ultimate Guide to Disney DVD
MAY 16-31, 2005: NEWS ARCHIVES
May 31, 2005 - snowhite8 helps you get a clue as to today's new Disney DVD releases in this week's one-minute Weekly Video Update (WMV, 978 kb), which highlights the three Lindsay Lohan performances and three vintage short compilations hitting stores.
|Just Reduced in Price (at Amazon.com): $10.49: Tex (Review), The Kid, The Big Green, Whispers: An Elephant's Tale, Night Crossing (Review), Perfect Harmony (Review), Angels in the Endzone (Review), Angels in the Infield (Review), Balloon Farm (Review), Sounder (Review), Toothless, Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story, Miracle in Lane 2; $13.99: Tales from Avonlea
New Book: Blast to the Past #2: Disney's Dream (Review) - $3.99
• Amazon.com: Free shipping on $25 or more. (All 3 CCFs, or both Lohan DVDs.)
• BestBuy.com: Free in-store pickup, starts Tuesday for new DVDs.
• Circuit City: (now in-store only)
The Incredibles - $12.99 (through Monday),
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl - $9.99.
May 28, 2005 - Midnight is here and with it, the end of the Disney Heroes & Heroines Countdown. A hearty thank you goes to all who voted and/or submitted comments.
May 27, 2005 - The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that the November 1 DVDs Disney Channel Holiday Compilation 2005 and Playhouse Disney Holiday 2005 will contain a variety of Christmas and Hanukkah episodes of TV series, including "Kim Possible", "Lizzie McGuire" on the former, "JoJo's Circus" and "Higglytown Heroes" on the latter.
From the "what was wrong with the original?" department comes news of a planned remake from Walt Disney Pictures. According to Variety, the studio has hired a pair of writers (Hilary Galanoy and Elizabeth Hackett) to pen an updated script of Adventures in Babysitting, the 1987 comedy classic released by Disney's Touchstone branch. Lynda Obst, producer of the original film, is also attached to the project.
Nausicaa.net has posted an interview with Cindy Hewitt, Don Hewitt, and Rick Dempsey, who supervise the English translations and releases of Studio Ghibli films. The piece is loaded with information on the dubbing process and it also reveals some plans for Region 1 DVD releases. The puzzling hold-up on My Neighbor Totoro stems from a rights issue between Disney and Fox (who previously released the film to DVD). Nonetheless, the new Totoro DVD is expected to arrive spring 2006 alongside Whisper of the Heart and Howl's Moving Castle, which opens in some theaters two weeks from today.
May 26, 2005 - Our Heroes & Heroines Countdown winds down with the next-to-last update. Among those occupying the 6th through 10th highest spots of Disney's most memorable protagonists are an apeman, a spaceman, a gypsy, a damsel, a hunchback, a prince, and the mouse that started it all. Thankfully, newly-submitted comments have helped fill in some of the blanks on profiles posted earlier in the week.
Some new information from Disney clarifies a bit on the couple of budget DVDs that showed up on Amazon last week. Both Holiday Celebration with Mickey & Pals and Classic Holiday Stories will be a part of the Classic Cartoon Favorites line, apparently as Volumes 8 and 9. The two discs, to be released on September 27 with an SRP of $14.99 each, are presumed to carry vintage holiday-themed animated shorts, running 55 and 58 minutes, respectively. We'll likely have to wait for a press release to determine which cartoons each disc will hold. The same day these volumes go on sale, Disney will be promoting some already-available Christmas DVD titles including Babes in Toyland and I'll Be Home for Christmas.
In the not-particularly-surprising news department, two upcoming Disney films have received PG ratings; superhero comedy Sky High for what the MPAA labels "action violence and some mild language" and golf drama The Greatest Game Ever Played for "some brief mild language."
Variety reports that Kevin Lima, the director of Tarzan and 102 Dalmatians, has been hired to helm Enchanted, a part CG-animated and part live action romantic fable. The film will center on "wannabe princess" Giselle, banished by an evil queen from the animated world to real life New York, where she must rescue herself and find true love. Disney hopes the project, which has undergone a number of rewrites over the past seven years, can begin filming in September.
