UltimateDisney.com: The Ultimate Guide to Disney DVD
OCTOBER 1-15, 2005: NEWS ARCHIVES
See Upcoming Schedule for the latest announcements and preorder links.
October 15, 2005 - Valiant, which comes to DVD on December 13th, is now up for preorder (30% off) at Amazon.com.
October 14, 2005 - Our latest DVD review looks at Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 8 - Holiday Celebration with Mickey & Pals. This low-priced shorts compilation fails to live up to its title (only two of its seven cartoons feature a holiday), but succeeds in providing 54 minutes of vintage animation fun. As is now to be expected from the line, the disc is barren of bonuses and the four debuting shorts are in need of remastering. With minimal effort, this could have been quite a pleasing collection, but as it is, standards must be lowered to fully approve.
The Sky High press release has been updated with two menus from this November DVD.
October 13, 2005 - From Alice to Annette, eighteen stills of the menus and contents from this December's Walt Disney Treasures: Wave 5 have been posted in a new thread.
Is Spain's animated Christmas tale The 3 Wise Men going to be released to DVD wider than Wal-Mart outlets as initially announced? Amazon.com seems to think so, as it has this religious family film up for preorder with a November 1 release date and $17.99 discounted price.
|September's Top Sellers on UltimateDisney.com
After an unfortunate and unforeseen hiatus, UD is back and there's something new for everyone!
Our Fall CD Giveaway ended on Sunday and the randomly-selected winners have been chosen. Brian from Midlothian, Virginia will receive the six-disc collector's dream set A Musical History of Disneyland. CJ from Greenville, Mississippi has won an autographed copy of Julie Andrews Selects Her Favorite Disney Songs. Bill from Washington, Utah earns a CD of the album that launched Walt Disney Records, Walt Disney Takes You to Disneyland. Thanks to all who entered. For the correct trivia answers and a chance to win one of three copies of Buena Vista Home Entertainment's recently-released CG-animated LEGO film sequel Bionicle 3: Web of Shadows, check out our new contest, #11: "Caption This".
Fans of cover and disc imagery should enjoy new artwork from Toy Story 2: Special Edition, Sky High, Timeless Tales: Volume 3, next January's Sing Along Songs volumes, and Stanley's Dinosaur Round-Up, plus a first look at the individual cases inside next month's Volume 1 DVD sets of "DuckTales" and "Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers".
October 7, 2005 - Tonight, we bring you the long-in-progress second installment of UD's reviews of Walt Disney Records output. This Back to School 2005 CD Roundup critiques the following nine CDs released over the past few weeks: Lilo & Stitch Island Favorites (featuring songs from Lilo & Stitch 2), Baby Einstein: Lullabies and Sweet Dreams, Mary Poppins: Original London Cast Recording, Cinderella and Friends, Disney's Karaoke Series: Disney Princess Volume 2, Artist Karaoke Series: Jesse McCartney, DisneyRemix-Mania, Jim Brickman - The Disney Songbook, and Cinderella: Read-Along. There's something for all ages and audiences, plus an opening overview reflecting on what the season entails for Disney's music branch and youngsters around the globe. Be sure to check it out...
Revised press releases for the three new holiday-themed DVDs coming November 1 reveal a bit more on the discs Disney hopes will appeal to tweens, girls, and tots. Bonus features on the 5-episode Disney Channel Holiday will include a 6th show (the never-before-seen Phil of the Future episode "Christmas Break") and the music video "I Love Christmas" by Fan 3. The engimatic contents of the likely-recycled Disney Princess: A Christmas of Enchantment have been elucidated a bit. The reissued announcement for A Very Playhouse Disney Holiday offers no update whatsoever.
One final reminder to office-surfers that Sunday night is your last chance to enter our Fall CD Giveaway for a chance to win one of three very cool prizes from Walt Disney Records. Contest #11 is expected to launch next Monday.
Just in are new press releases for the foursome of television series box sets coming November 8th, but those expecting great revelations will be disappointed. There is no clarification of contents or supplements, which means firm information may not be in until our reviews come in. Nonetheless, the announcements do go into greater detail about the four featured shows: "DuckTales" and "Chip n'Dale Rescue Rangers", "Five Mile Creek", and "Tales from Avonlea". In addition, we've posted the press release for Baby Einstein: On the Go - Riding, Sailing and Soaring along with four stills from the this latest entry to the toddler series due in 2½ weeks. Finally, if there was any doubt, Disney has revised the still-unsatisfying Kermit's 50th Anniversary Edition DVDs announcement to clarify that the 1.85:1 widescreen transfers of all four films will be enhanced for 16x9 televisions.
