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One Hundred And One Dalmatians: Diamond Edition
Walt Disney’s fantastic animated thriller makes a solid return to disc, here in an HD transfer that hits the spot and with a fairly robust package of old and new extras.
Laika returns with another slightly oddball release, where the film’s strong villain isn’t quite matched by such a solid storyline, even if the hand-crafted animation is as exquisite as ever.
The Wind Rises
The final Miyazaki is a fictional account of the life of a major figure in Japanese history. It’s a tricky and even controversial subject, leading to conflicted viewer reactions, but the filmmaker’s craft has never been stronger.
Kiki’s Delivery Service
This charming Studio Ghibli film about a good little witch lands on Blu-ray with improved picture, and all of the improtant DVD features.
The Studio Ghibli masterpiece finally comes to Blu-ray, sporting a vastly improved picture and new-to-disc supplements, but dropping the literal translation subtitle track.
Star Wars – The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions
The post-cancellation episodes of the excellent Star Wars program push the mythology further, and accomplish the task of making the prequels better, simply by giving them context.
Angelina Jolie is excellent as Disney’s iconic villain, here given the backstory treatment in a visual feast of a film, though this new Blu-ray disappoints with a lack of any magnificent extras.
Planes: Fire & Rescue
Dusty is back again with the second in the Planes franchise (and fourth film set in the world of Cars), this time joining a band of air firefighters for a lightweight diversion.
Toy Story Of Terror!
With Halloween upon us, we take a look at the Blu-ray release of the Toy Story gang’s creepy stay at a roadside motel, now on disc with a terrifyingly great package of extras!
Adventure Time: The Complete Fourth Season
Cable television’s most popular show reins in the craziness just enough to produce a season’s worth of charming stories that are about as insane as ever, but are becoming more cohesive, heartfelt, and often even poignant.
Jack And The Cuckoo-Clock Heart
The astounding clock-punk rock opera masterpiece from Europe comes to North America. Read the review to find out more about one of the year’s best releases.
Thunder And The House Of Magic
Shout! Factory brings us a wonderful animated movie from Europe that may not transcend the family film genre, but it does provide quality entertainment, while also providing one of the best 3D experiences out there.
Son Of Batman
Talia al Ghul has a surprise for Batman, in the form of an arrogant but accomplished ten-year-old. It’s a great premise, but the presentation has some problems in terms of believability and basic taste.
Green Lantern: The Animated Series
The film was a bust, but it did lead to the production of what turned out to be a very fine cartoon show. Sleek CGI animation, strong scripts, and intriguing characters add to an already great sci-fi concept, and make the show impressive.
The Pirate Fairy
This fun family film keeps up the quality of the Fairies franchise, serving as a clever prequel to Peter Pan, while in some ways almost being a super-hero film for little girls.
The Venture Bros.: The Fifth Season
The latest season of the [adult swim] fan favorite sees the rebirth and fall of SPHINX, The Monarch gain his revenge on Doctor Venture (or so he says), and the recently graduated Venture Bros. clumsily finding their way in the world, even as family secrets come to light.
Adventure Time: The Complete Third Season
The third season of the hit show keeps the strange stuff, while developing relationships a little further. Above all, it stays entertaining and creative in a way that can captivate both kids and adults.
Justice League: War
A younger version of the Justice League comes together as it battles Darkseid, not to mention a stale script and unappealing characterization. There are kernels of goodness here, though, as well as a nice set of bonus features.
The Puppetoon Movie
George Pal’s amazing “replacement animation” shorts are now in HD. This two-disc set has three features, loads of bonus shorts, and a bevy of bonuses. This just could be the release of 2013!
The Smurfs 2
The sequel is much like the first, but this time the focus is on Smurfette and her families. This is a primo example of kids films in the modern age, with lots of CGI as well as old-fashioned slapstick.
Scooby-Doo: Stage Fright
After more than twenty direct-to-video movies, Scooby still has what it takes to entertain and maybe even surprise, as seen in this updating of The Phantom Of The Opera that uses elements of today’s televised talent shows.
From Up On Poppy Hill
Goro Miyazaki lives up to the family name this time, with a wonderful piece of filmmaking. This nostalgic look at Japan in the 1960s features the conflict of progressives vs. traditionalists, and a love story you haven’t seen before.
Peter Pan: Return To Never-Land
Pan flies again in Disney’s direct-to-video turned theatrically-released sequel, breaking the curse of the DTVs but not really providing anything we haven’t seen before.
Oliver & Company: 25th Anniversary Edition
Disney does Dickens as the story of Oliver gets a new twist in a modern-day New York setting populated by celebrity-voiced canines. An HD transfer is top dog, but the (same old) extras are kitty litter.
Robin Hood: 40th Anniversary Edition
This fast and furry-ous animal take on the Robin Hood legend is Disney at its most economical artistically, but that doesn’t hamper a good tale being told with fun characters and music; the Studio’s new disc is a winner too.
The Sword In The Stone: 50th Anniversary Edition
Walt’s side-swiping comedy take on the King Arthur legend isn’t what you’ll be expecting, though it is a lot of fun and cooks up some great characters, even if Disney’s HD disc has its own severe problems…
The Regular Show: The Complete First & Second Seasons
Two slackers get into bizarre mischief as they try to avoid work. Despite strange plots and characters, the show remains oddly down to earth, thanks to the light touch of its creator, who also voices the main character.
Lilo And Stitch: 2-Movie Collection
Disney’s zero-extras policy on its June 11 titles continues here, leaving the included DVD to mop up the embarrassing lack of anything on the Blu-ray except for the feature’s pristine picture and sound.
Adventure Time: The Complete First And Second Seasons
Finn The Human and Jake The Dog travel through and beyond the Land of Ooo, befriending princesses and vanquishing evildoers, in two oddly enchanting seasons of the Cartoon Network smash hit.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire – 2 Movie Collection
Could Disney’s BD set of its epic adventure be among the last to offer decent extras? It’s the only of the Studio’s June titles to do so, also bolstered by exceptional audio and video, even if a “sequel” is predictably dire.