DVD NEWSARAMA!!!All the DVD news that’s fit to print, including… Universal has announced their July 24th release of THE WOODY WOODPECKER AND FRIENDS CLASSIC CARTOON COLLECTION. A 3-disc set, with value to match the epic title. 8 hours of classic animation, plus an additional hour of special features, including vintage interviews, documentaries, an episode of THE WOODY WOODPECKER SHOW and a behind-the-scenes feature with creator Wally Lantz.These features will be presented in their original formats, full-frame with DD 2.0 Mono and in color or B&W, depending on the short.In other classic cartoon news, WB has announced details for the May 15th release of TEX AVERY’S DROOPY: THE COMPLETE THEATRICAL COLLECTION. It will include 24 classic cartoons (7 of them Cinemascope shorts presented in Anamorphic Wide) featuring the loveable hangdog Droopy Dogand a wealth of extras including a full-length documentary, a gag montage and more.Also from WB, a new line of classic B-movie genre flicks for their new CULT CAMP CLASSICS line. Volume 1 will feature the legendary films ATTACK OF THE 50 FT WOMAN and QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE as well as THE GIANT BEHEMOTH. Volume 2 features THE BIG CUBE, CAGED and TROG. Volume 3 will consist of HOT RODS TO HELL and ZERO HOUR!, both starring Dana Andrews, and SKYJACKED with Charleton Heston. Finally, Volume 4 will feature 3 historical ‘epics’ – LAND OF THE PHARAOHS, THE PRODGAL and THE COLOSSUS OF RHODES. All 4 volumes street on June 26 and all titles will also be available seperately.WB also has a 2-disc SUPERFRIENDS: THE LEGENDARY SUPER POWERS SHOW set bowing on August 7, a TCM Spotlight ESTHER WILLIAMS COLLECTION on July 17, and another SCORCESE COLLECTION streeting on May 15, featuring THE DEPARTED, GOODFELLAS, MEAN STREETS and THE AVIATOR.In WB Hi-Def news, RIO BRAVO and THE COWBOYS appear on HD-DVD and Blu-ray on June 5 for the Duke’s 100th birthday. BATTLE OF THE BULGE and THE ROAD WARRIOR appear on HD and Blu-ray May 15. THE ROAD WARRIOR will come with a new commentary track form director George Miller and his DP Dean Semler, an intro from mouthpiece Leonard Maltin and trailers.Genius Products has HARSH TIMES and the BLACK CHRISTMAS remake hitting HD on June 12. BLACK CHRISTMAS comes loaded with 2 featurettes, 7 deleted scenes, 3 alternate endings and more. Paramount has the recent Eddie Murphy bomb NORBIT on June 5 on DVD, HD and Blu-ray. By way of the ‘suggestive sell’ also look for a TRADING PLACES reissue and COMING TO AMERICA: SPECIAL COLLECTOR’S EDITION to debut the same day on the same platforms. Paramount has also announced the long-awaited DVD release of 1975’s MAHOGANYfor May 1 in a decidedly extras-free version with only a photo gallery and the feature included.Sony has a good news/bad news announcement on their upcoming COLLECTOR’S EDITION line-up. Bad news? LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI have been set as “indefinitely delayed”. Good news? May 8th will still see the release of THE CAINE MUTINY and THE GUNS OF NAVARONE.BVHE (aka Disney) will release the first two PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films on Blu-ray on May 22, just in time to lead into the May 25 theatrical release of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLDS END.Image Entertainment has snagged rights to 4 great films produced by the prolific British producer Jeremy Thomas. Image will release single-disc, no frills versions of the film for a low SRP while their sister label, The Criterion Collection, will release full-fledge special editions. So look for THE HIT, INSIGNIFICANCE, David Bowie in MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE and Bertolucci’s amazing THE LAST EMPEROR to appear in the Criterion collection this year. Also from Criterion, look for the Malcolm McDowell cult fave IF… on June 19, Claude Berri’s THE TWO OF US on June 12 and the film that inspired Terry Gilliam’s 12 MONKEYS, the french sci-fi short LA JETÉE in a double bill with SANS SOLEIL, both directed by Chris Marker – June 26.The good follks over at Fox have a whole slew of upcoming releases including a JOAN COLLINS: SUPERSTAR COLLECTION on July 10. Also look for classic TV with LAND OF THE GIANTS: THE COMPLETE SERIES on July 24 and VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA: SEASON 3, VOLUME 1 on June 19. The feature film that launched that series, 1961’s VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA will be getting a new updated release on June 5, along with a new Special Edition of FANTASTIC VOYAGE. Also look for the new 40disc DIE HARD COLLECTION on June 19 as a lead-in to LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD in theatres the 27th of June. This new collection will feature single-disc versions of the first three DIE HARD films alongside a bonus disc with an hour of new stuff, including new featurettes and trailers for the new film.Koch International has the awesome CECIL B. DEMILLE CLASSICS COLLECTION available on June 12. Featuring 16(!!!) of the master’s films from 1914 to 1926. The quality ay be slightly questionable by today’s HD standards, but for archivists and silent film fans it may well be worth the $20 SRP.In other Silent Cinema news, Looser Than Loose Studios has SENNET: VOLUME 2 featuring 5 films from the legendary Mack Sennett featuring stars like Charley Chase, Fatty Arbuckle, Ruth Hiatt and Alice Howell. SELECTED RKO SHORTS has 6 early RKO talkies including 1935’s A QUIET FOURTH starring Betty Grable. Both are available now.And, finally, Flicker Alley will release 3 Rudy Valentino classics – STOLEN MOMENTS, THE YOUNG RAJA and MORAN OF THE LADY LETTY sometime this summer.

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