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5th October 2005


Madman Television - a new imprint from well-established Australian DVD company Madman Entertainment - is planning to release a number of UK TV series on disc. It has announced it's launch title: Midsomer Murders - The Complete First Season, due on November the 23rd.

The three-disc set will feature the first five investigations for Inspector Barnaby and Sergeant Troy: The Killings at Badgers Drift, Written In Blood, Death of a Hollow Man, Faithful Unto Death and Death In Disguise.

The set, which will be Region 0, will also include a behind-the-scenes featurette, The Inside Story; a booklet with production notes; textless opening titles; and talent profiles.

The episodes will be presented in 14:9 letterboxed format, with 2.0 audio. The discs will be available separately, for AU$24.95 each, or as a box set with an RRP of AU$59.95 (including local taxes - about 20 in real money - roughly a third of the price of the equivalent UK discs from Acorn).

Mosaic will release the recent adaptation of The War of the Worlds (no, not that one, the "modern re-telling" that stars C. Thomas Howell) on rental DVD on December the 12th.

Don't go looking for it under that title, though: it's been re-named Invasion for it's UK release. Look for the disc with the sleeve design that's been ripped-off from (War of the Worlds rip-off) Independence Day! No technical details were announced.

Bonus features are TBC (the US edition - available now - has two commentary tracks; deleted scenes; outtakes; trailers; and two featurettes). The disc will be released here to buy on March the 20th 2006.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment will release new editions of the two Pixar / Disney Toy Story movies on November the 28th.

The Toy Story 10th Anniversary Special Edition DVD comes with a second disc of bonus features. There's a Legacy of Toy Story feature that "allows you to watch the film along with the writer and director Jon [sic] Lasseter"; a sneak preview of the next Pixar movie, Cars; a new Making of... featurette; and unseen deleted scenes, story reels and early animation tests. There'll also be a commentary track by "writer / director Jim Lasseter [sic]".

There'll also be a new Special Edition of Toy Story 2, which will feature two interactive games in the Toy Box: Which Toy Are You? and Who's The Coolest Toy? There's also a Making of... featurette, and "a publicity feature that includes some character interviews".

The press release doesn't note if either disc will feature a new transfer (the 10th Anniversary edition recently released in the US had a new transfer). As is usual with Disney press releases, no technical spec's were announced, so it's not clear if the new Toy Story discs will have the DTS track offered on the US edition.

The two films will also be available together as a new four-disc giftpack.

Optimum has announced that it will release the 1979 animated version of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe on November the 7th.

The film, which was produced by animator Bill Melendez (perhaps better known for the Charlie Brown animated specials), will be supported by an interview with Bill's son, Steve; a commentary track (by Bill and Steve Melendez); original storyboards; and (what sounds like) a gallery of character designs, stills and line drawings. No technical details were announced. The RRP is 15.99.

3rd October 2005


Ceri has updated both the Incoming and Offers pages today. It's well worth checking these out. There are loads of new bargains to be found! Date changes are getting more common as we get closer to Christmas: deadlines are getting tighter, and competition for shelf space is hotting up, so it's worth checking the Incoming list regularly. There are lots of new titles listed, too!

Last week's Zeta Minor News can be viewed here.

Previous Zeta Minor News entries can viewed here.

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