Out on DVD and Blu-Ray this week: A pile of high-octane gift editions of stuff that's already come out is being released this week, for some reason; offenders include Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, and Cinderella. Plus a smidgen of the new Dragons: Riders of Berk series and another barrell of early Power Rangers episodes.
Some fans of the thoroughly enjoyable feature film might not have heard about the Cartoon Network CGI series that's bridging the irksomely long gap until the sequel movie (due out in 2014), and while it's a bit more low-key the TV series boasts the look, feel, and character of the film, as well as key members of the film's talented voice cast (including Jay Baruchel reprising his role as Hiccup) joined by veteran voice artists and valuable guest actors like Tim Conway, Thomas F. Wilson, Mark Hamill, and Stephen Root. All that said, bear in mind as you're buying that this particular DVD contains only four of the 20 planned episodes of the currently airing first season.
The story: Buckle up for more high-flying action and fire-breathing fun with this thrilling debut of the animated TV series based on the Academy Award-nominated hit movie How To Train Your Dragon! The epic story of Hiccup, Toothless and his fearless friends continues with 4 explosive episodes filled with all-new adventures and exciting, never-before-seen dragons.
Starring: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Julie Marcus, T. J. Miller, Zack Pearlman, Nolan North, Chris Edgerly.
Created by: Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois.
Features: Viking For Hire; How to Start a Dragon Academy; The Terrible Twos; Animal House; Making of How To Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular; Previews; Sneak Peeks.
Does anyone who would want this not already have at least some of its previously released components? Perhaps, but either way bear in mind that while it contains the entire new series up through season 6, including the Tenth Doctor specials between seasons 4 and 5, to be really completist you might want to consider tacking on the DVD for season 7.0 that just came out.
The story: BBC brings you the Doctor Who Limited Edition Gift Set just in time for the holiday season! This limited edition Doctor Who collector's box will be the ultimate holiday gift for Doctor Who fans! It includes the complete seasons 1-6 covering the 9th, 10th and 11th Doctors, over 70 hours in all, plus hours and hours of bonus features including 3 new Doctor Specials coming to DVD for the first time ever.
Starring: Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, Catherine Tate, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, John Barrowman.
Created by: Russell T. Davies.
Features: Eleventh Doctor Sonic Screwdriver; 3 Original Doctor Who Art Cards; "Doctor Who at Comic Con" Comic; three BBC America specials: "The Women of Doctor Who," "The Destinations of Doctor Who," and "The Timey-Wimey of Doctor Who."
Feel like pretending it's still 2011? We're currently patiently waiting for season 3, but we didn't get this special deluxe gift box edition in time for the holidays a year ago, in the wake of season 1 having came out, so ... we're getting it this year instead. But since everyone who hasn't seen any Game of Thrones should be forced to watch it just on general principles, it's good that there's another means of doing so out there.
Formats: Blu-Ray (6 discs).
The story: Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and noblemen vie for power in a land where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime. As two powerful families engage in a deadly cat-and-mouse game for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, betrayal, lust, intrigue and supernatural forces shake the four corners of the Kingdoms and the bloody struggle for the Iron Throne will have unforeseen and far-reaching consequences.
Starring: Harry Lloyd, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Mark Addy, Iain Glen, Alfie Allen, Sean Bean, Jamie Campbell Bower.
Created by: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, based on the novels by George R.R. Martin.
Features: Premium dragon egg paperweight; Blu-ray bonus disc of season two, episode one; Complete Guide to Westeros; In-Episode Guide; Anatomy of an Episode; Hidden Dragon Eggs.
The first part of the season came out in August. This is the second half of the 60-episode first season.
Formats: DVD (3 discs).
The story: After 10,000 years of imprisonment, the evil sorceress Rita Repulsa and her loyal minions are freed when astronauts on a routine mission in space accidentally open her dumpster prison on the Moon. Filled with rage, Rita decides to conquer the nearest planet: Earth. But her archnemesis — the heroic sage Zordon — has been patiently waiting in preparation for this day. With the assistance of his wisecracking robotic sidekick Alpha 5, Zordon recruits a team of "five teenagers with attitude" — Jason, Zack, Kimberly, Billy and Trini — to receive superpowers beyond their wildest dreams so they can defend the Earth as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Aided by giant robotic vehicles modeled after dinosaurs called Zords, the Power Rangers fight back against the evil alien hordes of Rita Repulsa.
Starring: Amy Jo Johnson, Jason Narvy, Paul Schrier, Richard Steven Horvitz, David Yost, Barbara Goodson, Jason David Frank, Richard Genelle, Thuy Trang, Austin St. John, Walter Jones.
Created by: Haim Saban and Shuki Levy.
Directed by: Terence H. Winkless, Robert Hughes, and others.
Features: None listed.
- Image gallery.
Between the release this week and an earlier round of releases on Oct. 2, there are several fresh flavors and formats of this Disney classic currently on store shelves, including a couple of dedicated Spanish versions.
Formats: Blu-Ray and DVD.
The story: A poor girl named Cinderella meets her Prince Charming, thanks to her fairy godmother. The public made Cinderella one of the highest-grossing films of the year and Disney's most successful release since Bambi. In fact, it was one of the top-grossing films of 1950, pulling in $4 million during its initial release.
Starring: Ilene Woods, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Claire Du Brey.
Directed by: Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi.
Features: Tangled Ever After Animated Short; Behind the Magic: A New Disney Princess Fantasyland; a tribute to the animators who defined Disney, the Nine Old Men; a segment about the making of the film; photographs of storyboards for a discarded version of Cinderella; two deleted scenes; a compilation of Cinderella sports stories.