UltimateDisney.com: The Ultimate Guide to Disney DVD
DECEMBER 1-15, 2004: NEWS ARCHIVES
December 15, 2004 - Disney has set April 5th as the DVD release date for Sacred Planet, their environmentally-conscious IMAX documentary narrated by Robert Redford. The DVD will carry a $19.99 suggested retail price, with more details to be announced.
Discuss this week's new Disney DVDs.
Bonus features on February's first two Growing Up with Winnie the Pooh DVD volumes will include the game "Cheer Up, Eeyore" and a "Winnie the Pooh" sing-along.
Our latest DVD review looks at The Absent-Minded Professor, Disney's 1961 comedy starring Fred MacMurray. It took Disney only eight months to undo the fullscreen colorized version initially released on DVD. The re-release is still disappointingly absent of supplemental material, but it does restore the film's original widescreen aspect ratio and black & white palette.
December 14, 2004 - A reminder that today is the final day to enter our Contest for your shot at winning Home Improvement: The Complete First Season on DVD. (Enter / Home Improvement review.)
December 13, 2004 - Disney has released a short featurette updating us on the production of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, the first of the studio's C.S. Lewis adaptations, which opens in theaters next December. Click here to view the featurette which focuses on the film's design.
December 12, 2004 - The Incredibles may have fallen to sixth at the box office, but the film was awarded the Best Animated Film and Best Score honors from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and has been included among the American Film Institute's Top 10 of 2004.
On the forum: Reviewing Disney's films of 2004, Incredibles DVD, Cast a Walt biopic.
December 11, 2004 - Press releases have been issued for some of next spring's upcoming DVDs. Details on March 22nd's Learning Adventures DVDs Mickey and the Beanstalk and Mickey's Around the World in 80 Days have been posted here and JoJo's Circus here.
Meanwhile, bonus materials for the fourth and final season of "Felicity" will include never-before-seen footage from the final episode, "behind the scenes with Keri Russell and the showĺs creators", a special Beverly Hills Museum of Television & Radio event, and cast/crew audio commentary on select episodes. This 6-disc set is due on March 8th and is 30% off at Amazon.com. (Buena Vista TV)
December 10, 2004 - We now have a look at the cover and disc art for The Incredibles' 2-disc Collector's Edition DVD, due next spring. Signs are pointing to a release in late March, but all that's been confirmed is that the set will include an all-new short film (in addition to Pixar's "Boundin'"), carry a $29.99 SRP, and be offered in separate widescreen and fullscreen flavors (a Pixar first).
But wait, there's more exciting news! It looks like next April, Disney will continue resume DVDs of their unreleased live action catalogue titles on a regular basis. While subject to change, among the titles scheduled to finally make their way to DVD on April 5th are a trio of late '60s/early '70s comedies: The Barefoot Executive (1971, stars Kurt Russell), Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N. (1966, stars Dick Van Dyke), and Million Dollar Duck (1971, stars Dean Jones). More details as they come in; hopefully this will signal the return of monthly catalogue releases.
Today, Raven, the Disney Channel "star/songstress" celebrates her 19th birthday. Appropriately enough, Jack Seiley has a review of That's So Raven: Supernaturally Stylish, the single-disc episode compilation of her series that was released earlier this week.
December 9, 2004 - As promised, here is UltimateDisney.com's 200th DVD review: The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. Though director Garry Marshall and most of the leading cast members return with enthusiasm, this unspectacular sequel falls short of its likable predecessor. Nonetheless, Disney's DVD features a solid transfer and (while not on par with the original film's two-disc Special Edition) some enjoyable bonus features.
Theater-to-DVD windows seem to keep getting shorter, and while we don't yet have a more specific DVD release date than "spring" for Disney's National Treasure (still atop the box office after three weeks), we do have a first look at preliminary cover art, seen below. This artwork is subject to change and most likely will, and the only other thing we know is that there will be separate widescreen and fullscreen versions released for this Jerry Bruckheimer-produced adventure film:
What's next after Disney DVD? Apparently, Disney Blu-ray. Disney has announced that it will be using Sony's Blu-ray technology for the next generation of home video and the company expects to offer films on the format once DVD players for the standard go on sale in 2006. Blu-ray discs will hold up to five times as much content as current DVDs can, and offer high-definition video quality. Read more: BBC News, BusinessWeek Online. Discuss Blu-Ray.
