Nemo, Sandler Found on Home Video

There’s something fishy at video stores today as year’s No. 1 movie swims to DVD and VHS. Having made more than $490 million worldwide at the box office, the Disney/Pixar family favorite Finding Nemo joins Adam Sandler’s animated holiday romp Eight Crazy Nights just in time to make animation lovers’ wish lists.

The extra features come packed like sardines on the two-disc collector’s edition of Finding Nemo. In addition to a widescreen version of the feature, the first disc contains visual commentary from writer/director Andrew Stanton, co-director Lee Unkrich and co-writer Bob Peterson. The filmmakers discuss the evolution of the film through deleted scenes and footage of recording sessions. Making Nemo: A Special Documentary goes inside Pixar to show firsthand how producer John Lasseter, Stanton and the rest of the creative team met the many production challenges. There’s also a showcase of pre-production art narrated by the artists themselves, and virtual aquariums that turn your TV set into the animated world from the movie. And that’s just disc one.

Disc 2 offers a fullscreen presentation of the film and yet more bonus materials, including a new original short film titled Exploring the Reef with Jean-Michel Cousteau. As the world-renowned undersea explorer takes viewers on a diving expedition to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the real-life setting for Finding Nemo, Dory, Marlin and Nemo show up and start wreaking havoc on the production. Other highlights include the early Pixar short Knick Knack, an interactive game, an all-new read-along adventure and a kid’s guide of Pixar Animation Studios hosted by the voice of Nemo, Alexander Gould.

The Buena Vista Home Ent. release is now available for the suggested retail price of $29.99 DVD and $24.99 VHS.

Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights didn’t get quite as much love from critics and moviegoers when it hit theaters last holiday season, but it should tempt the curious and find a strong audience among Sandler fans on DVD and VHS. In the film, the former Saturday Night Live star voices three different characters in a story about a Jewish delinquent Scrooge who ultimately finds redemption during the eight days of Hanukkah. Sandler’s signature crude humor may be a bit much for young kids, but the older set should appreciate its irreverent nature.

The two-disc DVD features commentary by Sandler-voiced characters Whitey and Eleanore, as well as writer/producer Allan Covert, director Seth Kearsley, art director Philip A. Cruden, head of animation Stephan Franck, effects supervisor John Bermudas and executive producer Ken Tsumura. There are also nine original featurettes: Eleanore, Whitey, Creating Dukesberry, Townspeople of Dukesberry, Dukesberry Sings, Jennifer & Benjamin, Voices of Dukesberry, Davey and The Deer. For animation enthusiasts, the release offers a multi-angle animation progression and 13 deleted/alternate scenes with optional commentary, and Sandler’s faithful will enjoy a music video for "Chanukah Song Part 3." Rounding out the bonus material are the HBO First Look special, the short film A Day with the Meatball and the TV spot "NBA: Love It Live."