Stand-in cover art has been added for next February's Bambi II DVD.
In the spotlight today is the recently-released Classic Cartoon Favorites: Volume 9 - Classic Holiday Stories, which delivers an excellent 58 minutes of Christmas entertainment via the featurette-length The Small One (making its Region 1 DVD debut) and Mickey's Christmas Carol (in open matte fullscreen), plus 1952 short Pluto's Christmas Tree. While the presentation leaves plenty to be desired, the cartoons themselves are some of the studio's finest animation work ever.
For a while now, our Upcoming Schedule page has had several listings slated for November, with no formal announcement or preorder links attached. Today, we've learned more about these titles which have been advertised on various Disney DVDs and elsewhere. As such, the schedule has been updated to reflect that Chicken Little: Sing Along Songs has been cancelled, the long-promoted next two Winnie the Pooh-centered Disney Learning Adventures have been delayed to sometime in 2006, and the two DVD board games Disney's Princess Fantasy and Disney Channel Showdown are simply on hold until a new release date is established. As any more specific timeframes are revealed, we'll fill you in.
October 6, 2005 - Our latest DVD review looks at Miramax's The Phoenix & The Carpet, which oddly but skillfully converts a six-episode 1997 BBC series into a feature film. Faithfully adapted from the middle text of E. Nesbit's fantasy trilogy, Phoenix tells of the adventures that ensue when four British children uncover a vain phoenix and a magical carpet. Renata Joy offers much praise of (and background on) the author whose literature was ahead of its time, a fact which keeps this tale fresh and highly accessible one hundred years later. She also comments on the curiously unnoticeable editing which fails to lessen the potency of the wholly-recommended filming.
October 5, 2005 - Thanks to wide-reaching marketing tactics, today you can preview two of Walt Disney Pictures' three fall theatrical releases. AOL Moviefone has an exclusive new 4-minute preview of scenes from next month's long-promoted CGI comedy Chicken Little, while the following four clips offer a scene and exclusive montages from the studio's currently-playing underdog golf drama The Greatest Game Ever Played (which expands this weekend): "Easy Peezy" (QT, WMV), "Get Your Club" (QT, WMV), "Jersey Boys" (QT, WMV), and "Who He Is" (QT, WMV).
Last week, we mentioned that Buena Vista planned to release the third and final season of hour-long dramedy "Once and Again" next January 10th. It has now turned up for preorder at Amazon.com at 30% off and so has "Boy Meets World": The Complete Fourth Season, also scheduled for January 10 and priced 30% off its SRP ($39.99 SRP). The latter is surprising news, since there was no previous mention of it in any of Disney's press or retail databases. Nonetheless, Amazon has even posted cover art, suggesting this is a legitimate date, which Disney has since confirmed. Though the spine reveals the Season 4 set will contain three discs like the Touchstone sitcom's past seasons have, there is no information about any bonus features at this time.
The latest issue of UltimateDisney.com's irregular but free e-mail newsletter has just been sent out. As usual, to subscribe and access issues of weeks, months, and years past, simply send a blank e-mail to UltimateDisneyfirstname.lastname@example.org.
October 4, 2005 - We've been throwing a lot of content at you over the past few weeks, and if you're feeling overwhelmed by all there is to check out on the site, why not take 80 seconds to let UD's on-screen personality snowhite8 inform you of the most pressing matters in her latest Weekly Video Update?
The DVD release of Cinderella means a lot to many UD readers. It also means a lot to Platinum-selling pianist Jim Brickman, who was inspired enough to release a new album. Entitled The Disney Songbook, this 13-track CD from Walt Disney Records (available today) features compelling new interpretations of classic Disney tunes plus two original compositions sung from the points of view of Cinderella and her prince. Brickman recently spoke with UD's Aaron Wallace, discussing this new album, his musical career, and his longtime appreciation for all things Disney: An Interview with Jim Brickman.
Newly up for preorder at Amazon for 30% off ($10.49 each) are next January's Sing Along Songs and Eric Carle DVDs: covers and links.
