sherman-pops.jpgWe’ve another packed post for you today, starting with the exciting news that Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson’s Tintin project has actually kicked off shooting yesterday, with Jamie Bell as the title character and Daniel Craig as Red Rackham. Spielberg is directing the first outing, Secret Of The Unicorn set for release in 2011, with Jackson’s sequel (Red Rackham’s Treasure?) to follow. After being mooted as a Spielberg project for a couple of decades, I’m thrilled that it’s finally being gotten around to, and with Jackson’s Weta Digital and over a year’s worth of post-production in store, the results are sure to be stunning!

That Peter & The Wolf review should be up later tonight, but don’t forget to catch up with the filmmakers in Jeremie’s exclusive interview on the film’s making. He’s been hard at work, has Mr Noyer, and to celebrate today’s release of a 45th Anniversary Edition of Mary Poppins, he’s speaking with the legendary Richard Sherman about the creation of one of Disney’s most enduring films. I’ve been a Poppins fan for about as long as I can remember, though it was only after attempting to write an animated musical of my own that I really began to appreciate the layers and depth in the Shermans’ amazing score. It never gets enough credit, but what they (with Irwin Kostal) did with the music in Mary Poppins is nothing short of miraculous, and as a fan of the boys themselves too, it’s always a pleasure to spend some time in the company of one of Walt’s Boys and soak up what Richard has to say about working with the old Mousetro. Jeremie has provided us with another warm discussion – don’t miss it!

While I’ve been offline, there have been some big things happening in the world, but forget any talk of presidents old and new: The Dark Knight has become, as anticipated, the first Blu-ray disc to shift over one million units (and probably much more than that since it was first reported on December 17) within in its 13.5 million unit DVD sales. But since you all probably knew that already, howsabout some new DVD announcements: High School Musical 3 is to street on February 17 in a quick theater to home screen turnaround, with the also included standard DVD copy seemingly a new trend that Disney intends to continue with in its bid to get buyers picking up future-proof discs.

venture-bro-3.jpgFrom the Where Did That Come From file, Lionsgate has set a Happily N’Ever After 2 (a “collision of fairy tales in a twist on Snow White” apparently) for release (on DVD only) on March 24, while Warner has A Pup Named Scooby-Doo: 2nd, 3rd And 4th Seasons coming March 17, and Snoopy’s Reunion as a Deluxe Edition on April 7. Just announced is Adult Swim’s 60s animation spoof The Venture Bros. Season 3, which will make its mark on Blu-ray come March 24 as the first animated property to have a complete season issued on the format. Also available on DVD, the BD will come packaged with an exclusive CD featuring 20 tracks from the show, and I’m loving the retro box art (pictured right) that convincingly recreates the old Atari 2600 console boxes – neat!

Other titles to be aware of include a Howard The Duck: Special Edition (finally!) from Universal, on DVD March 10 with bonus featurettes; a Woody Woodpecker Favorites, also March 10, and what looks to be a single disc best of; a couple of musical classics from Warners: An American In Paris and Gigi both on BD March 31. GhostBusters also finally comes to Blu-ray (to coincide with Atari’s GB: Video Game on June 16 with all the previous supplements, and Disney will release their animated hit Bolt on Blu-ray on Sunday March 22, two days before the regular DVD hits stores on Tuesday 24th, the first time a major new release has come to hi-def before DVD in a bid to raise awareness of the format and drive new sales. DreamWorks’ Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa will also debut on BD this February 6, with a heap of HD bonuses. Seems that they’ve learned from holding back material from a DVD double pack on the Blu, since the new Penguins cartoons included on the standard DVD two-pack also appear to be making it to the BD disc if the press release is correct.

Finally, we have confirmation on Max Fleischer’s Superman 1941-1942 for release on April 7 in a two-disc collection. Those with the Ultimate Superman Collection from a couple of years back will already have all the material, including the First Flight documentary featurette, but this looks to be a handy little package, featuring all seventeen of the super shorts (only the first eight of which were actually Max and Dave Fleischer productions, the rest of the series continued under the Famous Studio output) with the disc break presumably occurring during the regime change. Nevertheless, this could be the definitive edition of these films on DVD.

peanut-tales6.jpgAlso from Warners is the release today of You’re A Good Sport, Charlie Brown, which Rand is working on a review for, but in the meantime we’ve been sent over a very funny clip from the show, as well as a peek of a scene from the upcoming February 3rd release of Tom & Jerry Tales Volume 6 (both clips are in QuickTime format).

Lastly, the winner of our Open Season 2 contest is Jason Sliva, Richmond TX, who wins a copy of the new video sequel – also out today – as well as the Art Of Open Season book…congratulations!

We’ll be back soon with reviews on many of the titles mentioned above so, as usual, stay tooned! — Ben.