Ice Age, Men In Black Chill on Video

Topping this week’s list of home video debuts are two films about cool heroes who hope to get a warm reception at the retail counter. Both Fox’s Ice Age and Columbia Tristar’s Men In Black II feature bonus CG animated shorts that are sure to be a highlight of each DVD.

Scrat’s Missing Adventure is a never-before-seen five-minute episode created exclusively for the Special Edition DVD and VHS release of Ice Age, the CG box office hit featuring the voices of Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Jack Black and E.R.‘s Goran Visnjic.

In the short, everyone’s favorite prehistoric rodent, Scrat, finds a nut and proudly carries it to his tree so he can top off his stash. Of course, things go terribly wrong and an adventure begins.

Other special features include two DVD-ROM games, the snowboarding adventure Sid Shreads and the rugby/dodgeball send up Super Dodo Ball, featuring the film’s wild and wooly cast of characters. There are also three DVD set top games, the HBO First Look special, The Making of Ice Age, six deleted scenes with commentary from director Chris Wedge, a featurette on animation studio Blue Sky, a still design gallery, directors commentaries and Blue Sky’s Academy Award-winning short Bunny.

If that weren’t enough, the DVD-ROM also features printable kids’ activities including Ice Age ornaments, a fun fact coloring book, a mobile kit, a Sub-Zero Heroes board game, paper dolls and more.

Ice Age retails for $29.98 DVD and $24.98 VHS.

When Men in Black II hit theaters this past summer, much of the buzz was about a new CG short film that ran before the feature. The ChubbChubbs was created as sort of a test for the CG feature capabilities of Sony Pictures Imageworks, the character animation and visual effects division of Sony Pictures Digital. The film has gone on to receive top prizes at film festivals in Los Angeles and London, and was a finalist in the Australian Effects and Animation Awards. Now, as it debuts on home video as a Men In Black II bonus feature, producers are now hoping for an Academy Award nom.

Directed by Eric Armstrong, The ChubbChubbs introduces Meeper, an awkward hero who valiantly tries to warn the patrons of the Ale-E-Inn of impending danger only to find himself face to face with the toughest creatures in the universe.

Other special features of the two-disc Men In Black II DVD include commentary by director Barry Sonnenfeld, an alternate ending, a blooper reel, intergalactic production featurettes, alien creature featurettes, the Will Smith “Black Suits Comin’ (Nod Your Head)” music video, multi-angle scene deconstruction, theatrical one-sheets, filmographies and DVD-ROM features.

Men In Black II lists at $28.98 DVD, $49.95 four-disc deluxe edition DVD and $24.96 VHS.

Also hitting stores today is Transformers Season 2 from Rhino Home Video. The four-disc box set is available for $59.95. Individual discs can be purchased for $19.95 each. Anime fans can also pick up director Masami Obari’s Virus: Virus Buster Serge Volume 1 on DVD. The Manga Video release contains four half-hour installments of the 13-episode sci-fi action epic and includes character design boards and Mecha design boards as bonus features. This title retails for $29.95.