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In addition to the usual family challenges, Jill and Tim Taylor endure a wrecked car, a blown-up house, and a brief stay in prison in the fourth season of "Home Improvement." Click to read about the DVD, due June 6th.
Dumbo: Big Top Edition
Glory Road
Home Improvement: Seas. 4
Lady and the Tramp II
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Leroy & Stitch
Cow Belles
Commander in Chief
The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: Taking Over the Tipton
That's So Raven: Raven's Makeover Madness
Baby Einstein: Baby's Favorite Places - First Words
Disney's top-grossing film of 2006, the arctic drama "Eight Below" mushes to DVD on June 20th. Click for all the details.

The Shaggy Dog (2006)
Pooh Learning Adventures
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Scamp and Angel (left) are sort of like Lady and Tramp (right) in the 2001 sequel "Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure", which returns to DVD on June 20th. Click for more information.
1. Secrets, Stories & Magic of the Happiest Place on Earth
2. The Little Mermaid: Platinum Edition
3. Lost: Season 2
4. Darkwing Duck: Vol. 1
5. TaleSpin: Volume 1
6. Dumbo: Big Top Edition
7. Leroy & Stitch
8. Home Improvement: S4
9. Grey's Anatomy: Season 2 - Uncut
10. Eight Below (Wide)
11. Brother Bear 2
12. Desperate Housewives: Season 2 - Extra Juicy
13. Cow Belles
14. The Shaggy Dog ('06)
Preview "Cars" "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest", "The Santa Clause 3" and other upcoming Disney films.
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An Interview with Bambi:
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From Mouseketeer to Musician: Don Grady
An Interview with Jim Brickman, Disney Songbook
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Leroy & Stitch, Cars: 2006 Animation Preview
A Tour of Disney's ARL
Lady and the Tramp at El Capitan: Opening Night
Ultimate Guide to Pooh
Disneyland 50th Anniversary Report
2004: Year in Review
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MAY 16-31, 2006: NEWS ARCHIVES

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May 30, 2006 - As promised, to mark the start of the summer movie season, we are kicking off our seventeenth and latest contest. Summer Screencap Challenge 2006 gives you the chance to win one of over 50 DVDs holding Disney movies which first were introduced between the months of May and August. If you can correctly identify ten or more of 12 partially-obscured Disney screencaps, you'll have a shot to win the summer Disney DVD of your choosing. If not, you'll have a good time trying to figure out what movie the frames originated from. Click here for the screencaps and a full set of rules.

Padding out Disney's Halloween slate and continuing the "clever" trend of uniquely-named editions, Buena Vista Home Entertainment has scheduled a September 5th "Betwitched Edition" DVD release for the 2005 made-for-TV thrill-omedy Twitches, according to The Disney Channel Original Movie stars "Sister Sister" twins Tia and Tamera Mowry as separated-at-birth twins (talk about typecasting!) who happen to be witches. While Disney has yet to release any information, you can expect a 1.33:1 fullscreen, Dolby Digital 5.1 feature presentation with extras to be announced. The list price of $19.99 suggests that the studio will return to this price point for DCOMs after their current flirtation with the $26.99 price tag.

May 29, 2006 - Last Friday night, the cast, crew, and automobiles from Cars, the seventh feature-length collaboration of Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios, came to Charlotte, North Carolina for the film's World Premiere. Like a good neighbor, UD was there! Aaron Wallace and Adam Lutterloh pooled their interviewing, reporting, photographing, and video recording skills to bring you A Report from the Red Carpet. Check it out for comments from an impressive list of attendees (which included director John Lasseter, Disney CEO Robert Iger, most of the voice cast, NASCAR icons, and 30,000 viewers) and an overview of the night's festivities (from blimps and music acts to fireworks and other fanfare), as captured in text, 30 photographs, and one slick 2-minute video. This is one report you won't find anywhere else and one you certainly won't want to miss. Come back later in the week for Aaron's review of the film and a guide to the coolest media hitting store shelves alongside the film's June 9th opening in theaters.

