UltimateDisney.com: The Ultimate Guide to Disney DVD
JULY 1-15, 2006 NEWS ARCHIVES
Click here for Tuesday's New Release Chart
July 15, 2006 - Today is the last day to save big on $5.99 and $11.99 DVDs at J&R Computer World.
Many UD readers have been looking forward to the upcoming re-release of The Fox and the Hound, one of the more popular Disney animated classics not in the best-selling Platinum line. We've gotten in some underwhelming details on the 25th Anniversary Edition, which is now scheduled to street on October 10th. The new: the movie will boast digitally restored and remastered picture, an interactive "Forest Friendship" hide-and-seek set-top game, and a DVD storybook featurette titled "New Best Friends." In addition, the disc will include a sneak peek of forthcoming DTV The Fox and the Hound 2, a sing-along of "The Best of Friends", two bonus shorts, an all-important cardboard slipcover, and more to be announced. Those hoping for a feature presentation faithful to its 1981 theatrical exhibitions will be disappointed to know that preliminary specs peg the movie as being in 1.33:1 fullscreen and Dolby Digital 5.1. We'll have a full announcement for you soon.
July 11, 2006 - Our Summer CD Roundup is here and it brings reviews of the nine newest albums released by Walt Disney Records. Covered are soundtracks for Cars, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Tarzan: The Broadway Musical, The Wild and High School Musical (2-Disc Special Edition), plus Lightning McQueen's Fast-Tracks, Disneymania 4, Disney's Karaoke Series: Disneymania, Volume 2 and the forthcoming Rock & Bop with the Doodlebops. Click here to read it all.
July 10, 2006 - It is titles bearing the Disney label which traditionally bring Buena Vista Home Entertainment their biggest hits. But, if you've taken the time to explore this site, then you already know that the Walt Disney Company's video branch also handles a wide variety of movies and programming under banners like Miramax, Touchstone, Dimension, and more. One label you won't be seeing distributed by BVHE anymore: ESPN. Genius Products, Inc. announced today that it will become the exclusive distributor of ESPN content on home video, through 2011. Affected titles include ESPN Original Entertainment fare like "Playmakers", "Tilt", Four Minutes, and Through the Fire. Genius currently distributes films from Miramax-spun The Weinstein Company.
July 8, 2006 - Earlier this week, UD broke news that couldn't be found anywhere else online, that Disney/Walden's blockbuster fantasy adaptation The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was due to be revisited in a 4-disc extended edition in the near future. Now, not only has that been confirmed, but the release appears to have been put on the fast track. Those attending the annual fanboy festival Comic-Con in San Diego later this month will be treated to a first glimpse at never-before-seen footage from the upcoming limited edition "director's cut" DVD, hosted by Narnia producer Mark Johnson. The event will take place on Saturday (July 22) at 3:45 in Hall H, with attendees being treated to exclusive collectibles from Narnia and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, which shares the hour with an insider's look at visual effects. (Thanks to Martijn for passing along the details!)
It's been known for a while now that Disney has some kind of DVD plans for the collection of nature films referred to as Walt Disney's True-Life Adventures outside of the Walt Disney Treasures line. UD has learned that three volumes are indeed in the works. Unfortunately, it remains unclear just what the contents will be. Altogether, six feature-length films, seven featurette-length shorts, and one "True-Life Fantasy" movie emanated from the series that led Walt and Roy to seek in-house distribution of their works.
Meanwhile, there is a little DVD buzz starting to form for the just-opened latest live action Disney film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. In an interview with ComingSoon.com, producer Jerry Bruckheimer talks about additional "dice game" footage, deleted Cannibal Island scenes, and "tons" of behind-the-scenes content. Most signs point to an early December DVD release for the big budget adventure, which is expected to become one of the studio's all-time top-grossers in a matter of days.
Even though NBC has decided to again let "Scrubs" sit out the first half of the upcoming TV season, Touchstone's Emmy-nominated medical comedy won't have to wait as long to return to DVD. BVHE has set October 10th as the release date for The Complete Fourth Season. The 3-disc set will hold all 25 episodes of the 2004-05 season and carry a $39.99 SRP. In addition to retaining all the featured music (again in Dolby 5.1), the DVD will include the featurettes "Donald Keeps Talking" (an extended interview with star Donald Faison), "Will You Be My Mentor" (on the JD/Cox relationship), and "The Sweethearts of Sacred Heart" (on the hospital's females), plus alternate lines and much more to be announced.