Today's long-awaited release of Cinderella: Platinum Edition means that all of the films from Disney's Feature Animation have now reached the DVD format at some point. Our detailed DVD review notes that this 1950 animated fairy tale has received a dazzling restoration (perhaps too dazzling, even) and plenty of bonus features, though not as many that directly deal with the film you may hope for. Check it out for more than 30 screencaps from this DVD, which is now in stores.
|Cinderella is now available on DVD!
Review - UD's detailed critique of this 2-disc set.
Interview - with Ilene Woods (voice of Cinderella) and producer Don Hahn.
Preview - Read UD's report from June and see tons of pictures from the DVD.
Discuss It - Post your thoughts on all aspects of the DVD.
Choose from the 2-disc Platinum Edition with drastic restoration and hours of bonus features and the Collector's Gift Set with the same DVD, plus a hardcover companion book, sketches by Ollie Johnston, and a numbered film frame.
Order online and support UD:
Amazon.com: Platinum Edition - $16.98 • Gift Set - $32.49 (Free US Shipping > $25)
BestBuy.com: Platinum Edition - $16.99 • Gift Set - $39.99 (Free In-Store Pickup)
• Online-only: 22 DVDs on sale up to 55% off - save on Incredibles, Aladdin, Brother Bear, Alice in Wonderland, Pirates of the Caribbean, Home on the Range and more
• Buy Cinderella and save $20 on Disney Princess Portable 3.5" DVD Player
• Select Disney Channel DVDs on sale for $9.99 each (50% off SRP).
• Online-only: Buena Vista Season Sets up to 48% off - Top Sellers, High School Series: Alias, Home Improvement, Golden Girls, Boy Meets World & more (Reviews)
eBay: Platinum Edition • Gift Set
In-store incentives designed to sweeten your Cinderella purchase:
Best Buy: Reward Zone members get a free lithograph.
Target: Get a free "glass slipper" necklace.
Circuit City: Get a free Disney Princess DVD sampler.
October 3, 2005 - Yesterday afternoon, Buena Vista Home Entertainment held the New York version of the world premiere for the Cinderella: Platinum Edition DVD and UD was there on the red carpet. Check out our report, with seventeen pictures of some of the celebrities and characters attending this elaborate shindig.
There is now less than one week left to enter UD's Fall Giveaway for your chance to win one of three exciting CDs from Walt Disney Records.
Cover art has been added for "Gargoyles" Season 2, Volume 1, arriving again on the first Tuesday of December to no detectable promotion whatsoever. It's a tradition!
October 1, 2005 - In our last review of the new park-themed Sing Along Songs, Aaron Wallace looks at Beach Party at Walt Disney World, a 1995 production set at Orlando's Typhoon Lagoon and then-new Blizzard Beach. Its eleven musical sequences offer mostly pop covers plus a couple of Disney tunes, surprising restraint in terms of promotional photography, and well-manuevered dance numbers, all adding up to "modest dose of nostalgic fun."
Disc art has been added for Old Yeller: 2-Movie Collection and the four Kermit's 50th Anniversary Edition Muppet movie reissues, all of which are due in November.
Those who were waiting for comprehensive press releases to clarify the contents this month's new DVDs of Tarzan and The Emperor's New Groove will be twice disappointed today. Disney's newly-issued announcements remained vague and unpromising; Tarzan's makes just one casual reference to it being two discs, while the brief list of bonus features for The Emperor's New Groove again suggests this is a baffling single-disc reissue. Now, it has been confirmed by a contributor to an established animation website that each is only a single disc release. If you don't already have the films' previously-released Collector's Editions, you can try to find the logic of this while cancelling your preorders and tracking down the newly out-of-print Ultimate Groove and long-missing but still obtainable Tarzan: CE.
Meanwhile, the studio has also formally announced The 3 Wise Men, a co-production between Walt Disney Home Entertainment and Latino-targeted Arenas Entertainment. This animated film from Spain will arrive exclusively at Wal-Mart outlets on November 1, presented in 1.77:1 anamorphic widescreen and both English and Spanish Dolby 5.1 tracks, with no bonus features specified.
Disney has released new cover art for half a dozen of next January's DVDs, beginning with Funny Factory with Mickey and Funny Factory with Donald, the debut volumes of a cartoon compilation series being launched on January 17th. Boasting bright colors, "for a limited time only" availability, $14.99 SRPs, and hour-length running times, these appear remarkably similar to the Classic Cartoon Favorites line. In fact, Disney is even encouraging retailers to promote the first seven CCF volumes alongside these two new discs next January.