Click to view UD's report from the "Cars" World Premiere in Charlotte

This Week's Bargains's Hot List (Amazon's most popular DVD preorder deals) Bargains (Support Ultimate Disney: buy online, free in-store pickup.)
Buy High School Musical, Pooh's Grand Adventure, or Little Einsteins: Team Up and save $3 on a Disney DVD (choose from over 300 titles)
Get more power! Seasons 1-3 of "Home Improvement" are just $24.99.
Select Disney/Pixar/Touchstone/Dimension/Miramax DVDs are 50% off ($14.99 each)
Buy Meet the Orchestra and save $3 on any other Baby Einstein DVD

May 26, 2006 - We have just posted Disney's official announcement for the animated direct-to-DVD Brother Bear 2. The August 29th release will be presented in the "family-friendly" 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and your choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS, plus Spanish and French language tracks. The disc will include two bonus features: the trivia game "Trample Off, Eh?" and a "Behind the Music" featurette with rocker Melissa Etheridge, who wrote two songs and performs three tunes in the movie. In addition, the press release includes six new stills from the movie.

The "TaleSpin" Volume 1 fact sheet thread has been updated with an image of the plain-looking Disc 1 Main Menu. A bonus features menu from Winnie the Pooh: Shapes & Sizes and feature program still from Winnie the Pooh: Wonderful Word Adventure have been added to the August Disney Learning Adventures thread.

Mock cover art from Little Einsteins: Mission Celebration! has been posted here, while images of the Main and Bonus Features menus from the August 22nd compilation have been added to the fact sheet.

Despite its absence from the studio's press release, the feature-length audio commentary by animator/animation historian John Canemaker actually does appear on the upcoming Dumbo: Big Top Edition DVD. Truly missing are the sound design excerpt from The Reluctant Dragon, Michael Crawford's "Baby Mine" music video, and (obviously) the Dumbo II sneak peek, all of which were found on the 1941 classic's 60th Anniversary Edition DVD. The slipcovered reissue confirms that the CGI comedy/adventure The Wild is scheduled to arrive on DVD in September, with The Fox and The Hound: 25th Anniversary Edition following in October. Next week, we'll have a full review of Dumbo's new DVD plus a report from a special discussion panel held last night at Hollywood's El Capitan, where Dumbo began a two-week big screen engagement.

May 25, 2006 - Newly reviewed is Growing Up with Winnie the Pooh: It's Playtime with Pooh, which is roughly the fourth compilation of "The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" episodes that Region 1 has received. Like those that came before it, this one holds four episodes, loses the original opening title sequences, and adds a couple of kiddie-oriented "puppet shows." Delivering spotty picture quality, one measly tot-tailored game, and a sub-hour running time, the beloved late '80s/early '90s series deserves far better treatment than this. Nonetheless, thanks to the A.A. Milne franchise's multi-billion dollar success with the preschool demographic, no more collector-friendly alternative is in sight. This disc, now available, includes the Western-flavored episode "The Good, The Bad and The Tigger" as its only half-hour storyline. Read the full review.

Home Media Retailing reports that the Disney Channel's mega hit High School Musical has broken yet another record. With more than 400,000 copies sold on Tuesday alone, the flick became the fastest-selling TV movie in the nine-year history of DVD. Don't forget to read our review and red carpet report.

Confirming what we reported last week, BVHE has updated their "Commander in Chief" announcement to reflect that the 18-episode series will indeed be split into a pair of two-disc sets released three months apart. The revised fact sheets also reveal that all bonus features will be held for October 3rd's "Part 2" release. Click for more info.

May 24, 2006 - We have a variety of new media from this summer's upcoming DVDs today. The Main Menu screens from the two discs of "The Tick" Season One, which confirm there will be no bonus features, have been added to its fact sheet. On the other hand, a bonus features menu does exist for Leroy & Stitch: it can now be viewed here. Two menus from Cow Belles, due the same day as Leroy, have been posted here (spot the typo!). Final cover art for The Shaggy Dog (2006) is here. Finally, six images from the menus and feature program of the 21st Baby Einstein volume, Baby's Favorite Places - First Words - Around Town can be found here.

