In which the author presents a feature article (tinged with OCD) highlighting recent and upcoming DVD and Blu-Ray releases which include performances and appearances by voice actors:
– Just released July 21st on DVD and Blu-Ray is the critically-acclaimed Coraline, the 3D stop-motion dark fantasy adapted from a Neil Gaiman graphic novel and directed by Henry Selick, who also directed the classic The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). (Contrary to popular belief, Tim Burton did not direct the film.)
Coraline features the voices of Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Ian McShane, and Keith David. Both the 2-disc DVD edition and the Blu-Ray releases include behind-the-scenes documentaries “The Making of Coraline” (35:53) and “The Voices of Coraline” (10:46).
Both features include interviews with the voice cast. TheHDRoom.com says of the making-of documentary: “Each segment, from story evolution through character design, voice acting, puppet creation, and bringing the animation to life, offers enough a glimpse through broad strokes into how Coraline came to the big screen without overemphasizing any particular area. It hits the beats wonderfully…and is well worth a watch.”
DVDDizzy.com‘s review of the same feature is more descriptive:
“The Making of Coraline” can be viewed as a 10-part mini-documentary or as 10 topical featurettes. It works fine either way, but seems to have been created for consumption as shorts. Those shorts cover the differences from book to film, the world’s design, the voice cast, stop motion puppets, the tiny clothes made for Coraline, the tiny paper flowers made for the fantastic garden, the animation process, creating fire and fog, how the film was shot in 3-D with an automated sliding stereoscopic camera, and the artists’ handiwork. This material supplies satisfactory behind-the-scenes looks with an appropriate amount of detail and apt editing.
And on the voice acting featurette, TheHDRoom.com says, “[It] delves deeper into the vocal cast. It supplies lots of recording studio clips and lets us hear some thoughts from the well-known and familiar actors on their parts. A piece like this always carries a promotional air, but it’s something viewers understandably enjoy seeing, myself included.”
– Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II also just released July 21st, but since I’ve already covered it plenty here, I’ll just link to my most recent post.
– The Transformers Matrix of Leadership Complete Series Box Set released July 13th from Shout! Factory, and one of the bonus features is a “Voice Cast Reunion” with video of a roundtable discussion between key members of the original voice cast: Jack Angel (Ramjet), Michael Bell (Prowl), Gregg Berger (Grimlock), Aurthur Burghardt (Devastator), Corey Burton (Spike Witwicky, Shockwave), Richard Gautier (Rodimus Prime), Neil Ross (Slag), and Frank Welker (Megatron, Soundwave, and several others).
Click here for previous coverage on this release. And I also updated my recent article on Frank Welker with Comic-Con news on Gregg Berger signing autographs at Shout! Factory’s booth in connection with this box set release, as well as a press release with a preview image of the exclusive lithograph signed by Frank being offered at the con.
– G.I. Joe: The Complete Series Collectors Set released from Shout! Factory July 22nd, and one of the bonus features — an exclusive to this release only — is a voice cast reunion with Jack Angel (Wet Suit), Michael Bell (Duke), Gregg Berger (Spirit), Arthur Burghardt (Destro), Corey Burton (Tomax), Richard Gautier (Serpentor), Neil Ross (Shipwreck), and B.J. Ward (Scarlett).
– The Futurama Complete Collection Bender-Head Set is a Comic-Con exclusive limited to 500 numbered copies. The 19-disc set includes the entire series plus all four of the direct-to-DVD movies and retails for $200. As of this posting there are only 370 left for pre-order via FoxStore.com.
Update: 8.27.2009 — Movieweb is reporting that “Futurama: The Complete Collection” will release to stores nationwide on October 13th with a suggested retail price of $169.98.
– Green Lantern: First Flight releases on DVD and Blu-Ray July 28th and bonus features include appearances by the principal voice cast and voice director Andrea Romano. See my previous report here.
– The Spectacular Spider-Man: Season One also releases on July 28th and includes two behind-the-scenes features on the show’s production. The show features a tremendous voice cast, and you can view the full list on IMDb.com.
– Tales From The Darkside: Season 2 releases August 6th, and includes guest star appearances by Seth Green, Yeardley Smith, and Chuck McCann. See my previous report here.
– Californication: The Second Season releases August 11th. The racy and controversial HBO series features a supporting role by cartoon voice actor Pamela Adlon (voices on King of the Hill, WordGirl, The Drinky Crow Show, Squirrel Boy, Rugrats, The Oblongs, and many other animated programs).