July 7, 2006 - Today, we bring you our long-awaited review of A Musical History of Disneyland, the deluxe box set soundtrack which Walt Disney Records released last year to mark the Anaheim theme park's 50th Anniversary. Six CDs provide nearly eight hours of audio from noteworthy attractions of the past and present, spanning five decades and all eight lands. The set, which carries a $100 list price in general retail, also contains an excellent hardcover book and a vinyl record reproduction of Walt Disney Takes You to Disneyland, the first park soundtrack and WDR's first album. From Pirates of the Caribbean to Splash Mountain, from Star Tours to Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, from Main Street Electrical Parade to Fantasmic! -- they're all included, as are over 60 others and they're all terrifically preserved in full. Don't miss our detailed review, with pictures of this fantastic set and its slick contents.
July 5, 2006 - According to a post in UD's Disney Movie Club Forum, a new batch of Club-exclusive DVDs have been made available to current DMC members. The latest wave offers "Zorro" Season One: Volume One, "Zorro" Season One: Volume Two, The Story of Robin Hood, and Kidnapped, all live action fare from Walt's time (1952-1960, specifically) which has otherwise not been available on DVD in the United States. This new foursome brings the total number of DMC Exclusive DVDs to nineteen, of which only Benji the Hunted and Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken have subsequently been given general release in Region 1. Click here to join (or sign in at) the Disney Movie Club.
July 3, 2006 - In May, Tarzan became the third animated Disney film that the studio's theatrical branch has brought to the Broadway stage via a lavish musical, following in the footsteps of last decade's Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. Last week, Walt Disney Records released the official Cast Album, which features nine songs written by Grammy Award winner Phil Collins, making his Broadway debut. Click here to read the press release for more information on the play, the CD, and Collins' contributions.
Three new images from The Little Mermaid: Platinum Edition -- two menus and one bonus feature -- have been added to the much-anticipated DVD's press release.
With the bulk of Disney's most-demanded catalog titles already released to DVD, new and improved editions have become a significant part of Buena Vista Home Entertainment's calendar. Among those most often revisited are recent live action hits and animated films of any time. Falling into this latter class are four titles now due for re-release. The Fox and the Hound: 25th Anniversary Edition is most firmly in place, with an October release likely coming two weeks after the heavily-promoted The Little Mermaid: Platinum Edition. Also still on the schedule is Lilo & Stitch: Special Edition, which was first declared on a September 2003 DVD insert. Since then, the 2002 hit's two-disc version has undergone many delays in the US, while reaching audiences in other parts of the world (like the United Kingdom). With its latest penciled-in date approaching in just three weeks and clearly not holding up, Lilo remains "to be announced", though certainly still in the works. UD has also learned of two other planned reissues which also do not yet have dates attached. On the heels of Dumbo's Big Top Edition, 1973's Robin Hood is destined for a "Most Wanted Edition" sometime soon. Meanwhile, Princess Mononoke, the only Hayao Miyazaki-directed film that BVHE has given a single-disc release (and Miramax branding), is due for two-disc Special Edition treatment in the near future.
|June's Top Sellers on UltimateDisney.com|
With no official announcement, cover art, or specifications released, it has become evident that the Disney-distributed IMAX documentary Roving Mars will NOT be making its planned August 1st date. No new date or information has been made available, but based on past IMAX-to-DVD trends, the 40-minute doc should make it to disc either in the fall or winter.
July 1, 2006 - Now through the middle of the month, J&R Music and Computer World is offering hundreds of Disney and Buena Vista DVDs for just $5.99 a piece. From cartoon compilations to Sing Along Songs, from live action hits to 2-disc sets, the possibilities to save are endless. Plus, any orders placed provide support to UD at no extra cost to you! Click here to start saving.
June 30, 2006 - Cover art, or rather something close to it, has been added for September's DVD debut of Sing Along Songs: Happy Haunting - Party at Disneyland!.
