Rodney’s back today with a look at the first of the final two volumes of X-Men: The Animated Series, Volume Three. While he says the season isn’t the best for the show, Rodney suggests “this release does feature some great episodes; in fact, I can’t think of one episode on the disc that is uninteresting” – good news for fans of the superheroes. A review of the fourth volume is on the way!

snow-bookAlso of note today, we’ve finally got a few slim new details on the contents of that big hardcover book in the big red boxed set edition of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, landing on Blu-ray next week. Available in a multitude of versions, it’s the lavish $250 set that has had hardcore fans questioning what’s inside since it was announced. Promising a hardcover book (the emblem of which can be seen on the right), the question was if this would be a re-print of Brian Sibley and Richard Hollis’ Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs And The Making Of The Classic Film volume from the 1980s (already included in the 1993 Snow White LaserDisc box) or an English-language edition of French historian Pierre Lambert’s hefty tome of the production’s artwork?

Well…it’s neither! The official word from Disney this morning is that, in addition to the eight lithographs of original animation drawings, the character pin set and a certificate of authenticity, the book in the Limited Edition Diamond Collection Set is apparently the 160-page A Chronicle Of The Art, The History, And The Magic Of Walt Disney’s Masterpiece. Quite what the actual content of those 160 pages will hold remains a mystery, although at least those hoping (or not hoping) for the previous books can make more of an informed purchase.

I’m still split: from the very first announcement of this release, I’ve been failing to feel the magic. First it was a Platinum, then the first in the new Diamond series. But whatever branding it carries, without any anniversary to frame the release around, it just doesn’t feel special. I mean, this is Snow White. On Blu-ray. Where’s the historic fanfare? Where’s the importance? In a pack with seven plush dwarfs or a clunky box with a book in it that nobody knows what its pages contain? There just seems to be a real lack of excitement for this release coming from Disney, or from any other people to be honest, and from what I’ve read online and in the feelings of confusion over the editions in our own AN&V Forums.

For those keeping track, the cheaper $60 “book and disc” edition does NOT repeat the big book’s contents: this will be a “collectible story book” version of the story according to Disney’s confirmation to us this morning. The disappointments don’t end with the packaging: it seems deleted material that has shown up in previous LaserDisc and DVD editions has also been dropped in place of a new Disney Channel music video, and I’m sure there will be other shortcomings (I won’t even start on the poor cover art choices). Never before has such a prestigious and historically important release been so overblown and ultimately underwhelming. My feeling is that Snow White should have been saved for her 75th birthday in 2012, and given the proper, real royal treatment. Go ahead and call me Grumpy!

To end on a lighter note, follow the “More” link for a classic clip from Warner’s October 13 release of Tom & Jerry’s Greatest Chases Volume 3, and stay tooned! — Ben.

Tom & Jerry’s Greatest Chases Volume 3 is available on DVD from October 13, with this “fast-paced collection serving up 14 more of this dynamic duo’s funniest faceoffs that the whole family will love”. Cartoons include: Cat Napping, The Flying Cat, The Two Mousketeers, Smitten Kitten, Baby Butch, Designs On Jerry, The Pecos Pest, Touche Pussy Cat!, The Flying Sorceress, Blue Cat Blues, The Night Before Christmas, The Bowling Alley-Cat, Fine Feathered Friend and Puttin’ On The Dog.

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