This week’s biggest home video releases are both based on classic pop lit, one a time-honored children’s book and the other a comic book series that has become increasingly adult-oriented. Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who! from Twentieth Century Fox and Blue Sky Animation and The Dark Knight are sure to rake in the dough hand over fist during this first week of availability on DVD and Blu-ray.
Directed by Jimmy Hayward and Steve Martino from a script by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio (The Santa Clause 2), Horton Hears a Who! stars Jim Carrey as Horton, a lovable elephant who hears a cry for help coming from a tiny speck of dust floating through the air and suspects that it may support life. Steve Carell takes on the role of the Mayor of Who-Ville and Carol Burnett lends her voice to the always skeptical Kangaroo, who doesn’t believe Horton’s claims of a tiny community in trouble. The cast also includes Seth Rogen (Knocked Up), Will Arnett (Blades of Glory), Amy Poehler (Shrek the Third), Isla Fisher (Hot Rod), Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury), Dane Cook (Employee of the Month), Jaime Presley (My Name Is Earl) and Jonah Hill (Evan Almighty).
The two-disc special edition DVD lists for $34.98 and offers director commentary by Hayward, a veteran Pixar artist, and Martino, an Oscar-winning vfx director whose credits include Total Recall. The two met while working on the Fox/Blue Sky toon feature Robots. Other DVD extras include commentary by Carrey and Carell, and the new Ice Age short Surviving Sid. A single-disc release is available for the suggested retail price of $29.98. The two-disc Blu-ray set lists for $39.99.
The Dark Knight stars Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, who teams with future police commissioner James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and Gotham’s new District Attorney, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), to take on a psychotic bank robber known as The Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger. The film has made nearly a billion dollars at the box office worldwide and will be re-released in theaters next month.
The special edition DVD offers two segments of Gotham Uncovered”The Evolution of the Knight’ and ‘The Sound of Anarchy,’ a look at the scenes director Christopher Nolan shot in the IMAX format and Gotham Tonight, a Gotham Cable News premier investigative news program presenting hard-hitting stories about Gotham and the influential people that make the headlines. The Blu-ray version adds Gotham Uncovered: Creation of a Scene, in which Nolan and visual effects and stunt artists offer a rare look at the detail and planning that went into creating in-camera stunts and effects for the film. There are also special Warner Bros. BD-Live features including exclusive content from the media center, and Batman Tech, a behind-the-scenes featurette that delves deep inside the Batcave to examine the gadgets and tools used by Batman that were inspired by state-of-the-art advances in military technology. Fans can also examine the mindset of Batman with Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of The Dark Knight. The Blu-ray set lists for $34.99 and the special edition DVD can be had for $34.98 or less.