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Back to business: new reviews and announcements!
newrev-blupixOkay, let’s start getting back to business! Two reviews have gone up in as many days on the site, so let me draw your attention to Randall’s take on Peanuts: The 1960s Collection, a boxed-set grouping of Schulz’ celebrated gang’s first six television specials, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Charlie Brown’s All-Stars plus It’s The Great Pumpkin, You’re In Love, He’s Your Dog and It Was A Short Summer, Charlie Brown. If you have an inkling that you may have some of those on disc before, it’s probably because you do: only two of these shows are really brand new to DVD, having been made available on either Paramount or Warners releases previously. However, the set is worth picking up for Peanuts die-hards due to the half-hour profile of the specials’ musical Vince Guaraldi, which Rand suggests truly warrants the $30 asking price.

Classic animation of the furred kind next, as Rodney takes on Hanna-Barbera’s famed cat and mouse for Tom & Jerry’s Greatest Chases: Volume 2, a belated follow up to the original 2000 disc. Containing fourteen original animated shorts, Rodney advises that these single disc compilations are perhaps more geared toward the casual collector, but adds that they do “provide an interesting alternative for those who are still unwilling to shell out more for the flawed Spotlight Collections“. Of the fourteen cartoons, many of them are keepers (two of ’em Academy Award winners) and it’s classic, bona fide Tom & Jerry from when the duo were at their top in the 1940s, even if the disc replicates its contents from a previous Spotlight release.


Coming right up to date, how about some new announcements? We’re already expecting Tinker Bell And The Lost Treasure for October 27, but also just announced is the fifth film in the franchise, Tinker Bell: Race Through The Seasons, currently in development at DisneyToons under director Bobs Gannaway and presumably set for release in 2012 after the first four.

Also sure to prove a bit hit on DVD and Blu-ray is Disney/Pixar’s announcement for Up, set to be available in no less than four incarnations, not one of them the perfect edition! First up is the regular DVD ($29.99) with the new bonus short Dug’s Special Mission, while a two-disc ($39.99) adds commentary, alternate endings, the Partly Cloudy theatrical short, a documentary and Digital Copy disc.

You’d expect there to be a comparable Blu-ray too, but all hi-def fans get is a lot of waffle: a four-disc set ($45.99) will feature all of the above content plus the picture-in-picture Cine-Explore commentary and featurettes on the characters and Michael Giacchino’s score. A BD-Live feature adds a globe-trotting game, but the waffle comes in the additional two discs: the regular single-disc DVD and the Digital Copy disc, adding a premium to the cost for redundant platters that most users just don’t have a need for.

If you’re a real Pixar nut, for “just” $199.99 you could spring for the Luxo Jr/Up combo pack, which bundles in a real, working lamp based on Pixar’s first computer generated star and is designed to “highlight your Disney/Pixar Blu-ray collection”, though there is no rack or holder: all you get is the lamp and the Up BD combo four-disc set.

All of that comes to stores November 10, as does the long-awaited Blu-ray release, finally, of director Pete Docter’s previous Pixar smash Monsters, Inc. Priced $39.99, the three-disc set will include two BDs, featuring an all-new Filmmakers’ Roundtable discussion, a look at building the Monsters, Inc ride at Tokyo Disneyland, and Roz’s 100 Door Challenge game, plus the original two-disc DVD supplements including Mike’s New Car, For The Birds, alternative concepts, gag reels and more, presumably all now in HD. Cover art for all three releases mentioned today can be seen on the right.

Also of note is the recent news that Enchanted director Kevin Lima will stay in the animation/live-action combo world for Warners’ long-delayed remake of their 1964 Don Knotts comedy The Incredible Mr Limpet. On and off the schedule for more than ten years (and once set to feature Jim Carrey), it sounds like Lima might be the one to pull yet another long-gestating project out of the doldrums and turn it into a dose of movie magic.

Stay tooned! — Ben.

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