Cover art has been posted for That's So Raven: Disguise the Limit and Phil of the Future: Gadgets & Gizmos, the two Disney Channel episode compilations that come to DVD this August.
May 25, 2005 - Today's update on the Heroes & Heroines Countdown slips in just before midnight, when the site could well turn into a great pumpkin. Profiled today are the 11th through 15th highest-rated leads from Disney films, including several from many decades ago!
We've got cover and disc art from "The Muppet Show": The Complete First Season. This 4-disc set streets on August 9.
We have a first at UD today: our first book review, of Disney's Dream. This imaginative piece of children's fiction tells of four 3rd graders who go back in time to 1928 New York where Walt Disney is recording sound for Steamboat Willie. It is the second book in "The Blast to the Past" series on young, time-travelling students who have big effects on influential figures. Read the review here / discuss it.
Cover art has been posted for the August 23rd preschool series launcher Little Einsteins: Our
Big Huge Adventure.
Yahoo! Movies has the Sky High trailer and pictures of eight characters with, um, "clever" taglines. (Thanks to "Just Myself".)
May 24, 2005 - What do two fish, a dog, a monster, a prince, a mouse, an alien, two girls and a teenage boy have in common? They're all profiled among the ten new characters added in today's Heroes & Heroines Countdown update.
If you want to be updated, just go ahead now. Watch snowhite8's Heffalump-sized Weekly Video Update (WMV, 932 kb) and answer her call to express yourself!
"James" reports on our forum that the brilliant late '80s/early '90s Disney Channel series "Under the Umbrella Tree" has been released to DVD in an 5-episode compilation and future volumes will be released over the next three summer months. Each of the four DVDs is available for $19.95 exclusively at the official website of distributor Cinerio Entertainment.
The Muppets' Wizard of Oz is now available for preorder at Amazon. com. This Wonderful World of Disney television movie will be released on August 9th.
The Love Bug is back! The junior novelization of Herbie: Fully Loaded is released today. The G-rated comedy/adventure stars Lindsay Lohan and opens in theaters on June 22nd.
May 23, 2005 - On the forum, "Hogi Bear" has posted links to two new Chicken Little previews: the full-length final trailer (47.9 Mb) and a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy-inspired spot (18.6 Mb) which has been playing in front of Touchstone's loopy sci-fi adaptation. Might as well save them now, 'cause you know they won't be on the DVD next March!
At last, our Disney Heroes & Heroines Countdown kicks off this week. Having tallied all of the votes submitted by UD visitors this spring, we now present a list of the top 25 heroes and 25 heroines from all of Disney's films. Today, #'s 21-25 are profiled, with some reflections on what makes them stand out among the Disney canon. From princesses to pooches, the ten characters featured offer a wide range of personalities and feats in the diverse worlds they inhabit. Be sure to check it out and to return as we count down to the #1 male and female protagonists throughout the week.
May 22, 2005 - The latest news from several sources is that the Tim Allen remake The Shaggy Dog will open in theaters on March 10, 2006 and Disney's CGI jungle-to-jungle comedy The Wild on April 14, 2006, while Chris Sanders' next film American Dog won't hit the big screen until 2007. More on all three in Coming to Theaters.
May 21, 2005 - Our list of the top-selling DVDs at UD this year has been updated. Through the same link, you can browse upcoming releases with synopses, bonus features, and if available (cover art). You can also find Region 2 DVD releases superior to their U.S. counterparts, sort Disney DVDs by decade, popular actor, or genre, or even just see a list of all of Disney's Special Edition DVDs.
Disney will unveil the final theatrical trailer for Chicken Little early Monday morning and we'll have a link for you then. The studio has high hopes for this, their first fully-CGI-animated in-house production, which was planned as a July release and now opens in theaters on November 4th. The film puts a spin on a familiar fable, as the pint-sized title character believes that the sky is falling, a claim that makes him the laughingstock of Oakey Oaks until it turns out he might be right.