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May 23, 2006 - Disney's big new DVD today is High School Musical and while you might have feared otherwise, UD has you fully covered on this release. Shattering all kinds of viewership and soundtrack records for a TV movie, the Disney Channel's musical comedy was a surprise hit when it aired in January and has developed into a full-fledged phenomenon in the four months since. Aaron Wallace reviews the movie's Encore Edition DVD and in doing so, critiques the strengths and weaknesses of the flick, from its ecclectic musical tastes to its contemporary charms. The DVD scores points for serving up both the "sing along" and original versions of the movie plus four brief but good bonuses, but loses some for excluding a valid widescreen option and other readily available content. Read the full review here. But wait, there's more! To mark the remarkably popular "DCOM"'s DVD release, Buena Vista Home Entertainment threw a lavish shindig earlier this month at Disney's El Capitan Theatre in the heart of Hollywood. UD's reliable West Coast reporter Pluto Region1 was there and has the full scoop, from the star-studded red carpet to the fanciful East High-themed after party. Check out her report with over 30 photographs featuring the cast of High School Musical, other noteworthy attendees, and all the fun that was had.

Click to read our High School Musical DVD review. Click to read our report from the High School Musical DVD launch at Hollywood's El Capitan Theatre.

This Week's Bargains's Hot List (Amazon's most popular DVD deals) Bargains (Support Ultimate Disney: buy online, free in-store pickup.)
* Buy High School Musical's DVD and new 2-disc SE soundtrack for just $20
Live action Disney/Pixar/Touchstone/Dimension/Miramax DVDs for just $14.99 each
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 22, 2006 - Hot off the presses come Disney's official fact sheets for "Tale Spin" Volume 1, "Darkwing Duck" Volume 1, "Little Einsteins": Mission Celebration!, and Sing Along Songs: Happy Haunting - Party at Disneyland. In addition, the studio's press release for "The Tick" Season One reveals that despite holding a list price comparable to other box sets, the show's 2-disc DVD debut will hold a meager 12 episodes, one shy of a complete first season.

It seems as though the Disney Princess DVD line's brazen foray into originality has undergone a name change and a delay. The new subseries of original shorts, previously called Disney Princess Fairy Tales, is now boasting the title Disney Princess Enchanted Tales. The first volume, equipped with new stories starring Belle and Aurora, is now due in early 2007, not September 2006 as previously announced, under the title Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: A Kingdom of Kindness. You can watch an updated trailer here.

May 20, 2006 - As is customary for most of Disney's sports dramas, the MPAA has given Invincible a "PG" rating, this time citing "sports action and some mild language."

Many have been clamoring to see just what July's Pooh's Anniversary Collection 3-DVD pack will look like. Searching high and low, we've uncovered the best-looking image you'll find anywhere. It's not perfect, but it's the best we've got for now. Click here to view it.

May 19, 2006 - Just added to our Upcoming Cover Art page: high-resolution images of the box art and three slim cases inside from "TaleSpin" Volume 1 and "Darkwing Duck" Volume 1, plus box art from "The Tick". Click here to view all.

Cover art for 2006's The Shaggy Dog has been updated, enabling more than Tim Allen's eyes to grace the front of the case. Click here to view the new and old covers.

Internet rumors do (sometimes) come true! We've just learned that "TaleSpin" and "Darkwing Duck" are heading to DVD in three-disc Volume 1 box sets on August 29th. The popular early '90s Disney Afternoon animated series appear to be coming in the mold of last November's "DuckTales" and "Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers" Volume 1 box sets; each will carry the low suggested retail price of $34.99. This time around, though, pilot episodes are being included! "TaleSpin" will contain the four-installment premiere "Plunder & Lightning" plus the first 23 episodes. "Darkwing" will boast the two-part launch "Darkly Dawns the Duck" and 25 additional episodes. Bonus features, if any, are yet to be announced. "TaleSpin" reconfigured three central characters from 1967's classic The Jungle Book, with Baloo the bear becoming an airplane pilot protagonist and tiger Shere Khan a shrewd tycoon. "Darkwing Duck" focused on a clumsy but competent and caped superhero whose sidekick was Launchpad McQuack of "DuckTales" fame. Outside of their pilots, 65 episodes of "TaleSpin" and 89 episodes of "Darkwing Duck" were produced in total.