Last February, a Buena Vista Home Entertainment representative informed us that despite what director Andrew Adamson was quoted as saying in USA Today, there were no plans for the Disney/Walden mega-hit The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe to be re-released in an extended version DVD. Now, thanks to a super-secret, reliable inside source, UD has learned that either this was not true or plans have been changed. Plans are now in place for Wardrobe to be revisited in a deluxe four-disc edition sometime soon. While details are very much in development, you can expect an extended cut of the already-substantial 143-minute fantasy, perhaps stretched over two discs, along with some all-new extras. The set could arrive as soon as this holiday season or might be held off closer to the release of sequel Prince Caspian, which is currently scheduled to reach theaters in the summer of 2008. Keep in mind that, like everything else that hasn't been announced (or even has), this information is subject to change. We'll be bringing you a variety of additional exclusive DVD scoops in July!
The same source has informed us that a DVD release is also in the works for the recently-debuted Disney Channel Original Movie Wendy Hu: Homecoming Hero starring Brenda Song of the network's DVD-bound sitcom "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody."
"Gargoyles" creator Greg Weisman has posted in his blog that no Season 2, Volume 2 DVD release is scheduled for the cult mid-'90s cartoon. The simple reason: last December's three-disc Season 2, Volume 1 DVD did not sell enough copies to make more sets worth Disney's while. As is always the case, the decision is not final, so if you've been planning to buy "Gargoyles" but have been putting it off, you may want to pick up S2V1 and 2004's Season 1 set. As Weisman bluntly puts it, "The ONLY remedy is to find a way to sell more.... SPREAD THE WORD!!!"
Aaron is also giving Disney fans more to enjoy on his free weekly podcast Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Pod. This week's new episode discusses this very site, UltimateDisney.com, with Aaron discussing the various features as well as the different Disney ages in an interview with UD reviewer Renata Joy. Click here to subscribe to Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Pod, here to download this week's episode on UD, and here to visit the podcast's informative official website.
Recent Disney DVD and Movie Reviews:
Leroy & Stitch - The feature-length conclusion to the Disney Channel's popular "Lilo & Stitch: The Series" finds Lilo and her three closest extraterrestrial pals commended and ready to part, until the evil Dr. Hδmsterviel escapes prison and demands the creation of a red, evil version of Stitch who is countlessly cloned. This entertaining jaunt should delight fans of the show and while the disc skimps on extras (providing only a spotty game and a never-before-aired episode), it does well in the audio and video departments.
Cow Belles - Crossover teens Aly & AJ star as spoiled sisters whose fathers put them to work on the family dairy farm for the summer. This Disney Channel Original suffers from a lacking script, a weak supporting cast, and other common flaws, but ends up in the middle of its class with a solid story and a surprise or two. The disc could use some improvement, with unexceptional picture and sound, just three brief bonuses, and an alternate ending which replaces the broadcast conclusion.
Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure (2006 reissue) - You can look at 2001's direct-to-video follow-up to Walt's CinemaScope classic in one of two ways: as a clearly weaker film which doesn't compare or as an imperfect but fairly entertaining coming-of-age tale. The new DVD offers less room for interpretation: it's neither an upgrade or a downgrade from the movie's fine discontinued original disc, leaving it one of the studio's better single-disc affairs.
Glory Road - The fourth union of producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Walt Disney Pictures marks the pair's first misstep. The tale of Texas Western College's path to the NCAA championship follows the blueprints of Remember the Titans, creating severe dιjΰ vu. Plus, Glory falters where Titans succeeded, reworking key facts, lacking likable personas, and resorting to generic formulas. The DVD at least boasts a valuable and robust extras slate, with two commentaries and much more.
Eight Below - Disney's unexpected first hit of 2006 melds the Walt-era animal-driven adventure with modern cinema sensibilities, with hardly any complications. The DVD boasts nothing of the true story which very loosely inspired the film, but it does deliver worthwhile deleted scenes, two commentaries, and a serviceable making-of featurette.
Dumbo: Big Top Edition - Thorough analysis of Walt's straightforward but highly affecting masterpiece includes comprhenesive critique of video/audio and extras, with comparisons to the film's 60th Anniversary Edition. Related Report: Back on the Big Screen: Dumbo's Opening Night at El Capitan
Cars - Upon assessment of the comedy, voice cast, pacing and plotting, Pixar's seventh feature film feels "too much like a low-end rental after ten years of riding around in luxury class." Still, it boasts cutting-edge animation and the studio's fans will want to give it a fair shot all the same. Related Reports: Red Carpet Coverage from the Charlotte World Premiere, Guide to Cars Tie-Ins
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