Oscar interviews, site updates and new reviews!

Hey, hey, hey! It’s a bright ‘n’ breezy Monday morning and we’ve got something cool for you as Josh Armstrong completes his trilogy of interviews with this year’s Oscar hopefuls by discussing The Little Matchgirl (available on The Little Mermaid DVD) with director Roger Allers. In the chat, Allers remarks on the short’s true-to-Andersen ending and the film’s place in the then-planned third Fantasia, and there’s a teeny tidbit in there about how Matchgirl was developed during the making of his recent feature Open Season, which I reviewed on DVD last week. If you’ve missed Josh’s other recent Oscar coverage, check out our State Of The Art area for similar talks with Scrat’s No Time For Nuts director Chris Renaud, and the Oscar-winning director of The Danish Poet, Torill Kove, who spoke to us just days before her triumph.

We’ve also got a brand new review for you from our own Randall Cyrenne, highlighting Lionsgate’s welcome re-issue of Rankin/Bass’ The Last Unicorn, a fan favorite that’s had some shoddy treatment in the past but that looks to have finally gotten the respect it deserves on disc.

Added to that, we’ve got a trio of looney archive reviews gone up, for the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume One and its follow-up Volume Two, plus the 2003 return to theatrical screens for the gang in Joe Dante’s Looney Tunes: Back In Action, while there’s more animation/live-action combination, if not as seamless, in the bizarrely unsuccessful train-wreck Cool World.

Good news to report today in that DreamWorks/Aardman’s Flushed Away has jumped in as the number one selling DVD this week, beating out Oscar-winner The Departed in its second week, and other new releases The Prestige and Babel. It’s reported that strong sales of their hit movie Over The Hedge weren’t quite enough to keep DreamWorks Animation out of the red for their fourth quarter profits, blaming the hit on the box office performance of Flushed Away last year, so that the DVD seems to be selling well, outpacing other top ten animation titles Cinderella III and Open Season by a wide margin this week, will hopefully go towards restoring faith in the Aardman team. Look for my review of the DVD soon.

Please excuse my absence this week as I finally tinker behind the scenes on some long overdue updates to our Easter Egg and MIA-DVD sections, as well as launching a couple of fun contests to win some hot new releases!

– Ben.