Wowsers…have we got a bang to start this week with! First up is the news that Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro is in talks to direct the duo of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies for New Line Cinema. With Jackson himself seemingly out of the picture, I hope he gets the job: there isn’t another director working out there right now that I think could capture the spirit of Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings movies in the way that Pan’s Labyrinth did. Del Toro’s name makes much sense, more so than Sam Raimi’s, who had also expressed an interest but who seems too tied to the Spider-Man franchise and proved, with the third film, that he’d lost (hopefully only temporarily) the rough and ready touch of his earlier work. Del Toro’s a proven past success with genre fans and for New Line themselves, and while Jackson himself is involved too heavily in his own The Lovely Bones and the Tintin trilogy, it seems Bilbo, Gandalf and the One Ring are in good hands.

New to the site this week, regular as clockwork is Jeremie Noyer’s latest interview, this time with Disney Legend Floyd Norman. This is a great discussion, folks, a lengthy look back at Floyd’s extensive career in animation and in particular working for Disney, where he started in the 1950s and has remained, on and off, until collaborating on a couple of Pixar’s finest. A popular contributor to the Jim Hill blog, this is a wonderful chance to get to know Floyd and his many anecdotes about working on some of our favorite animated films.

Jumping to television for another slice of nostalgia is our own Randall Cyrenne, who has served up his childhood memories of a classic Filmation show for a review of The New Adventures Of The Lone Ranger And Zorro: Volume 1. A tremendously fun sounding double bill, the two disc set is packed with entertainment, all for a retail price of under $15, plus extras! You really can’t go wrong with a BCI box set, and Filmation always proves good value even if they are unduly routinely criticized. Two classic characters get the action treatment, and as Rand says, each program “did solid jobs of adding to the legacies of each character. It’s been great fun watching these shows again after all these years”. Good enough for me!

Lastly today, we’ve a couple of new giveaways, for Genius’ The Ten Commandments and Disney’s “jazziest classic”, The AristoCats. Both titles are out in stores next Tuesday, 5th February, which is when our contests close. I’m right in the midsts of reviewing both, with my take on Moses due to hit the site before the week’s end. So, as usual…

Stay tooned! – Ben.