– The Simpsons: The Complete Twelfth Season releases on DVD August 18th. Audio commentaries are included for every episode and some feature members of the principal and supporting voice cast.
– Pete’s Dragon: High-Flying Edition also releases on August 18th and includes a handful of bonus features:
+ “Brazzle Dazzle Effects: Disney’s Movie Magic”
+ Deleted storyboard sequence
+ Original song concept
+ 4 demo recordings
+ 4 pop versions of songs
Not too thrilled to see more pop covers of classic Disney songs, but that doesn’t mean I have to watch/listen to them either. Pete’s Dragon is one of my childhood favorites and I’m glad to see this being re-issued in a special edition since the last pre-owned edition I purchased was defective and it’s been out of print ever since. It features the voice of Charlie Callas as The Dragon, and also stars Sean Marshall, Helen Reddy, Jim Dale (narrator of the award-winning Harry Potter audiobooks), Red Buttons, Mickey Rooney, Jim Bakkus (voice of Mr. Magoo), and Shelly Winters.
– Also on August 18th, Sons of Anarchy: Season 1 releases on DVD and Blu-Ray, starring Ron Perlman (Batman: The Animated Series, Hellboy Animated), Katey Sagal (Futurama), and Mitch Pileggi (The Batman, Batman Beyond). Bonus features include select episode commentaries, making-of featurette, four “Counter Culture Icons” featurettes, deleted scenes, and a gag reel.
– The Disney animated/live-action classic Bedknobs and Broomsticks: Enchanted Musical Edition releases on DVD September 8th, and includes such bonus content as “The Wizards of Special Effects”, “Music Magic: The Sherman Brothers” featurette, and deleted song “A Step in the Right Direction.” The film stars Angela Lansbury (voices in Beauty and The Beast, Anastasia), David Tomlinson (Mary Poppins), and Roddy McDowall (A Bug’s Life, Pinky & The Brain, Batman: The Animated Series), and listen for the voices of Bob Holt as Codfish, Lennie Weinrib as Secretary Bird and Lion, and Dal McKennon as Bear.
– Beany and Cecil (Matty’s Sunday Funnies): The Special Edition Volume 2 releases September 8th and includes 11 cartoons and bonus content, including “Time for Beany” (which features Stan Freberg and Daws Butler) and a feature entitled “Bob Clampett and Friends.” It features the voices of Jim MacGeorge, Irv Shoemaker, Lord Buckley, Scatman Crothers, and Paul Frees.
– The highly-anticipated animated feature Batman/Superman: Public Enemies releases on DVD and Blu-Ray September 29th, and reunites original voice cast members Kevin Conroy (Batman/Bruce Wayne), Tim Daly (Superman/Clark Kent), and Clancy Brown (Lex Luthor). The 2-disc DVD and Blu-Ray editions include the featurette “Dinner with DC: With Special Guest Kevin Conroy” hosted by voice director Andrea Romano and producer Bruce Timm. Click here to read my previous report. You can also view the trailer on WarnerVideo.com.
– September 29th also marks the release of DreamWorks CGI 3D feature film Monsters vs Aliens on DVD and Blu-Ray. It features the celebrity voices of Reese Witherspoon, Will Arnett, Hugh Laurie, Kiefer Sutherland, Rainn Wilson, Stephen Colbert, Paul Rudd, Julie White, Jeffrey Tambor, Amy Poehler, Ed Helms, and Renée Zellweger.
The 2-disc “Ginormous DVD Double Pack” and Blu-Ray offer a great deal of bonus content, including the brand new 3D, CGI short B.O.B.’s Big Break, with voices by returning cast members Rogen, Laurie, Arnett, and Sutherland. Other bonus materials include deleted scenes, making-of documentary, and “Karaoke Music Party” with pop songs performed by the voice cast: “More Than A Woman” by Seth Rogen as B.O.B., “Born To Be Wild” by Hugh Laurie (Dr. Cockroach) and Will Arnett (Missing Link); and “I Will Survive” by Reese Witherspoon as Ginormica.
– Comedy Central’s Important Things With Demetri Martin: Season One releases on DVD September 8th, which features a supporting role by H. Jon Benjamin (Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Home Movies, Venture Bros., Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist). This set includes 7 episodes, deleted scenes, outtakes, and audio commentary.
