UltimateDisney.com: The Ultimate Guide to Disney DVD
NOVEMBER 1-15, 2005: NEWS ARCHIVES
See Upcoming Schedule for the latest announcements. / Tuesday's New Release Chart
November 15, 2005 - Want to know about this week's releases without having to do that "reading" thing? Watch snowhite8's latest installment of the Weekly Video Update (0:50, 918 Kb, WMV).
The latest issue of UD's free e-mail newsletter was just sent out. To receive this weekly mailing and gain access to the archives, e-mail UltimateDisneyfirstname.lastname@example.org.
While our full DVD review of today's new Old Yeller: 2-Movie Collection is still a bit from completion, it's worth pointing out that despite its appearance on all of the studio's announcements for this 2-disc set, the reunion audio commentary from the original film's Vault Disney DVD is not included on this new release. For that, you'll have to stick to the discontinued-but-still-available Vault Disney set (Review).
Today is Tuesday, which means there is one week left to enter our latest contest, for your chance to win a set of 5 Disney Theme Park-exclusive DVDs. Click here for more info and to enter.
November 14, 2005 - No Touchstone sitcom seems to be as well-treated on DVD as "Scrubs". Our thorough review of The Complete Second Season (now available) notes that the 3-disc set boasts improvements over the prior season in picture and sound, a drastically lower retail price, as well as another full slate of bonus features including six episode commentaries, deleted scenes, alternate lines, bloopers, and a number of interesting featurettes. Most importantly, the show at the center remains practically unchanged from Season 1, which is a good thing, since its fresh style, winning sense of humor, and talented ensemble cast all continue to contribute to one highly entertaining half-hour comedy series. Don't hesitate to pick up this highly-recommended set. Read our full review for complete coverage.
You could win "Scrubs": The Complete Second Season instantly by helping Disney pick the best TV spot for this week's new DVD set. Check it out.
November 13, 2005 - In today's new DVD review, Aaron Wallace critiques "Five Mile Creek": The Complete First Season, the just-released box set of an hour-long drama set in the Australian outback which made its debut just six and a half months after the Disney Channel first went on the air. While fans can take pleasure in the fact that the show has made it to DVD at all and in complete, chronological fashion no less, they are bound to be disappointed by unacceptable picture, lacking audio, and a complete absence of bonus features. Even the series may be remembered more fondly than it deserves to be, as the critic notes that the series falters repeatedly in its first 13 episodes, with insufficient characterization and weak dialogue proving to be burdens, despite gradual improvement throughout.
November 12, 2005 - Disney has already announced "The Golden Girls" Season 4 for February 14, 2006. While this press release chooses an odd aspect to highlight in its headlines, it promises one new bonus feature titled "Top Ten Guests From Season 4."
November 11, 2005 - Disney has just issued the first one-sheet poster for The Shaggy Dog, the live action comedy remake coming to theaters next March. The featured canine bears more than a little resemblance to Tim Allen, who plays the transformation-susceptible protagonist Dave Douglas. Allen has again been quite busy at the studio -- in addition to doing scriptwork, producing, and starring in Shaggy, on Monday, he begins filming The Santa Clause 3 for theatrical release next November. Allen got his big break at Disney in 1991 with his stand-up-inspired sitcom "Home Improvement", the third season of which comes to DVD in eleven days. Click here for the poster and more.
It looks like time is finally running out to pick up the highly-acclaimed third wave of Walt Disney Treasures DVDs. The Chronological Donald, Volume One is now the only entry still in stock at Amazon. Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Volume Two and war shorts collection Walt Disney on the Front Lines have recently joined the long out-of-print Tomorrowland as well as the first seven Treasures as those which are only available via sellers on Amazon Marketplace at increasingly high prices. Our up-to-date Walt Disney Treasures page allows you to look back and learn more about the first four wave of Treasures and look ahead to the next batch, which will be released in three and a half weeks.
November 10, 2005 - A paragraph on Bridge to Terabithia, Disney/Walden's spring 2007 literary adaptation has been added to our Upcoming Disney Movies page with casting news on one of the leads.
November 9, 2005 - Our second review of this week's box sets covers "Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers" Volume 1, a 3-disc, 27-episode of Disney's second syndicated television cartoon. Like "DuckTales", the premise-establishing 5-part movie is absent and so are bonus features of any kind. Disappointingly, picture quality is inconsistent and generally quite lacking. On the plus side, though, the show is a lot of fun and the set provides more than ten hours of it (nearly half of its 65-episode run) at very reasonable price. Who knew making Chip and Dale part of a team of crime-solvers would yield such pleasing results?