Also due from Buena Vista Home Entertainment on August 29th is "The Tick": The Belated 10th Anniversary Edition, a 2-disc set holding "the most hilarious adventures from Season One" of the mid-'90s Fox cartoon. Disney acquired the show through purchasing Fox Family in 2001. Carrying a suggested retail price of $34.99, the animated action/comedy's set will boast collectible packaging and an original lithograph by creator Ben Edlund, though the episode contents remain to be announced.

With the recently-announced cancellation of ABC's hour-long presidential series "Commander in Chief", Buena Vista Home Entertainment has retooled the show's planned Complete Series DVD release. Now, instead of arriving in a four-disc, $39.99 list-priced set on October 3rd, the Geena Davis drama will come in two separate two-disc sets, each carrying a $29.99 SRP. The first, Part 1, will reach stores on June 27th, just two weeks after the series finale airs, holding the first ten episodes, audio commentaries, deleted scenes, and a one-on-one interview with Davis. The second set, Part 2, will be out on October 3rd and hold episodes 11-18 along with more one-on-one with Davis, bloopers, and additional extras to be announced.

May 18, 2006 - has made the following late summer/fall Disney DVDs available for preorder at 30% off: Brother Bear 2 (August 29), Sing Along Songs: Happy Haunting - Party at Disneyland (September 5), Escape to Witch Mountain: 2-Movie Collection (September 5), Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey Saves Santa and Other Mouseketales (November 14). All discounts are expected to indefinitely end by this Saturday. In addition, the Pooh's Anniversary Collection (holding the existing DVDs of the Hundred Acre Wood gang's three theatrical outings of this decade) is preorderable at its modest list price of $34.99.

May 17, 2006 - Here's something we've never been able to bring you before: six new DVD reviews, all at once! That's right, it's time for our May DVD Roundup which includes condensed capsule-sized reviews of six recently-released discs from the non-"Disney" parts of Buena Vista Home Entertainment. Getting critiqued in this edition are unrated extended editions of three Jerry Bruckheimer-produced '90s blockbusters (Enemy of the State, Con Air, Crimson Tide), the Miramax/BBC aquatic documentary Deep Blue, and two independent films (Everything You Want and Shadows in the Sun) that ended up debuting on ABC Family last year. Together, they comprise the must-read critique of the month for any fan of cinema. Read all six reviews here.

The recently-launched, warmly-received computer-animated Playhouse Disney series "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" is coming to DVD on November 14th in a 60-minute, 3-episode compilation titled Mickey Saves Santa and Other Mouseketales. The FastPlay-enhanced DVD (list price: $19.99) will include a never-before-seen episode. Click here to read the press release.

Disney has issued a press release for the Escape to Witch Mountain & Return From Witch Mountain: 2-Movie Collection DVD and unfortunately, unlike last fall's Parent Trap and Old Yeller film-and-sequel double features, this one appears to be just a single disc which loses all bonus features from the John Hough-directed sci-fi flicks' 2003 Special Editions. What's worse is that those Special Editions (Escape to Witch Mountain and Return from Witch Mountain) will be discontinued to make way for the new low-priced pairing, due September 5th.

We've just added a first look at the one-sheet poster and another new image from Invincible, the Mark Wahlberg/Greg Kinnear NFL drama which opens in theaters this August. has an exclusive look at the trailer for The Santa Clause 3, which has taken on the subtitle The Escape Clause that was once rumored to be part of Santa Clause 2's title. In this third installment, which opens in theaters on November 3rd, Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) must deal with Jack Frost (Martin Short) who seeks to take over Christmas via time travel and other methods. Click to view the trailer.