– Pat Paulsen’s Half A Comedy Hour: The Complete Series releases on DVD October 13th. This 1970 series includes appearances by actors who have had some noted voice acting roles, such as Don Adams, Don Rickles, character voice actor Hal Smith, and Mel Blanc as the voice of Daffy Duck who appears fully-animated for an on-camera interview.
– The classic BBC sitcom Fawlty Towers, which stars Monty Python alum John Cleese, is reportedly being remastered for a new release which will include brand new commentaries on every episode and new video interviews from a cast reunion last spring. Although it has not yet been officially announced by the studio, the release date is slated for October 20th.
– The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour: Best of Season 2 releases on DVD October 20th, and features appearances by Jonathan Winters, Ricardo Montalban, Don Knotts, Don Rickles, Eddie Albert, Jack Benny, and Lorenzo Music (voice of Garfield). Peter Cullen (Transformers, Voltron) was also the announcer for the series.
– Disney’s Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure releases October 27th on DVD and Blu-Ray. Here’s the voice cast via IMDb.com:
Mae Whitman as Tinker Bell
Jesse McCartney as Terence
Lucy Liu as Silvermist
Raven-Symoné as Iridessa
Kristin Chenoweth as Rosetta
Anjelica Huston as Queen Clarion
Pamela Adlon as Vidia
Grey DeLisle as Lyria, Viola, Narrator
John DiMaggio as Minister of Autumn
Jeff Bennett as Clank, Short Troll, Fairy Gary
Jane Horrocks as Fairy Mary
Rob Paulsen as Bobble, Tall Troll, Owl
Bob Bergen as Blaze, Bugs, Creatures
Roger Craig Smith as Bolt, Stone
Thom Adcox-Hernandez as Flint
Angela Bartys as Fawn
Allison Roth as French Fairy
– Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Complete Season 1 releases on DVD and Blu-Ray November 3rd. The DVD release features seven director’s-cut episodes, 22 production featurettes, and other bonus content. And in addition to the aforementioned features, the Blu-Ray release includes an exclusive feature “The Jedi Temple Archives” which is described as “extensive” and reportedly offers “a wealth of surprises and never-before-seen moments sprinkled throughout.” See previous coverage of this series’ voice cast here.
Please visit TVShowsOnDVD.com and DVDDizzy.com (my two favorite sites for tracking upcoming releases) for recent news on other animated and live-action releases such as those below (which I may or may not cover here in the future) which you voice actor fans out there may or may not be interested in:
Batman: The Brave and The Bold Volume 2
Chop Socky Chooks
Wolverine and the X-Men
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 7
Peanuts 1960’s Collection
Peanuts 1970’s Collection Volume 1
He-Man and The Masters of the Universe (2002)
Iron Man: Armored Adventures
Mystery Science Theater 3000: XV
The Alvin Show
Alvin & The Chipmunks Go To The Movies: Star Wreck
Inspector Gadget: The Go Go Gadget Collection
The Secret Saturdays
Kong: The Animated Series
Daria (coming in 2010!)
6Teen Season 2, Volume 1
Voltron: Collection 8: Sea Team (Vehicle Force)
Voltron: Fleet of Doom
The New Scooby Doo Movies: Batman/Harlem Globetrotters
The World’s Greatest Superfriends: The Lost Episodes
Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs – Collector’s Edition, Volume 2
Total Drama Island: The Complete Series
Ben 10: Alien Force Volume 4
Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! Volume 3
Shaun the Sheep Vol 4: Little Sheep of Horrors
Gigantor: The Collection Volume 2
Zorro: Generation Z
SpongeBob SquarePants: The First 100 Episodes
X-Men Volume 3 and Volume 4
Astro Boy (2003)
Dungeons & Dragons
Plastic Man: The Complete Collection
Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960’s: Volume 2
Saturday Morning Cartoons 1979’s: Volume 2
Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death
A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa
I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown: Remastered Deluxe Edition
Battle for Terra
Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Aliens in the Attic
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Diamond Edition
The Black Cauldron: Special Edition
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Walt Disney Animation Collection: Classic Shorts, Volume 7 – Mickey’s Christmas Carol
The Tigger Movie: 10th Anniversary Edition
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! S3ason Thr33
[Additional sources: IMDb.com, UltimateDisney.com, Wikipedia.org]