Covers are also in for the next batch of live action catalogue titles, likewise arriving January 17th: Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken, The Devil and Max Devlin, Benji the Hunted, and My Dog the Thief. No specs have been released on any of these four, but the fact that Wild and Benji's artwork differs from their currently-available Disney Movie Club-exclusive discs might give some fans hope that these won't merely be a recycling of those barebones fullscreen DVDs.
Furthermore, press releases have been added for Sky High, Pooh's Grand Adventure, and the fourth wave of the Disney Princess Collection. While the first two merely echo what we've already reported (the Pooh announcement, however, reverts to the expected fullscreen aspect ratio and makes no mention of either of two bonus shorts promoted as inclusions), the last informs us about Disney Princess Learning Adventures: The Enchanted Book of Letters (a first in the series) and Disney Princess Sing Along Songs: Volume Three - Perfectly Princess (which looks to further expand the "Disney Princess" moniker to include the title character of Miramax's Ella Enchanted), both due next Valentine's Day.
Finally, Miramax has updated specs on December's Chicago: Razzle-Dazzle Edition to reflect that the would-be third disc (a CD soundtrack) has been dropped, while the third and final season of Touchstone's one-hour drama "Once and Again" will arrive on January 10th in a 5-disc set with a blooper reel and commentaries.
September 30, 2005 - At long last, Cinderella is coming to DVD next week as Disney's sixth Platinum Edition. While UD is still at work on a review of this much-anticipated two-disc set, we have something special for you today: an interview with Cinderella, that is, her original voice, Ilene Woods. Woods and modern Disney producer Don Hahn (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King) took out an hour this week to reflect on Cinderella from their insiders' perspectives. Woods recalls her experiences with Walt Disney and his "Nine Old Men", while Hahn sounds off on the current state of animation, and both talk about what this DVD debut offers and entails for the unique 1950 animated classic. A Chat with Cinderella and Don Hahn delivers you four pages of rich reflections and insight from two individuals who hold special and definite places in the history of Disney animation. Read on...
Recent Disney DVD Reviews:
• Sing Along Songs: Campout at Walt Disney World - 1994 volume shows off then-new Wilderness Lodge resort with a half-hour of outdoor-themed (mostly non-Disney) tunes and impressively-choreographed dance numbers.
• Sing Along Songs: Flik's Musical Adventure at Disney's Animal Kingdom - Latest of its kin prominently features Disney World's most recently-opened park, the protagonist of A Bug's Life, and some reworkings of classic tunes. Transitional fun facts provide more edutainment, but lack of nostalgic value offers little to hold viewers over ten.
• Sing Along Songs: Disneyland Fun - It's a Small World - Ported directly from the 1990 VHS release, this volume offers just under a half-hour of memorable songs and relevant images from the Anaheim theme park. Fashions, character design, and attractions have changed, but that only adds 15-year-old nostalgia to the disc's plentiful appeal. Though it is the best of the lot, the ho-hum DVD debut makes one wish (even at bargain pricing) that Disney had opted to double or quadruple up the park-themed Sing Along titles.
• Halloweentown High - The story is a little too forced and the bonus features are a disappointment, but there's still enough festive fun for fans of Halloween or the first two Halloweentown movies to complete the trilogy.
• The Parent Trap: 2-Movie Collection - Low-priced 2-disc set retains all but two extras from the 1961 comedy classic's fantastic (now discontinued) Vault Disney DVD release and adds the slightly cheesy but entertaining low-budget 1986 Disney Channel follow-up. Highly recommended for those without the original or who have long been awaiting the sequel's home video debut.
• Halloweentown & Halloweentown II Double Feature - The first two entries in Disney Channel's popular family movie series successfully invoke the same mystery and excitement that Halloween itself does. Though the bonus features are disappointingly light, doubling up the movies has not resulted in any sacrifice in presentation, making this low-priced two-film disc perfect for seasonal viewing.
Recent Touchstone, Miramax and Dimension DVD Reviews:
• "Desperate Housewives": The Complete First Season - Scattered but exhaustive six-disc set provides the debut season of Touchstone's top-rated series. The show widely engages with a versatile blend of mystery, comedy, drama, and romance, while the five hours of bonus features should satisfy even diehard fans.
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