DVD PICK OF THE WEEK: 101 DALMATIONS (Disney)
Never mind the live-action versions, Disney got 101 Dalmatians (1961) right the first time.
Rod Taylor and Cate Bauer lend their voices to Pongo and Perdita, the canine couple whose puppies – and dozens more – have been abducted by Cruella de Vil (voiced by Betty Lou Gerson), truly one of the most memorable baddies in cartoon history, who wants to make fur coats out of their pelts (!).
The film is swiftly paced, delightfully funny and beautifully animated. (Look also for “cameos” by Lady and the Tramp.) There’s a lot to be said for the traditional hand-drawn animation. The end result is a film that remains a timeless treasure for all ages – and there’s a lot to be said for that, too. The “Diamond Edition” DVD/ Blu-ray combo ($39.99) includes a documentary, bonus shorts and more. Rated G.
“THE ADVENTURES OF SPONGE- BOB SQUAREPANTS” (Nickelodeon/ Paramount): A self-explanatory DVD compilation ($14.99 retail) of episodes from the long-running, award-winning Nickelodeon cartoon series.
“THE BEGINNER’S BIBLE” (StarVista Entertainment): A four-DVD collection ($39.95 retail) of 13 animated Bible stories for children, including The Story of Noah’s Ark, The Story of Creation, The Story of David and Goliath, The Story of Jesus and His Miracles, The Story of the Good Samaritan and more. Individual “Beginner’s Bible” DVDs retail for $9.95 each.
“BUBBLE GUPPIES: THE PUPPY AND THE RING” (Nickelodeon/Paramount):mA DVD selection ($14.99 retail) of four episodes from the award-winning animated Nickelodeon series detailing the adventures of six fish-tailed youngsters in the underwater kingdom of Bubbletucky. Nickelodeon/Paramount has also released “Bubble Guppies: The Puppy and the Ring Great Guppy Gift Set,” which retails for $14.99.
“DANNY KAYE: LEGENDS” (MVD Entertainment Group): A DVD collectionm($24.95 retail) of six complete episodes from the award-winning CBS variety show (1963-’67) hosted by Danny Kaye, featuring guest stars Louis Armstrong, Lucille Ball, George Burns, Shirley Jones, Imogene Coca, Harvey Korman, Tony Bennett, The Righteous Brothers and more.
“DORA THE EXPLORER” (Nickelodeon/Paramount): A pair of DVD compilationsmof selected episodes from the long-running, award-winning animated Nickelodeon educational series for children: “Dora and Friends: Doggie Day!” retails for $14.99, “Dora the Explorer: Dora’s Double Length Adventures” retails for $16.99.
“GREATEST HEROES OF THE BIBLE”: THE COMPLETE COLLECTIONm(CBS DVD/Paramount): The title tells all in this four-DVD set ($24.99 retail) of all 15 episodes from the entire 1978-’79 run of the prime-time NBC series produced by Sunn Classic Pictures dramatizing Bible stories, featuring guest stars John Marley (as Moses), Hugh O’Brian, Vic Morrow, Lew Ayres, William Daniels, Tyne Daly, Tanya Roberts, Dean Stockwell, Ron Rifkin and others.
A LEGO BRICKUMENTARY (RADiUS/ Anchor Bay Entertainment): You laughed tom“The LEGO Movie,” now delve into the history of the popular, billion-dollar franchise in this G-rated documentary, available on DVD ($22.98 retail) and Blu-ray ($26.99 retail).
A LITTLE CHRISTMAS BUSINESS (Breaking Glass Pictures): Daniel Baldwin plays an overworked businessman who encounters people from his past in this low-budget, over-sweetened holiday fable that leans on faith-based elements yet manages to make room for a subplot about kidnapped children (!). Frank Capra it’s not.
“LITTLEST PET SHOP: PAWS FOR APPLAUSE” (Hasbro Studios/Shout! Kids Factory): A DVD collection ($14.93 retail) of five episodes from the award-winning, animated children’s series, aired on The Hub, about a young girl (voiced by Ashleigh Ball) who can communicate with all sorts of critters. Hasbro/Shout! Kids also released “Littlest Pet Shop: Halloween Fest,” a selfexplanatory DVD compilation ($9.99 retail) of five Halloween-themed episodes.
“THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS”: SEASON FOUR (Scholastic/Cinedigm): A two-DVD collection ($19.97 retail) of all 13 episodes from the 1997 season of the award-winning educational series originally broadcast by PBS and based on the classic children’s book series by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen, featuring Lily Tomlin as Miss Frizzle.
MILLION DOLLAR HAUL (Alpha Home Entertainment): A rash of robberies in Los Angeles spurs federal agent Reed Howes and canine companion “Tarzan, the Police Dog” to investigate in this low-budget 1935 programmer. “Dog Day Afternoon,” indeed!
“THE MISADVENTURES OF BUSTER KEATON” (Alpha Home Entertainment): The “Great Stone Face” re-creates many of his classic comedy routines in this DVD collection ($7.98 retail) of segments taken from his British-produced 1950 TV series “Life With Buster Keaton.”
“MY LITTLE PONY: EQUESTRIA GIRLS” (Hasbro Studios/Shout! Kids Factory): A three-movie DVD gift set ($29.93 retail) that includes the animated features Equestria Girls, Rainbow Rocks and Friendship Games – plus bonus features for “My Little Pony” mavens.
“NICKELODEON BUNCH OF PLAY DATES” (Nickelodeon/Paramount): A three-DVD collection ($19.99 retail) of 18 themed episodes from such popular Nickelodeon cartoon series’ as “Bubble Guppies,” “Dora the Explorer,” Team Umizoomi,” “Blue’s Room” and more.
“NICKELODEON FAVORITES: CELE- BRATE FALL! AND PUPPY PALOOZA!” (Nickelodeon/Paramount): A pair DVD compilations (each $14.99 retail) of popular, animated Nickelodeon series’ (including “PAW Patrol,” “Dora the Explorer,” “Bubble Guppies,” “Team Umizoomi” and others), the first focusing on autumn adventures and the second on our canine friends.
THE NUTCRACKER SWEET (Cinedigm): Alicia Silverstone, Drake Bell and Edward Asner lend their voices to this animated rendition of the classic holiday musical, available on DVD ($14.93 retail).
“OUT OF THE VAULT: CHRISTMAS COLLECTION” (Shout! Factory): Getting the jump on the yuletide season, this selfexplanatory DVD collection ($9.99 retail) includes 10 holiday-themed episodes from such popular Nicktoons cartoon series’ as “Aaahh!!! Real Monsters,” “The Angry Beavers,” “CatDog,” “Hey Arnold!” and “Rocko’s Modern Life.”
“POUND PUPPIES: PICK OF THE LITTER” (Hasbro Studios/Shout! Kids Factory): A DVD compilation ($12.99 retail) of five episodes from the award-winning, animated children’s series broadcast on The Hub Network, featuring the voices of Eric McCormick, Alanna Ubach, Michael Rapaport, John DiMaggio and Yvette Nicole Brown as the canine characters.
“PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON TRIPLE FEATURE” (CBS DVD/Paramount): A selfexplanatory DVD collection ($12.99 retail) of animated CBS specials based on Peter, Paul & Mary’s classic tune, with Burgess Meredith providing Puff’s voice: 1978’s Puff the Magic Dragon (Emmy nominee as Outstanding Individual Achievement – Animation Program), In the Land of Living Lies (1979), and Puff and the Incredible Mr. Nobody (1983).
“TEAM UMIZOOMI: MEET SHARK CAR” (Nickelodeon/Paramount): A DVD selection ($14.99 retail) of four episodes from the animated Nickelodeon fantasy series designed to entertain and encourage math skills for children.
TOMORROWLAND (Disney): Producer/ director/screenwriter Brad Bird’s big-budget, PG-rated sci-fi adventure, starring George Clooney and inspired by the Disney theme park, met with mixed critical notices and disappointing box-office, is now available on DVD ($29.99 retail) and a DVD/ Blu-ray combo ($39.99 retail).
“THE VERY FAIRY PRINCESS … AND OTHER IMAGINATIVE TALES” (Scholastic/Cinedigm): A self-explanatory DVD compilation ($14.93 retail) featuring animated versions of the title tale, written by Julie Andrews and daughter Emma Walton Hamilton, plus Extra Yarn, The Amazing Bone and My Garden. !
MARK BURGER can be heard Friday mornings on the “Two Guys Named Chris” radio show on Rock-92. © 2015, Mark Burger.