STUFF TO WATCH
Peanuts 70th Anniversary Holiday Collection LE [Warner, $100 BD] If your cold, dead heart could use some extra warm-n-fuzzies this holiday season, what better kindling than Charles Schultz’s beloved characters? Packed in an excruciatingly cute dog house box (complete with Snoopy figurine!), the set presents nine remastered/restored specials — with a spotlight on It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christms — a new featurette and brand new audio commentary for the iconic trio. Limited to 25,000 copies, the gift set also includes a special Charlie Brown holiday book. Don’t worry, that strange tingling in your chest is just happiness!
Toy Story 4 [Disney, $25 BD | $30 4K] This summer, Pixar took audiences along on a hilarious, heartwarming and wild ride with the toy box gang. Directed by Josh Cooley, the sequel introduced a new trash-craft toy, Forky (Tony Hale), whose identity crisis propels Woody, Buzz et al on a high-stakes road trip, reuniting with Bo Peep and encountering playthings with a variety of motives. (Automatonophobics, beware!) The box-office smash comes home with tons of BTS bonus features, character focuses, deleted scenes and more. [Oct. 8]
Walt Disney Signature Collection: 101 Dalmatians / Sleeping Beauty [Disney, $40 BD each] Two mid-century gems get the Signature treatment this month — the 1959 musical fairytale about Princess Aurora and the dark fairy Maleficent (which set a price tag record for the studio, produced for 70mm to show off the modern jewel-toned designs conceived by Eyvind Earle) and 1961’s canine caper, wherein another iconic villainess Cruella De Vil contends with a family of plucky pups (which was almost scrapped due to cost, were it not for Ub Iwerks and Ken Anderson’s crafty use of Xeroxography). As ever, these plush sets include oodles of bonus features, from alternate/deleted scenes, to commentary, to new installments of In Walt’s Words. Go on, treat yourself!
Wonder Woman: Bloodlines [Warner, $25 BD | $40 4K] Diana of Themyscira (Rosario Dawson) is set on her heroic path after choosing save fighter pilot Steve Trevor (Jeffrey Donovan), becoming a champion of Earth’s people and determining to help a troubled girl enlisted by the deadly Villainy, Inc. — which sets its insidious sights on her paradise home — in the latest DCU animated adventure. Directed by Sam Liu and Justin Copeland, Bloodlines comes packaged with Death, a new Showcase short inspired by Neil Gaiman’s Sandman; a spotlight on The Cheetah; and a sneak peek at Superman: Red Son. [Oct. 22]
And that’s not all, folks: Sesame Street: 50 Years and Counting, The Case of Hana & Alice [Shout! Factory]; Aladdin (2019) [Disney]; Batman Beyond: The Complete Series LE, The Jetsons: The Complete Original Series, Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s Vol. 3, gen:LOCK: The Complete First Season, Pan’s Labyrinth 4K [Warner]; Spider-Man: Far from Home [Sony]; Kakuriyo Bed & Breakfast for Spirits Pt. 2, Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu: The Complete Series, Wolf’s Rain: The Complete Series [FUNimation]; Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon’s Blood Spray [Discotek Media]; Di Gi Charat: Ultimate Collection, Kase-san and Morning Glories [Sentai Filmworks]; Fate/ZEro Complete Box Set [Anipex/RightStuf.com]
STUFF TO READ
The Addams Family: The Art of the Animated Movie [Titan Books, $40] <Please hotlink to Addams Fam mag story> If the feature story in these pages has whetted your appetite for all things Addams, Animag’s intrepid editor Ramin Zahed has teamed up with the filmmakers and artists to reveal the secrets of adapting an iconic cartoon panel into a modern, animated world. Within its 156 pages — lead by forewords by directors Conrad Vernon & Greg Tiernan — you will find concept designs, storyboards, production art and sharp insights from the film’s creators. No bones about it: This is one post mortem any animation fan can enjoy! [Oct. 22]
Harryhausen: The Lost Movies [Titan Books, $40] If you are passionate about stop-motion animation, the early days of visual effects, Hollywood history or just plain ol’ pioneering spirits, this hefty hardcover deserves a place of honor on your coffee table. Penned by BAFTA-nominated filmmaker John Walsh, Trustee of the Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation, The Lost Movies is a unique look at Harryhausen’s unrealized films, including unused ideas, projects he turned down and cut scenes. This off-screen side of an incredible career is brought to life with never-before-seen artwork, sketches, photos and test footage from the Foundation’s archives.
Paper Son: The Inspiring True Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist [Schwartz & Wade, $18] This month’s inspiring tale for kiddos (and those of us who love pretty illustrations) is the touching picture-book biography of Disney Legend Tyrus Wong. Long before he painted the dreamy watercolor backgrounds for Bambi, he was a little boy who crossed the ocean from China to America and followed his artistic passions all the way to the animation history books. Paper Son is penned by children’s author Julie Leung (Mice of the Round Table) and illustrated by Pixar character designer Chris Sasaki with a subtle, enchanting touch that Wong would approve.
Steven Universe: The Tale of Steven [Abrams, $15] The endlessly creative force that is series creator Rebecca Sugar follows up her NYT bestseller The Answer with this novella adaptation of this year’s pivotal season 5 finale, “Change Your Mind.” Featuring illustrations by series art director Elle Michalka and prop/FX designer Angie Wang, The Tale of Steven invites readers to follow the story of Pink Diamond’s escape from Homeworld, Rose Quartz’s life on Earth and the creation of Steven Universe in a thought-provoking format, told from conflicting perspectives. Challenging in all the right ways, heartstring-tugging and entertaining — everything we love about the CN show in a grade-school reading adventure! [Oct. 8]