Ninjas, Dogs, Sponges and Monsters Hit Home

From an anime favorite to popular TV shows to a big-screen EFX chiller, there are plenty of animation titles to add to your collection in today’s batch of home video releases.

We start off the list with Ninja Scroll 10th Anniversary Edition. This digitally remastered DVD release of Yoshiaki Kawajiri’s anime hit (animated at Madhouse Studios) features both full-screen and widescreen presentations. Extra features include an interview with the director, a history of main character Jubei, character synopsis, a photo gallery and interviews with English voice cast members. The Manga release lists for $29.95.

On the TV front, there’s Blue’s Clues: Blues First Holiday. This Paramount Home Ent. release features four episodes from the popular preschool series. The title episode is followed by "Joe’s Surprise Party" and the two bonus installments "Blue’s Big Holiday" and "a Snowy Day." Also included is an interstitial titled Oobi–The Friend Who’s Always With You and the Baby Blue’s First Snowy Holiday game. Pick it up on DVD for $19.99.

There’s more TV fun as SpongeBob, those Fairly OddParents, the Rugrats and Rocket Power celebrate the Yule Tide with Nicktoons Christmas. The Paramount release features holiday-themed episodes from each of the TV favorites, including SpongeBob SquarePants: "Christmas Who," The Fairly OddParents: "Christmas Everyday," Rugrats: "Babies in Toyland" and Rocket Power: "A Rocket X-Mas." It’s now availavle on DVD for $19.99. Also look for the separate release SpongeBob SquarePants: Christmas, with nine holiday-themed installments for $19.99.

Warner Home Video’s Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico ($24.98) hits shelves with commentary by Scooby and the gang, and Columbia TriStar releases all nine installments of the short-lived live-action series The Tick, based on the comic book of the same name. Select episodes feature commentary tracks and the DVD carries a suggested retail price of $29.95.

While not an animated feature itself, Warner Bros.’ 1938 Errol Flynn favorite The Adventures of Robin Hood gets the two-disc DVD treatment featuring the classic WB cartoons Rabbit Hood and Robin Hood Daffy. It lists for $26.99.

Director Lawrence Kasdan’s adaptation of Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher rounds out the list. The best thing about this off-beat sci-fi thriller is the impressive digital creature animation by ILM. The film stars Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Jason Lee, Damian Lewis, Timothy Olyphant, Tom Sizemore and Donnie Wahlberg. Extras include the featurettes DreamWriter: An Interview With Stephen King, DreamMakers: A Journey Through the Production and DreamWeavers: The Visual Effects of Dreamcatcher. There are also deleted scenes and the original ending. It lists for $27.95 on DVD.