May 20, 2005 - For this October's Platinum Edition DVD debut of Cinderella, Disney is embarking on a $150 million marketing campaign, Video Business reports. That's roughly twice of what was spent to promote last year's Platinum set, Aladdin, but about the same as fall 2003's The Lion King campaign. The unusual level of support includes print, TV, and online advertising, cross-promotion with other Disney ventures, plus an array of partner product tie-ins.
The Muppets are coming to Disney DVD! Disney will release a 4-disc Special Edition set ($39.99 SRP) of the first season of "The Muppet Show" on August 9th. Previously only available in episode compilations by Time-Life (which are now out-of-print), "The Muppet Show" was the primetime television series where the gang got their start. Launched in the fall of 1976, the weekly variety program was hosted by Kermit the Frog and marked by comedic sketches, music, and a different guest star in each episode. Season One featured appearances by the likes of Sandy Duncan, Peter Ustinov, Florence Henderson, Vincent Price, and Phyllis Diller. The blog Muppet Newsflash has just posted a reasonable list of the set's specs and bonus features, which they attribute to "Disney insiders."
ABC's irregularly-scheduled Wonderful World of Disney returns tonight with the debut of The Muppets' Wizard of Oz at 8/7 c. Reviews have been mixed and many less than favorable for the Muppets' first outing since they were purchased by Disney early last year. Those who cannot catch tonight's airing (or who simply love the movie) will be glad to know that this television movie will also come to DVD on August 9th. The disc ($24.99 SRP) will include "Oz Oops!" (outtakes, bloopers, deleted scenes), "Pepe's Exclusive Making-of", and Pepe's extended interview with Quentin Tarantino, who makes a cameo in the movie. Disney's official Muppets website has set up a section devoted to these two upcoming DVD releases.
A tiny write-up has been posted from the limited details known on Disney's upcoming Mars IMAX film. The documentary has now been titled Roving Mars and added to the studio's already-hearty 2006 slate, being scheduled to open the last weekend in January the way Aliens of the Deep did this year.
May 19, 2005 - Our streak of daily reviews concludes with Get a Clue, Lindsay Lohan's 2002 Disney Channel Original Movie which makes its DVD debut in two weeks. The film, a shallow mystery about Manhattan students trying to understand their teacher's disappearance, is a letdown. The disc provides an enlightening alternate ending one-fourth the length of the film. Oddly, this only bonus feature is presented in 16x9 widescreen and the film is not.
May 18, 2005 - Today's new DVD review looks at Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 7 - Extreme Adventure Fun, an inspired collection of outdoor-themed shorts which most prominently feature Donald Duck and Goofy. The disc is marked by three cartoons making their DVD debut in need of remastering work. Nonetheless, the DVD also boasts some terrific, enduring pieces and, without a reliance on one formula, it may be the ideal sampling of vintage animation that this Treasures-alternative offers.
May 17, 2005 - It's Tuesday, which means snowhite8 has your ever-entertaining Weekly Video Update (WMV, 963 kb) for you. This week, she looks at Touchstone's new pair of box sets that transport big laughs from the small screen onto three shiny collectible discs.
Our latest DVD review looks at the Special Double Trouble Edition of The Parent Trap (1998), which marks Lindsay Lohan's film debut. This winning comedy remake stars Lohan as a couple of 11-year-old twins who discover each other for the first time at summer camp and then plot to switch places. The DVD, which is released two weeks from today, restores a number of solid extras from the film's laserdisc and adds a great new anamorphic widescreen transfer.
A tiny bit of information has leaked in on five new holiday-themed Disney DVDs due in the fall, thanks to Amazon.com. On September 27th, Classic Holiday Stories and Holiday Celebration with Mickey & Pals will be released, each with the low suggested retail price of $14.99. Then on November 1, Disney Channel Holiday Compilation, Playhouse Disney Holiday 2005, and Disney Princess: Christmas of Enchantment arrive, with the slightly-higher $19.99 SRP. As of now, it's not clear what these DVDs (each up for preorder at 30% off) will contain, but one can make reasonable guesses from the titles that the offerings will include some seasonal 'toons and episodes. We'll have more details for you when they come in.
