SpongeBob, Charlie Brown Face Werewolves on Video

A couple of favorite cartoon underdogs meet a pack of vicious lycanthropes as today’s home video releases land on DVD and VHS. For animation fans, there’s SpongeBob SquarePants: The Seascape Capers and A Charlie Brown Valentine, while EFX and horror aficionados can bring home the box office hit Underworld.

Directed by Len Wiseman, Underworld features visual effects by Framestore CFC and Fantasy II under EFX supervisor Nick Allder. The film stars Kate Beckinsale as a vampire who falls in love with a werewolf (Scott Speedman) in the midst of a centries-old battle between the two monster factions. The British actress will tread similar ground in the upcoming Universal offering Van Helsing, based on characters from the classic Universal horror franchises Dracula, Frankenstein and The Wolfman. Because of Underworld’s performance, Lakeshore Ent. and Screen Gems are planning to produce both a sequel and prequel in the next two years.

The Underworld DVD features the theatrical trailer, a storyboard comparison, director and cast commentary, technical commentary, writer’s commentary and featurettes on the film’s digital and makeup effects, stunts and other production aspects. It is released by Columbia Tristar Home Ent. and lists for $28.95.

More mischief and mayhem ensue in Bikini Bottom with SpongeBob SquarePants: The Seascape Capers, a Paramount Home Ent. release that includes the episodes "The Fry Cook Games," "Bubblestand," "Squid’s Day Off," "Artist Unknown," "Grandma’s Kisses," "Krusty Love," "Krab Borg" and "The Smoking Peanut." Two additional installments, titled "SpongeBob Meets the Strangler" and "Pranks a Lot," will not be aired on Nickelodeon until Jan. 2005. The DVD contains the storyboard for "Grandma’s Kisses," and lists for $16.99.

A Charlie Brown Valentine comes to DVD complete with two bonus episodes, "There’s No Time For Love, Charlie Brown" and "Someday You’ll Find Her, Charlie Brown." Just in time for Cupid’s big day, the Peanuts gang is back in this classic special that has sad sack Charlie Brown hoping to get a valentine from the little red-haired girl. The Paramount Home Ent. release carries a suggested retail price of $14.99.

Keeping with the theme of cartoons and monsters, Warner Home Video has also released the 1932 and 1941 versions of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on a single disc and has tacked on the 1955 Bugs Bunny animated short Hyde and Hare, directed by Fritz Freleng. The DVD lists for $19.98.