C. S. Lewis’ magnificent lion Aslan is finally ready to roar on DVD today. Directed by Shrek helmer Andrew Adamson, Disney/Walden Media’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe is out in stores in both widescreen and full-screen formats.
This popular fantasy centers on four English siblings who escape war-torn London via a magical wardrobe and find themselves recruited to help a talking lion release an enchanted land from the spell of an evil witch. Narnia and its magical inhabitants were brought to life through CG animation and other digital effects by Sony Pictures Imageworks, Rhythm & Hues and ILM. The film was nominated for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Oscars and won the Best Make Up Oscar in February. It has earned over $291 million in ticket sales in the U.S. alone.
Among the special features included in the package are commentaries by the child actors Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley and Anna Popplewell as well as director Adamson, production designer Roger Ford and producer Mark Johnson as well as a blooper reel and a cool guide to Narnia. For die-hard fans, there’s Disney Video has also prepared a 2-disc Collector’s Edition ($34.99; or $23.26 on amazon.com). This one includes all kinds of featurettes about Narnia, including a personal diary from Adamson, Anatomy of a Scene: The Melting River, The Children’s Magical Journey, Cinematic Storytellers, C. S. Lweis: From One Man’s Mind, Creating Creatures, a 3D Map of Narnia, Legends in Time Narnia Timeline and Creatures, Land and Legends.
Fans of adult CG-animation will also be rejoicing today as the second season of Sci Fi Channel’s hit series Tripping the Rift makes its appearance on DVD shelves. Priced at $29.98, this handsome Anchor Bay boxed set features 285 glorious innuendo-filled minutes (that’s 13 episodes) of the show which originally aired July thru October of 2005. Animated by Film Roman, the series was created by Chuck Austen, Lanier Laney and Chris Moeller, is directed by Bernie Denk and features the voices of Stephen Root, Maurice LaMarche, Carmen Electra (who replaces Gina Gershon as the voice of the buxom android Six) and Stuttering John Melendez.
In this season, the voyagers of starship Jupiter 42 experience battles in the Bermuda Quadrant, a crash landing in Roswell and face the notorious mission to unload 10,000 tubes of butt jelly on the gay planet Fabulous Heaven. And yes, there are also shrunken crews, alternate realities, escaped grandpas, pissed-off Dark Clowns, prison sex, heaven, hell and a high-school reunion. Did we mention space splooge as well?
If you have any cash left, there are a few other animation-related titles out today: The Adventures of Little Prince: Star Gazer and The Perfect Planet (Koch, $9.98 each) Flame of Recca: Vol. 7 (VIZ, $24.98), Garbage Pail Kids: Complete Series (Paramount, $27.98), InuYasha Vol. 40: Devine Malice (VIZ, $24.98), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Season 4 (Artisan, $14.95) and Viewtiful Joe Vol. 2 (Geneon, $19.98).