The Hollywood Reporter lives up to its name with the breaking news that the much-anticipated Disney/Walden sequel The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian has been rescheduled to open in the summer of 2008. Previously slated for December 14, 2007, the feature adaptation of C.S. Lewis's fantasy novel was moved in part due to Walden's family fantasy The Water Horse (a co-production with Columbia Pictures) being pegged for a December 7, 2007 opening.

In related news, Reuters reports that last month's DVD release of the 2005 blockbuster The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe has edged out Warner's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the title of 2006's top-selling home video. Wardrobe has sold over 11 million units to date. Disney has also been responsible for four other titles among the top 10 sellers for 2006: (#6) Lady and the Tramp: Platinum Edition, (#7) Chicken Little, (#8) Bambi II, and (#9) Touchstone's Flightplan. The non-Disney titles making the cut: (#3) New Line's Wedding Crashers, (#4) Fox's Walk the Line, and Universal's (#6) King Kong (2005), and (#10) Jarhead. Disney had 2005's top-selling title with The Incredibles.

May 16, 2006 - In our latest DVD review, Aaron Wallace looks at this week's other Disney release, It's a Small World of Fun! Volume 1. This 55-minute cartoon compilation takes you around the globe in seven shorts, including 2002's "Grievance of a Starmaker", which is making its debut outside of Japan. With the majority of the program having already appeared via the Walt Disney Treasures, video quality is mostly pleasing (more so than the concurrently-released Volume 2). Still, as the review so cleverly puts it, buying a DVD like this is tantamount to eating at McDonald's. Click here to read the full review.

This Week's Bargains's Hot List (Amazon's most popular DVD deals) Bargains (Support Ultimate Disney: buy online, free in-store pickup.)
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

Cover art for September's Escape to Witch Mountain & Return from Witch Mountain: 2-Movie Collection has been added here.

Recent Disney DVD Reviews:
It's a Small World of Fun! Volume 2 - 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 plus the fact that the entire lineup is largely unavailable, this merits a look, but the disc disappoints with spotty picture quality and a brief runtime.
Walt Disney Treasures: The Complete Goofy - Praiseworthy 2-disc, 46-cartoon collection spans over two decades of the anthropomorphic dog's shorts series. From hilarious "how to" hijinks to the comic misadventures of an identifiable family man, the shorts reflect inspiration and avoid repetition. While the set lacks a "Play All" option and a few apparently non-canon appearances, Disney fanatics and others alike should be delighted by these 'toons, presented in their original form and boasting glorious picture and sound.
"Dinosaurs": The Complete First and Second Seasons - Early '90s sitcom from Michael Jacobs and Jim Henson Productions holds up fairly well as a satire of contemporary family life edgier than most Disney fare. The 4-disc set delivers 11 solid hours of entertainment, sufficient (though not extraordinary) picture and sound, and a decent amount of welcome, insightful bonuses, most of which are "Dino-Eggs." Spot them all with our two-page critique.

Recent Touchstone and Buena Vista DVD Reviews:
"Scrubs": The Complete Third Season - A decline in bonus features is offset by the half-hour comedy series being 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.
"The Golden Girls" The Complete Fifth Season - Though some heavy-handed drama has the show dipping a bit below Season 4's highs, the sitcom entered the 1990s delivering plenty of the clever comedy that made it a perennial ratings force. Countering the slight drop-off in show quality, the three-disc set finally scores points for worthwhile bonus features in the way of six solo audio commentaries from three of the leading ladies.
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.

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It's a Small World of Fun! Volume 2 DVD Review
Greatest Game Ever Played
CCF: Volume 12 - Best Pals: Mickey & Pluto
CCF: Volume 11 - Best Pals: Donald & Daisy
CCF: Volume 10 - Best Pals: Mickey & Minnie
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe: Two-Disc CE
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Modern Marvels: Walt Disney World
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