Aardman Dominates DVD Scene This Week

Although it’s going to be a while until U.S. audiences can catch Nick Park’s BAFTA- and Annie Award-winning special Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death, there are four new DVD releases this week which will remind everyone why the Bristol-based studio is so popular worldwide.

First up, fans of Shaun the Sheep, the Wallace & Gromit spin-off preschool series that first debuted on CBBC in March of 2007 and has been airing on the Disney Channel in the U.S, can get their hands on a new eight-episode sampler titled Shaun the Sheep: Back in the Ba-a-ath, released by Lionsgate and HIT Entertainment. The 51-minute compilation of episodes featuring Shaun, Bitzer the sheepdog and the Naughty Pigs next door, carries a $14.98 price tag (but can also be picked up for $11.95 on amazon.com). In addition to the eight episodes, the release also includes a special Sing-a-long with Shaun bonus feature!

Lionsgate and HIT are also issuing special 20th Anniversary re-releases of Nick Park’s earlier Wallace & Gromit adventures on DVD today. Up for grabs in brand-spanking new packages are A Grand Day Out (1989) and the Oscar-winning The Wrong Trousers (1993) and A Close Shave (1995). Each separate DVD can be yours for about $10 or you can order all three on amazon for $29.95. By the way, if you’re dying to see Loaf and Death, you’re not alone. We’ll let you know about U.S. airdate plans or DVD announcements as soon as we hear back from our friends at Aardman.

The week’s other animated DVD releases include Backyardigans: Robin Hood the Clean (Paramount, $16.99), Curious George: Monkey Collection Vol. 1 (Universal, $39.98), Curious George: Robot Monkey (Universal, $16,98), Phineas & Ferb: The Daze of Summer (Disney, $19.99) and Thomas & Friends: Railway Friends (HIT, $14.98).

Recently announced animated releases include Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic (March 6), Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter (March 24), The Jetsons Season 2 Vol. 1 (June 6), Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960s Vol. 1 and Saturday Morning Cartoons 1970s Vol. 1 (May 19).