Sunday, February 21, 2010

Coming to DVD: Alice in Wonderland (1951) and The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

Two Disney films are being rereleased on DVD this spring.

One of my very favorite Disney cartoons, ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1951), will have a special 2-Disc Un-Anniversary Edition out on March 30, 2010.

According to the Ultimate Disney site, the Un-Anniversary Edition will have a new featurette, "Reflections on Alice," and a new deleted scene, "Pig and Pepper."

The other extras will be from the 2-Disc Masterpiece Edition released in 2004, so those such as myself who already own ALICE may not wish to invest in an upgrade given the limited number of new extras.

THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE (1986) returns to DVD in a Mystery in the Mist Special Edition on April 13, 2010.

THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE was previously released to DVD in 2002.

The main new extra listed at Ultimate Disney is a game. The other extras, including a "making of" featurette, were included in the 2002 edition.

This is a Disney film we've never upgraded from the VHS tape our oldest received when she was a little girl, so we might decide to take the plunge this time around.

As a postscript, a new version of DUMBO (1941) expected this year has been pushed back to 2011, when it will be released in a 70th Anniversary Edition. DUMBO has been released twice previously, for its 60th Anniversary and in a very nice Big Top Edition which our family owns.

As with all Disney films, titles are only for sale for a limited time before being withdrawn from circulation; they go back "into the vault" for several years until a new edition is released.


Blogger Tom said...

What is your all time favorite Disney animated feature, Laura? Mine is Pinocchio, followed by 101 Damatians.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

My favorite is SLEEPING BEAUTY. I love that movie and own multiple editions, even a Region 2 set in a "jeweled box" (based on the opening credits) with a "making of" book included. Don't know why they never release anything like that in the U.S.


I've never been very fond of PINOCCHIO because it's so dark -- yet it has one of Disney's greatest characters (Jiminy Cricket) and most beautiful songs. There are things to love in every Disney animated film. :).

Love 101 DALMATIANS and have been meaning to watch it again, as I have come to appreciate Rod Taylor in other movies.

Would love to have others list their favorites!

Best wishes,

3:48 PM  
Blogger Sally said...

Oh, I'm excited about the "Alice in Wonderland" dvd! I've yet to buy that one and I'm glad to see it's coming back to the shelves in a new edition!

7:58 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

This would be an excellent edition to pick up if you don't already have it, Sally. The extras that will be included from the previous edition are very interesting.


Best wishes,

10:44 PM  
Blogger panavia999 said...

Just curious - does "new version of Dumbo" mean it's been scrubbed for political correctness? I've seen very few Disney films of any kind. Personal faves are DUMBO and SONG OF THE SOUTH. For live action films I like 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA and MIRACLE OF THE WHITE STALLIONS. Also WILLY, THE WHALE WHO SANG AT THE MET. :-) There are lots of charming old shorts of course, though I do not like Mickey Mouse 'toons. I know nothing of any Disney films after the sixties, have never been to Disneyland. One day I plan to see Pinocchio and Snow White so they may also become faves.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Good question, Panavia! As far as I know DUMBO has not been touched by the PC censors, although Disney has certainly been guilty of that in the past, whether it's scrubbing cigarettes out of cowboys' hands in MELODY TIME or simply refusing to make SONG OF THE SOUTH available in the U.S. (It's possible to obtain a DVD transfer of a British video release of SONG OF THE SOUTH from various sources...)

I have very vague memories of seeing MIRACLE OF THE WHITE STALLIONS as a child. Seeing it again is of interest to me since it starred Robert Taylor. I've never seen 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA although we do own the DVD so I'll be catching up with it. :)

Thanks for posting your favorite titles!

Best wishes,

5:59 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

Very interesting discussion. I never heard of Miracle of the White Stallions.

I for one would like a copy of "Song of the South", it's one of my favorite movies and I remember seeing it in the theaters when I was 10 years old when it was last released in 1986.

Why did Disney release it then? I don't remember anyone making that big of a fuss about it in 1986.

Also, Laura what do you think of Swiss Family Robinson? I've not seen it but would really like to one of these days. The actor who played the son, James MacArthur is coming to Chicago in two weeks for an autograph signing at a collectibles show, and I might have the pleasure of meeting him.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

Also, I forgot to mention that I just purchased the TV miniseries version of "Alice in Wonderland" from 1985. It was in a discount bin for only 4 dollars. I love that version; it had an all-star cast. Not sure if you saw ever saw it.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Tom, my dad obtained the copy I described of SONG OF THE SOUTH via an advertiser at the Ultimate Disney website. I have borrowed it from him but have not yet watched it myself.

It's a shame Disney continues to refuse to sell it, especially given its significance in terms of Disney music and the mix of animation and live action. I think the P.C. activists have perhaps become more aggressive and simultaneously Disney has become less willing to fight the good fight. A Disney Treasures release, including material explaining the film in the context of both the time it was made and the time it depicted, would seem to be a win-win for everyone.

I saw a SONG OF THE SOUTH theatrical reissue myself sometime in the '70s, incidentally.

I am very fond of Disney's SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON which, like SONG OF THE SOUTH, I first saw as a theatrical reissue in the '70s. It has an excellent cast, and I never minded the changes from the book all that much. The treehouse concept itself fascinated me; the Swiss Family Treehouse has always been one of my favorite Disney attractions. (Alas, it is no longer at Disneyland, but it can be seen at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris.) There's a wonderful "Vault Disney" DVD set with lots of extras.

I hope you have the opportunity to meet Mr. MacArthur! I'd enjoy hearing about that.

I don't believe I saw that 1985 version of ALICE IN WONDERLAND. I do recall an offbeat TV musical version from the early '80s, ALICE AT THE PALACE, with Meryl Streep in the title role.

Best wishes,

8:14 PM  
Blogger panavia999 said...

My husband and I saw Song of the South when it was re-released in theatres in the 80's. Being evil white republicans of course we totally missed the "racism" and just thought it was a nice story. What fools we were :-) My husband and I saw it when it was re-released in theatres in the 80's. Being evil white republicans of course we totally missed the "racism" and just thought it was a nice story.
I heard one could get Song of the South from France. So I checked Sho nuff, it's available in VHS, 2000 edition, in english, but Secam format of course. So if you are the kind of video geek with a tape player that plays european formats, you are set.
Can you tell us which vendor your father used to purchase this movie? I notice a lot of ads on Ultimat Disney are via google and I like a recommendation if it was a realible vendor.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I asked my dad and he can't remember the vendor offhand, but if he thinks of it later I'll let you know! :)

Best wishes,

12:37 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

Haven't the activists ever been to Splash Mountain? Where are all the protests to shut down the ride?

1:14 PM  

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