Folman’s ‘Congress,’ New ‘Simpsons’ on Disc

The pre-holiday home entertainment onslaught offers a number of eclectic options for animation and vfx enthusiasts this week. Topping our lists are sci-fi hybrid The Congress and a new Simpsons set.

Over a year after it began stirring interest at festivals around the world, Ari Folman’s live-action/animation The Congress arrived on DVD ($14.93) and Blu-ray ($19.97) from Cinedigm this week. Robin Wright stars as a fictionalized version of herself, who 20 years after rocketing to stardom takes her final job: preserving her digital likeness for a future Hollywood. Brokered by her agent (Harvey Keitel) and the Miramount Studios head (Danny Huston), the deal grants her enough funds to care for her ailing son. Things take a strange turn another 20 years later when the creative vision of the studio’s head animator (Jon Hamm) makes the double a star — and leads to Wright’s invitation to The Congress for her big comeback.

The Congress
The Congress

The Simpsons: The Seventeenth Season DVD set ($49.98) from Fox features four discs chock full of 2005-style goodness. Highlights include the Emmy-winning “The Seemingly Neverending Story” (Outstanding Animated Program) and “The Italian Bob” (Voice-Over Performance, Kelsey Grammer). Special features for the DVD version include Buongiorno, Simpsons Lovers, Sketch Gallery 1 & 2, bonus episode “The Man Who Grew Too Much,” deleted scenes, Easter Eggs, audio commentary, Let There Be Music, The Great Ones, animation showcase and Live! It’s The Simpsons. The three-disc Blu-ray set ($59.99) comes with all of the above, plus two additional bonus episodes: season one’s “Krusty Gets Busted” and season five’s “Cape Feare.”

The Simpsons: The Seventeenth Season
The Simpsons: The Seventeenth Season

Also available now:

A Charlie Brown Christmas: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
A Charlie Brown Christmas: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition

A Charlie Brown Christmas: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition [Warner, $19.97]
Includes It’s Christmas Time Again, Charlie Brown. [Dec. 2]

Disney Mickey Mouse: Season 1
Disney Mickey Mouse: Season 1

Disney Mickey Mouse: Season 1 [Disney, $15.99]
Nineteen cartoons plus Making-Of featurette with creators discussing how they reinvented a retro style Mickey for the new millennium. [Dec. 2]

The Legend of Korra: Book 3 - Change
The Legend of Korra: Book 3 – Change

The Legend of Korra: Book 3 – Change [Nickelodeon, $19.99 DVD/$35.98 BD]
All 13 episodes of Book 3, plus audio commentaries by the creators and crew (four on the DVD set, all 13 for the BR), behind-the-scenes featurettes and episode animatics (likewise, four for DVD and 13 for BR). [Dec. 2]

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Season Four
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Season Four

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Season Four [Shout! Factory, $34.99]
Twenty-six episodes plus bonus features. [Dec. 2]

Ranma ½ Set 4
Ranma ½ Set 4

Ranma ½ Set 4 [VIZ, $44.82 DVD/$54.97 BD]
Three disc , 23-episode set with “clean” opening and closing titles and trailers; BD comes with decorative slip cover, episode guide and art card. [Dec. 2]

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