Though laying dormant since the recent holiday season and throughout January, the animation-on-disc website DVD Toons sprung back into action this week, with no less than four major updates. First, Randall Cyrenne looks back at the career of legendary stop-motion effects animator Ray Harryhausen with a wonderful article that takes a very close look at the man and the many amazingly influential films and scenes he has contributed to, and that continue to inspire the CGI wizards of today. Next, Rand takes a look at the recent DVD issue of Spider-Man – The New Adventures: Season One, Sony/Marvel’s CGI retake on the comic book legend.

Wrapping up the new reads on the site are a couple more reviews: Ben Simon’s rundown on The Critic: The Entire Series praises the show and its recent DVD incarnation, while Ben also checks out the new 2-disc release of Disney’s latest DTV feature. “It’s fast, it’s flashy, it’s fun”, he says, “but there’s never been anything quite like The Lion King 1½ from Disney, not something like this that really pushes the boat out, breaks the rules and pokes fun at itself with such bite. It stands tall above Simba’s Pride as a companion piece – and a surprisingly well-crafted and very, very funny and unexpected one at that”. This addition to the Lion King franchise hits stores tomorrow, Tuesday 10th February.