Too Cool for School

Who needs book learnin’ when Bart, Batman, Pete’s dragon and some anime pirates are packing DVD shelves this month?

The Simpsons: The Complete Twelfth Season

[Fox, $49.98]

As the world’s most beloved, yellowest TV family approaches 20 years of broadcast, now is the time to make sure your Simpsons DVD collection is up to date! Thankfully, Fox is releasing another fabulous four-disc set of Matt Groening’s smash hit for your enjoyment. (This twelfth release features Comic Book Guy as cover model’Best. Box set. Ever.)

The collection features the season’s 21 episodes, with a horde of writers’ and director’s commentary for each. Each disc also hosts deleted scenes, plus the set debuts two featurettes (A Comic Moment with Matt Groening, Comic Book Guy: Best. Moments. Ever.) and boasts plenty of animated, animatic, storyboard and sketch extras; a handful of Easter eggs and a collection of four commercials starring the most dysfunctional family in Springfield. Among the 12th season highlights: Krusty finds out he has a long lost daughter; Lisa falls for a militant environmentalist; Smithers creates a Maliby Stacy musical; Homer starts a gossip site and also discovers that has a crayon lodged in his brain! Drew Barrymore, Stephen King, Patrick McGoohan, Ed Norton, Andre Agassi and Kathy Griffin are only some of the season’s top-draw guest voices. Woo-hoo, aye caramba and okily-dokily to that!

[Release date: August 18]

One Piece: Season Two, Second Voyage

[FUNimation, $49.98]

Ever since Eiichiro Oda’s hilarious manga premiered as an anime series in Japan in 1999, fans have been ravenous for Captain Monkey D. Luffy’s fantastical journeys. Now with 11 seasons under its belt and a much maligned, heavily edited English version behind it, One Piece is working its way to disc one voyage at a time thanks to a new voice cast and more liberal attitude at FUNimation.

The two-disc set showcases 13 episodes from the second season, featuring ever-more wacky adventures, hi-jinx on the high seas and bizarre characters’ especially when Luffy and his crew discover an island populated by prehistoric beasts!

[Release date: August 25]

Fullmetal Alchemist: Premium OVA Collection

[FUNimation, $14.98]

Speaking of our otaku friends in Texas, FUNimation is also releasing a dubbed four-pack of OVAs (Original Video Animation) based on the steam punk-y world of Fullmetal Alchemist. Included are State Alchemists vs. Seven Homunculi, Live Action, Chibi Party and Kids. Plot line aren’t on a continuum, so feel free to savor each morsel individually, as if it were your last stick of Pocky and you’ve run out of allowance.

[Release date: August 4]

Pete’s Dragon: High-Flying Edition

[Disney, $29.99]

Kids and kids at heart will want to snap up this fantastic new edition of Disney’s 1977 live action/animation hybrid. A joint effort by directors Don Chaffey and toon legend Don Bluth, this tale of a young orphan and his winged companion is full of charm, humor and of course some excellent (Oscar-nominated!) musical numbers and a stellar cast that includes Helen Reddy, Mickey Rooney, Jim Dale, Shelley Winters and Red Buttons.

It wouldn’t be a High-Flying Edition without some great extras: Demo and alternate versions of the songs are included along with a featurette on the techniques behind the film’s mixed media, deleted storyboard, galleries, trailers, an interactive game and many more goodies’nearly an hour of bonuses in all. That’s what we call some brazzle dazzle.

[Release date: August 18]

Batman: The Brave and The Bold, Vol. 1

[Warner, $14.98]

While we adore WB Animation’s colorful, retro take on DC’s classic heroes, and you can’t go wrong throwing Diedrich Bader, Tom Kenny, John DiMaggio and Kevin Michael Richardson (among many others) behind the mic, this four episode collection is just making us itch for a full season release! Granted, this set contains ‘Terror on Dinosaur Island’ (Batman + dinosaurs = magic), but c’mon, Warner Bros., don’t make us beg!!

[Release date: August 25]