This just in: "The Golden Girls": The Complete Fourth Season cover art.
Our twelfth and latest contest has arrived. This one is open to UD readers from all over the world and takes only seconds to enter. One randomly-selected winner will take home a set of five DVDs featuring Disney's theme parks in Orlando and California from the website ShoptheParks.com. The prize discs are Region-free and not available in stores outside of the Disney parks, where they'd cost you well over $100 together. The winner's set contains Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, and the Disneyland Commemorative DVD Happiest Homecoming on Earth. To find out more and enter, visit UD's Contest #12: Park-Exclusive DVD Giveaway.
||Tuesday's New Releases
November 8, 2005 - As a follow-up to our report yesterday, Amazon.com has now made "The Golden Girls": The Complete Fourth Season available for preorder. With the e-tailer's 30% discount, this 3-disc set can be had for $27.99, with free shipping in the US. "Grey's Anatomy": The Complete First Season has also been added for the same day; the 30% discount puts the 9-episode set at just $20.99. TV Shows on DVD is reporting the hour-long medical drama will be presented in a 2-disc set with a number of bonus features.
snowhite8 delivers 1 minute and 11 seconds of informative entertainment on this week's four TV box sets in the latest installment of UD's Weekly Video Update series (985 Kb, WMV).
In our first review covering today's much-anticipated Disney television box sets, we take a look at "DuckTales" Volume 1, which houses just over ten hours of episodes of the beloved cartoon series. While this 3-disc set is not without disappointments -- it is completely void of extras and the 5-part pilot is oddly absent -- the show at its center holds up as one of the finest animated creations to grace the airwaves. Eighteen years have not lessened the plentiful power of these tales, which brim with boundless imagination, sharp writing, solid animation, colorful personalities, and an ever-entertaining blend of comedy, mystery, and adventure.
November 7, 2005 - While Season 3's release is still two weeks away, Disney has already told retailers to mark their calendars for "The Golden Girls": The Complete Fourth Season, due on February 14, 2006. Like the forthcoming Third Season DVD, this 3-disc set will carry a $39.99 SRP. On the same day, Touchstone Television's third biggest freshman sensation from last year, "Grey's Anatomy", will make its DVD debut in a
Complete First Season set. Being a late-season addition on ABC, this hour-long medical drama's premiere box set will hold just nine episodes and a list price of $29.99, with bonus features and disc count to be determined.
Meanwhile, UD's reviewers are hard at work on all four of this week's Disney TV boxsets. You can expect our usual in-depth critiques of all four in the days ahead.
November 4, 2005 - Chicken Little is now playing in theaters. Check out our preview for more information on this G-rated comedy, which ushers in an age of CGI for Disney's Feature Animation, or you can browse more than two dozen tie-in items including books, games, soundtracks, and calendars in a special Chicken Little section of UD's Shop.
November 3, 2005 - A trio of upcoming Disney films have recently received classification from the MPAA. The much-anticipated big screen adaptation The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe has been assigned a "PG" rating for "battle sequences and frightening moments", February's direct-to-video midquel Bambi II has garnered a "G" for general audience approval, while Eight Below, the arctic adventure formerly titled Antarctica, has been labeled "PG for some peril and brief mild language."
|October's Top Sellers on UltimateDisney.com
November 2, 2005 - Massive though the vaults of the Disney studio's original television programming may be, few of its contents have yet to see the light of DVD, particularly those bearing the "Disney" name and originating prior to the early 1990s. Next week, that changes with the release of four popular series from the late '80s and early '90s. UD received review copies today and you can expect in-depth coverage in the days ahead. Until then, enjoy eight menus from each DuckTales" Volume 1, "Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers" Volume 1, "Tales From Avonlea": The Complete First Season, and "Five Mile Creek": The Complete First Season.
Today's new DVD review profiles The 3 Wise Men, a traditionally animated 2003 film from Spain which details the magi's intriguing trip to Bethlehem with a style that crosses the classic Biblical epic with the modern fantasy movie. The title trio are portrayed as magical superheroes and their journey seems more an excuse for action sequences against potent nemeses than to witness the birth of Jesus Christ. While it makes for a somewhat interesting alternative to mainstream American animation, the film does not add up satisfyingly, and its Wal-Mart-exclusive DVD does not boast any bonus features or the original Spanish theatrical version.