December 8, 2004 - In our second of three reviews of the new Walt Disney Treasures, Jack Seiley takes a look at Mickey Mouse in Black & White, Volume 2. This 2-disc set completes the release of all Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts through the Treasures line, filling in the six-year gap between Mickey's earliest appearances and his debut in color. While the shorts are undoubtedly dated, Jack concludes that this solid presentation of early Mickey shorts is a "must-have" for Disney fans and animation buffs.
Look for UltimateDisney.com's 200th DVD review to come tomorrow! It will engage you royally.
The British Board of Film Classification has just passed more than 80 minutes of bonus features for The Incredibles, expected to come to DVD next spring. The list of extras include clips of a few minutes on specific topics like music, sound, set design, and lighting, plus a 27-minute "Making of" documentary. See the list here, thanks to 2099net. He also keenly notes a report from the UK's DVD Review magazine which mentions a March 21st release date there, plus 18 minutes of deleted scenes, bloopers, and perhaps a new short film. This would suggest that more bonus features are yet to be passed. We might even see a Region 1 press release before the end of this year.
||Tuesday's New Releases
December 7, 2004 - Cars, Pixar's seventh feature film, is getting moved back seven months. Originally slated to come to theaters next November, Disney announced today that the film (the last under the current Disney/Pixar agreement) will now arrive on June 9, 2006. In a press release, the chairmen of both Disney and Pixar cited a summer release as financially favorable to Pixar's usual November openings. The unspoken context of this announcement is that despite glowing responses from critics and moviegoers, The Incredibles will probably wind up with a domestic box office gross of $150 million less than DreamWorks' Shrek 2, released last May. Some speculate the delay is in part to allow Pixar more time to figure out a new distribution deal. It's not like there's a shortage of Disney movies coming in 2005. Animated-News.com reports that Chicken Little, Disney's own attempt at computer animated comedy, scheduled to open July 1 of next year, will now take Cars' November 4th opening date.
December 6, 2004 - New newsletter just sent out. Subscribe / Read.
December 5, 2004 - Our latest DVD review looks at Kim Possible: The Villain Files, which contains 4 episodes of the animated Disney Channel action/comedy series.
For the fifth straight weekend, a Disney film is #1 at the domestic box office. Estimates show that National Treasure easily held onto its top spot for the third consecutive week with a solid $17.1 million since Friday. This PG-rated adventure has now earned $110 million in 17 days, making it the nation's 16th highest-grossing film of the year. The Incredibles, Pixar's highly-acclaimed animated film, dropped to fourth with an estimated take of $9.1 million. To date, it has grossed $226 million domestically plus nearly $60 million abroad.
December 4, 2004 - Today, we have for you our first review of a new Walt Disney Treasure: The Mickey Mouse Club. This 2-disc set represents Wave 4's vintage television entry and offers the first 5 one-hour episodes of Walt's daily variety show, launched in October 1955. This limited edition tin also catches up with six of the original Mouseketeers in a half hour of bonus features. We hope to have reviews of the other two Treasures sometime next week; The Complete Pluto still hasn't come in. More on the Walt Disney Treasures.
December 3, 2004 - Our latest DVD review looks at one of the year's most anticipated releases, Mary Poppins 40th Anniversary Edition. Boasting remarkable improvement in picture and sound, two discs full of great bonus features, and perhaps Walt's most entertaining film, this set is undoubtedly among the best DVDs that Disney has put out and comes highly recommended.
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December 1, 2004 - Several of the stars of Mary Poppins gathered at Disney's El Capitan Theatre last night for the "Gala Re-Premiere" celebrating the film's new 40th Anniversary Edition DVD. We'll have our review of that fantastic set by Friday. In the meantime, enjoy photos of Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Glynis Johns, Karen Dotrice, and more here.
A new month and a new contest, UltimateDisney.com's 7th. Correctly answer three simple trivia questions and you have a chance to win "Home Improvement" The Complete First Season on DVD. Active forum members and newsletter subscribers get additional chances to win. See here for details and to enter.
The Treasures are coming! The Treasures are coming! Wave 4 of the Walt Disney Treasures is released in six days. We haven't yet received review copies, which is why you haven't seen any reviews here...yet. In the meantime, you can check out the press release, the preview stills, Mickey Mouse in Black & White Volume 2 menus - Disc 1, Disc 2, and our complete guide to Walt Disney Treasures. Production numbers are as follows: 175,000 tins of Mickey Mouse in Black & White, Volume 2, 130,000 of Mickey Mouse Club: Week One, and a surprisingly low 110,000 copies of the most popular preorder The Complete Pluto, Volume 1.
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