Two Touchstone sitcoms ("8 Simple Rules", "My Wife and Kids") are expected to be cancelled today at ABC's fall TV lineup announcement. Not sure what that means for their chances of DVD releases, but our page on all significant Disney-owned TV properties has been updated accordingly.
Buena Vista Games has announced their upcoming slate of video games, which includes interactive titles to correspond with the upcoming theatrical releases Herbie: Fully Loaded, Chicken Little, and The Chronicles of Narnia plus October's Cinderella Platinum Edition DVD.
May 16, 2005 - Five new pictures from Pooh's Heffalump Halloween have been posted here. Final cover art of that and tiny artwork for the Halloweentown Trilogy can now be seen here.
There's still no trailer for Sky High, but TheMovieBox.net has an "Entertainment Tonight" clip of footage from the superhero comedy film which arrives in theaters at the end of July.
Another new DVD review has just been posted. Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 6 - Extreme Music Fun provides an hour of musically-themed shorts. It's a fairly uneven blend of three Silly Symphonies, two Mickey cartoons, and a twice-recycled Goofy short, plus the highlight of two fun previously-unavailable shorts starring Pluto and Donald. Like the other entries to this line, it offers satisfactory audio/video and no bonuses. Though the animation is generally older and lighter on dialogue, it otherwise does not differ much; its greatest appeal will be to non-collectors.
May 13, 2005 - Six screencaps from the upcoming direct-to-video film Kronk's New Groove have been posted here. A 30-second promo for this Emperor's New Groove follow-up can be found in the Sneak Peeks menu of May's Classic Cartoon Favorites. No release date has been set, but it now appears the DVD will arrive this December, close to but before the January 2006 launch of the Disney Channel series "The Emperor's New School."
May 12, 2005 - We have an exciting feature for you today - an interview with Irene Bedard, the speaking voice of Pocahontas. The actress reflects on voicing Disney's animated heroine, sharing her memories from production and her thoughts on the just-released 10th Anniversary Edition DVD. Renata Joy reports in this interview.
Recent Disney DVD Reviews:
• Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 5 - Extreme Sports Fun - Eight fun shorts centered on athletics, with five of the Goofy "How to" variety. Not a bad collection for those wanting a low-priced sampling of enduring vintage Disney animation.
• Pooh's Heffalump Movie - Strictly for the kiddies, this disappointingly thin film's most redeeming feature is the introduction of a charismatic new character.
• Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama - Entertaining end to a clever show is presented on a fulfilling DVD.
• That Darn Cat! - Dean Jones signs in and Hayley Mills signs off in Disney's winning comedy caper.
Recent Touchstone, Miramax, and Buena Vista Reviews:
• "Scrubs" The Complete First Season - Buena Vista's finest TV comedy DVD to date delivers a bit of everything. The show's winning blend of the bizarrely comic and the sincere is accompanied by a hearty serving of bonus features including cast commentaries, outtakes, and a new documentary.
• "The Golden Girls": The Complete Second Season - Light on extras, heavy on laughs. While the episodes are even more entertaining than Season 1's, the set again fails to provide the deluxe treatment fans crave.
• The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Comedy/adventure offers more of the quirky humor and pathos one expects of writer/director Wes Anderson. Not Anderson's or star Bill Murray's finest work, but the elaborate, sometimes winning film boasts hours of great bonus material in an insightful 2-disc Criterion DVD.
• The Chorus - Oscar nominee for Foreign Film is a good enough to consider, even with the disheartening lack of extras.
• Who Framed Roger Rabbit: Vista Series - In spite of some flaws, excellent DVD of near-perfect film is well worth your time.
• Beaches: Special Edition - Satisfactory reissue of moving Bette Midler tearjerker.
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