Disney has released 100 DVDs this year to date, from January's first batch of Classic Cartoon Favorites through this week's holiday discs. Check out the full list of titles, all of which have been reviewed at UD.
||November 1, 2005:
Tuesday's New Releases
November 1, 2005 - While most retailers' attentions turn today to the final chapter of the Star Wars saga, snowhite8 is here to fill you in on the day's five Disney DVDs with moving pictures! Check out the latest installment of her Weekly Video Update series!
Recent Disney DVD Reviews:
• Disney Princess: A Christmas of Enchantment - Compiles and reformats a number of cartoons new and old (from Silly Symphonies to a Fantasia 2000 segment), only one of which actually features a Disney princess. The disc is rounded out with a read-along short, three musical numbers performed by the leading ladies, and two versions of a virtual snowglobe maker activity. While it differs from past Disney Princess DVDs in format, it does not betray the series' strong belief in employing the least amount of effort and originality necessary.
• Hocus Pocus - The best family-friendly Halloween movie out there is relegated to a barebones, non-anamorphic disc, making it ripe for revisiting, if not a bargain bin buy.
• Mickey's House of Villains - 2002 direct-to-video feature is composed primarily of old shorts, from the 1930s through several late '90s "Mickey Mouse Works" creations. Light on extras and short on the popular Disney villains the cover promises, this won't please all, but may merit a curiosity rental.
• Aliens of the Deep - James Cameron's second underwater IMAX outing holds far less appeal than the previous plunge. Its potency stems solely from a handful of compelling images of life at the bottom of the ocean. Bland observations and flimsy sci-fi speculation that package the visuals demand more patience than they deserve. The effect of the extended cut (more than twice as long as the theatrical version) is not greatly different.
• A Very Playhouse Disney Holiday - Stop-motion, 2-D, and computer animation are employed to celebrate Christmas (and being a ballerina) with 55 minutes of episodes from the Disney Channel's daytime programming for preschoolers.
• Disney Channel Holiday - Compilation of five Christmas episodes (and one Hanukkah) from the cable channel's most popular current and recent comedy series is far more satisfying than most.
• Magic Kingdom - Parks-exclusive disc highlights the centerpiece of Walt Disney World for the departing guest intent on reminiscence. With limited availability, 28-minute runtime, and non-negotiable price, this is clearly not for all, but as one of the few Disney-released theme parks DVDs, it's easy to appreciate for its great nostalgia-conjuring images and wealth of extras.
• Baby Einstein: On the Go - Riding, Sailing, and Soaring - Series' latest illustrates concepts of transportation for those ages 1 and up with sock puppets, simple animation, and scenes from daily life, all set to tinkling takes on classical music. A little bland next to past volumes, parents may fare better with edutainment kids won't grow out of so quickly.
• Herbie: Fully Loaded - Neither a masterpiece nor a flop, this latest in the comedy series offers a silly but generally good time in the spirit of its predecessors. The DVD delivers a bit more than usual, with the splendid feature presentation joined by worthwhile deleted scenes, an engaging commentary, and much more.
• Cinderella: Collector's Gift Set - A look inside the high-priced alternative to the Platinum Edition alone, with photographs and critique of the film frame, animators' drawings, and companion book.
• The Emperor's New Groove: The New Groove Edition - Baffling reissue of 2000 animated film differs very slightly from its standard 2001 disc, with 2 additional deleted scenes from the now-discontinued Collector's Edition, a cardboard slipcover, and a new set of sneak peeks. Otherwise, it's the same disc released 4½ years ago at the same price, making this not an upgrade but a pointless repackaging that doesn't even promote the upcoming spin-offs. Strictly for those who have not yet caught this fresh, spirited buddy comedy and who do not care at all for extras.
• Tarzan: Special Edition - Not the 2-disc set widely promised, but instead a single disc lacking most of the discontinued Collector's Editions bonuses. Delivers a handful of new features (a game, a "DisneyPedia", a music video, and a hardly-different 5.1 track), but those wanting it all are left to wade the uncertain waters of Internet resellers. Those with a Tarzan-less collection who are not supplements-savvy should be satisfied by the disc's flawless feature presentation and the riveting film at its core.
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