So much good stuff coming out this week. Here’s the lineup:
Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 – 2 Movie Collection Special Edition
The details on this one are numerous (depending on which version you buy) and I posted about this one back in early September. I will definitely be taking this opportunity to finally add it to my collection. Check out all the details from the article here.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
The Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story
During The Sherman Brothers’ 13-year career at Disney (1960-1973), they received four Oscar® nominations for more than 200 songs written for 27 films and two dozen television productions. Their most beloved scores include Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the entire Winnie the Pooh series. With such unforgettable tunes as “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from Mary Poppins, “I Wanna Be Like You” from The Jungle Book, and the most translated song ever written, “It’s a Small World (After All)” from the popular Disneyland attraction, to name just a few, brothers Bob Sherman and Dick Sherman celebrated family entertainment and happy endings for generations of movie goers, but their personal life together was anything but harmonious. The film gives an enticing glimpse into how Walt Disney used the language of music to bring the brothers together, creating a cinematic legacy like no other.
Each DVD is packaged with a replica of the original song sheet for “Tuppence A Bag,” later renamed “Feed the Birds.” This was the first song from Mary Poppins that the Sherman Brothers played for Walt Disney, which became his favorite.
Waking Sleeping Beauty
Waking Sleeping Beauty is no fairy tale. It’s a true story about the renaissance that took place between 1984 and 1994 at the fabled Walt Disney Animation Studios and how Disney animation regained its magic with a staggering output of hits including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King and more.
Available on DVD November 30 from Buena Vista Home Entertainment, the 86-minute documentary features the people who were actually there — Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Roy E. Disney, John Lasseter and others. Directed by Don Hahn, who produced some of the period’s biggest hits, and produced by Peter Schneider, who led the animation group during this amazing period and later became studio chairman, Waking Sleeping Beauty gives viewers an unprecedented look at the conflict, drama and tension that ushered in a decade of unparalleled Disney creativity.
After Walt’s death, without his hands-on supervision, by the mid-1980’s the Disney animation division had fallen on hard times. The artists were polarized between newcomers hungry to innovate and old timers not yet ready to relinquish control. These conditions produced a series of box-office flops and pessimistic forecasts that led everyone to wonder if the best days of animation were over. Hahn and Schneider provide a fascinating and candid perspective of what happened in the creative ranks as Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg and the late Roy E. Disney (Walt’s nephew) worked to breathe new life into the company. Hahn and Schneider bring insider knowledge, and offer refreshing candor and humorous anecdotes in describing ego battles, cost overruns and failed experiments, set against dynamic tensions with top leadership.
Each DVD is packaged with a special replica caricature of a particularly tough Beauty and the Beast story meeting drawn by Kirk Wise. Director Don Hahn puts several memorable samples on display and marshals a vast array of interviews, home movies, internal memos and unseen footage. Waking Sleeping Beauty celebrates the rich history of Disney animation and honors the many writers, artists and composers who created the Disney magic.
Announcing the world premiere of Waking Sleeping Beauty at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, the festival’s documentary programmer Thom Powers said, “The treatment of Waking Sleeping Beauty is so thorough that it (even) includes key figures who famously left Disney such as Don Bluth, John Lasseter and Tim Burton. At one time, children imagined that Walt Disney’s signature meant a film was the creation of one man. This is a more grown-up portrayal that reveals the collaborative, often contentious, experience in all its complexity.”
Walt & El Grupo
The insightful documentary from Walt Disney Family Foundation Films chronicling a 1941 South American expedition led by Walt Disney and a team of animators, affectionately dubbed “El Grupo” — debuts on DVD November 30 from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. Featuring rare candid accounts from the studio’s head and his artists, the documentary illustrates the impact the trip had on American and global culture and brings new perspective to the Disney heritage that continues to inspire the world.
In 1941, when the world’s attention was fixed on the growing war, Walt Disney was called upon by the U.S. government to use a film research trip as a way of generating goodwill in South America, a continent the Roosevelt administration was wary of being influenced by Fascism and the Nazis. Walt personally led the expedition, absorbing the culture, befriending local artists and ultimately leading to the production of the classic films Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros.
The film is directed by Theodore Thomas, whose father Frank Thomas was one the “El Grupo” animators that accompanied Walt on the trip. Rich bonus features include 16mm Kodachrome footage intended as reference material, interviews with family members and historians as well as discussions of the personal and political importance of the artists’ contributions. Saludos Amigos, one of the films inspired by the group’s trip is also included.
Disney Epic Mickey – for Nintendo Wii gaming console
Disney Epic Mickey is an action-adventure platforming game for the Wii console that sends Mickey Mouse on an epic journey of creativity and discovery. As Mickey, the player is propelled into Wasteland, an alternate world made up of Disney’s long forgotten characters and attractions, and is given the power to wield paint and paint thinner to dynamically change the world while determining Mickey’s path to becoming an epic hero.
Through the use of this unique paint and paint thinner, the key components of animation and Mickey’s tools for impacting his world, players will have the ability to shape how the story unfolds as they discover the concept of “Playstyle Matters” – an innovative style of gameplay created by Disney Interactive Studios’ Junction Point, led by industry luminary Warren Spector, where players creatively tackle different challenges in the world to explore all the possibilities and storylines – but with consequences for their chosen actions.