|There is a
bit of a lull in the DVD news between summer and the
holidays, but as the end of the year draws to a close, the 2003 DVD
release announcements start to roll in. Here are the press releases for
a couple of the more interesting Disney DVD titles due for the first
quarter of next year:
Two-Disc DVD Set: WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT
of Landmark Film Loaded With Fun Bonus Features, Newly Restored With
Digital Sound, Available March 25
A milestone of film innovation
and the recipient of four Academy Awards, the live-action/animated
film Who Framed Roger Rabbit gets the lavish treatment it
deserves with a deluxe VISTA Series 2-disc DVD set (in both widescreen
and full frame formats) and an Exclusive Video Bonus Edition, from
Touchstone Home Entertainment on March 25, 2003. Suggested retail
price: DVD $29.99, VHS $19.99.
The VISTA edition of Who
Framed Roger Rabbit has been designed to present this
groundbreaking film in the most complete edition possible, with
something for every viewer. Created in concert with the filmmakers,
the VISTA DVD of Who Framed Roger Rabbit is presented in 5.1
Dolby Digital Surround Sound with the most pristine digital
presentation of the film available. The DVD includes loads of bonus
features that go behind the scenes and provides a new look at the
movie that broke the rules of live action and animated films.
The VISTA DVD of Who Framed
Roger Rabbit includes:
DISC ONE: FAMILY FRIENDLY
• Full-frame version of the
• Three Roger Rabbit Shorts
"Roller Coaster Rabbit"
• "Who Made Roger
Rabbit" – A family friendly feature that looks at the making of
• Set-top game: "Trouble
DISC TWO: FOR THE ENTHUSIAST
• Widescreen Version
• Audio Commentary with
director Robert Zemeckis and fellow filmmakers
• Deleted scene – "The
Pig Head Sequence"
• "Behind The Ears"
– an in-depth look at the making of the film
Confidential" – pop-up style trivia
• Set top gallery – "The
• "On Set!" - cinema
verite look at the making of a scene from the film
• "Before and After"
– featurette look at a scene with and without animation
• Toon stand-ins – how to
rehearse a scene for Toons
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is
truly a unique, landmark film. A zany comedy that crosses from
Hollywood to Toontown and back, the film’s fast-paced story is told
through a breathtaking mix of live-action and animated film action.
Directed by Robert Zemeckis ("Cast Away," "Forrest Gump"),
Who Framed Roger Rabbit’s all-star cast includes Bob Hoskins
("Last Orders"), Christopher Lloyd ("Hey Arnold! The
Movie," TV’s "Taxi"), Joanna Cassidy (TV’s
"Six Feet Under") and more. Legendary vocal actors Mel Blanc
and June Foray, who have given voice to countless cartoon characters,
lend their talents to the film. The animated cast includes a veritable
who’s who of famous "toons," including many classic
characters from the Walt Disney Studios and Warner Brothers Studios.
The VISTA DVD series (Vision,
Imagination, Style, Theme, Artistry) is a partnership with filmmakers
that presents the definitive version of the filmmakers’ cinematic
vision, with premium picture and sound enhancements, and in-depth
supplemental bonus programming derived from collaboration with the
Who Framed Roger Rabbit benefits
from a wide range of star filmmaking talent. The movie is executive
produced by Steven Spielberg ("Minority Report") and
Kathleen Kennedy ("Signs"); produced by Frank Marshall
("The Bourne Identity") and Robert Watts ("On Deadly
Ground"); and associate produced by Don Hahn (Disney’s
"The Lion King") and Steve Starkey ("Cast Away").
Street Date: March 25, 2003
Bonus features unrated and
subject to change.
Aspect Ratios: Widescreen 1.85:1
formatted for 16x9 screens and Fullscreen 1.33:1
Sound: DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1
French Language Track
Spanish Language Track
Feature Run Time: Approximately
Suggested Retail Price: DVD
$29.99; VHS $19.99
In WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT,
gumshoe detective Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) is on the job in both
Hollywood and Toontown, and the line between reality and fantasy gets
blurred as Eddie tries to solve a major "who dunnit." He’s
thrown for quite a set of curves when he meets Jessica Rabbit, the
sultry "toon" who whispers "I’m not bad, I’m just
drawn that way." When Eddie gets mixed up with the fast-talking
"toon" Roger Rabbit (Charles Fleischer, TV’s "House
of Mouse") he finds himself crossing paths with such characters
as the hilarious Baby Herman (Lou Hirsch, "Tom & Viv"),
Benny the Cab, the sinister Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) and more,
in a wacky adventure of a lifetime.
I like the looks of that release,
but it will be interesting to see if Disney makes the same subtle cuts
they did in the first DVD release. Also, I hope the animated shorts
remain intact, as there are a few brief scenes that evidently got in
without "approval." I guess we will just have to sit tight an
wait until March.
The second release is for those of
you with preschoolers... like myself. I "get" to
wake up at 6:45 am with my 4-year-old and 18 month old on weekend
mornings, and inevitably, the TV ends up on the Disney Channel. At some
point (I just don’t remember when things happen at that time of the
morning after a week of 5 am work mornings), this surprisingly fun and
informative cartoon comes on and both of my children love it.
Of course, I’m talking about Stanley, the show about the
inquisitive little boy who explores the animal world through his
"Big Book of Everything." Now, Stanley is making his way to
New From Playhouse
Disney! PREMIERING ON DVD & Video
Emmy Winner Focuses on Learning, Fun and Lots of Animals
FEVER" & "HOP TO IT" Two Fun-Filled Preschool
Available on March
Playhouse Disney’s newest hit
series STANLEY is making its DVD and Video debut! Kids will
have a blast as they jump into "The Great Big Book Of
Everything" with Stanley and his friend Dennis the goldfish, who
won a Daytime Emmy for outstanding performer in an animated series, as
they explore an exciting, animated world of animals and learns
important lessons along the way.
From Walt Disney Home
Entertainment, STANLEY’s first two exuberant and educational
videos are available on March 11, 2003, priced to own at $19.99 (S.R.P.)
each for DVD and $12.99 each for VHS.
STANLEY uses animals to teach
lessons that are important for every day life. In "Hop To
It" Stanley learns how to clean his room by acting like a
kangaroo. In "Spring Fever" Stanley and his pals look for
the signs of spring. By working together, Stanley and his friends
learn from the earth’s special creatures about the secrets of the
Both of STANLEY’S first
two titles are available on DVD with exclusive features that help
preschoolers learn about more animals and build skills on vocabulary,
sound recognition, numbers, and counting. Also included on both the
DVD and VHS is the Baha Men music video of the Stanley theme song.
It sounds like it is pretty much a
direct port of a couple of television episodes, but at least
the price seems to reflect that. On paper, it looks like it might be
worth a look.
Finally, on the rumor front,
unfortunately, there is not a lot to mention. Lilo & Stitch is due
in early December as a single disc edition, but there is still no
official word that a collector’s edition will be released in January.
Also, Sleeping Beauty is due in the first half of 2003, but details are
very sketchy. It sounds like it will be similar to the Peter Pan and
Hunchback releases: some bonus material, but not a full-blown collector’s
edition. I hope I’m wrong and they put all the Laserdisc box set
material on it, but details should be available soon. I will pass on the
word as soon as it is available.
That is all I have for now, but stay tuned for more in the near
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