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Tuesday - September 4, 2001
- Animated Lord of the Rings Coming to DVD
- Animation/FX Cheers and Sneers for August 2001
- New Clifford The Big Red Dog Season
- News Link of the Day - Call it Poetry in Stop-Motion

The Lord of the Rings DVDAnimated Lord of the Rings Coming to DVD
(by Warner Bros. Home Video is releasing the animated The Lord of the Rings along with J.R.R. Tolkien classics The Hobbit and The Return of the King to DVD on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The suggested retail price for each is $19.98.

The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King and The Hobbit – set in a mystical age of magic, monsters and unlikely heroes – will enjoy great awareness and visibility, as the titles will be at height of popularity in the coming months as the live action Lord of the Rings movie is set to hit theaters this December.

“Warner Home Video is extremely excited to offer families these J.R.R. Tolkien classics, available on both VHS and DVD,” says Ewa Martinoff, WHV Vice President, Family Entertainment Marketing. “Children and adults alike are awaiting the December, theatrical release of the live-action The Lord of the Rings and will be thrilled to bring the magic home in anticipation of what is sure to be a holiday movie event.”

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Animation/FX Cheers and Sneers for August 2001
(by Here is the list of Digital Media FX's August 2001 Cheers and Sneers for the animation and visual effects industries:

Cheers!Cheers: Universal Studios announced it was beginning work on a new animated film based on the book Where the Wild Things Are. Former animation gurus from Disney, like Eric Goldberg and David Reynolds become major players in the project.

SneersSneers: Showing a continued perceived lack of vision, George Lucas names Star Wars Episode II "Attack of the Clones". The name gains mass negative attention as people compare it to names like "Attack of the Clowns" or "Attack of the 50-Foot Woman".

Cheers!Cheers: Industrial Light and Magic shows that it is still the visual effects king of the industry by being the main supplier of five summer blockbusters, including Planet of the Apes, Pearl Harbor, and Jurassic Park 3.

SneersSneers: DreamWorks announces that it is releasing a Shrek 2-disc DVD on Friday, November 2, 2001 - the exact day that Pixar opens Monsters, Inc. in theaters. The blatant move, especially with new videos and DVDs always being released on Tuesday's, begins to earn DreamWorks a bully reputation that once was reserved for Disney.

Cheers!Cheers: The Japanese anime Spirited Away tears up the box office in Japan, shattering all records and showing the power of Hayao Miyazaki's anime reign.

SneersSneers: Inside magazine reports that Disney has no interest in bringing Spirited Away to U.S. shores after the failure of Princess Mononoke in the U.S. The article fails to challenge the way Disney handled the distribution and marketing of Princess Mononoke.

Cheers!Cheers: It is announced that The Simpson's entire first season will hit DVD on September 25, 2001.

SneersSneers: Nintendo announces that it is delaying the launch of the GameCube by nearly two weeks, giving a major advantage to Microsoft, whose Xbox system will now arrive on store shelves before Nintendo's GameCube.

Cheers!Cheers: To hold fan's interest in The Matrix, which won't have a sequel ready until 2003, Warner Bros. puts together a special DVD for release on November 20 that will include numerous special features, including anime-produced episodes of The Matrix.

SneersSneers: Warner Bros. continues to delay release of "The Iron Giant Special Edition" which should have been out months ago.

Cheers!Cheers: More schools, like The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, are now offering degrees in Digital Media.

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Clifford The Big Red DogNew Clifford The Big Red Dog Season
(by A new season for the PBS award-winning animated series, Clifford The Big Red Dog, will begin on October 3, 2001. The series has won acclaim for its ability to teach kids values while entertaining at the same time. Here is an outline at the 20 new episodes that start airing this Fall:

Doggie Garden - Help others; Work together
It's "Keep Birdwell Beautiful" month and the kids are doing their part by planting a flower garden. Seeing this, the dogs decide to create a doggie flower garden of their own. But when Cleo hears that "almost anything grows" in Birdwell Island soil, she decides she'd much rather grow a garden full of dog toys!

Captain's Birdwell's Treasure - Be truthful
Clifford and his dog friends find the long-lost trunk of Captain Birdwell, but through a misunderstanding, Jetta is given credit for the discovery. It doesn't take long for her to realize, however, that awards don't give much pleasure when they're not deserved.

Welcome to the Doghouse - Help others; Be a good friend
In this flashback episode we see some of the challenges the Howards faced when they arrived on Birdwell Island with a very big, red dog! Where will Clifford live? How will they feed him? The island folks work together to help them figure it out, forging strong new friendships in the process.

Promises Promises - Be a good friend
Jetta and Emily Elizabeth make plans to spend Saturday at the beach together, but Jetta breaks the play date when a "better offer" from an older girl comes along. Jetta learns that being a good friend means keeping a promise.

Clifford's Hiccups - Help others; Be a good friend
Clifford gets a bad case of the hiccups - a real problem with a dog the size of Clifford! His dog pals come up with various remedies for Clifford. Clifford expresses to his friends how good it feels to know they care so much about him.

It's My Party - Have respect; Be a good friend
When Jetta throws a "movie-watching" party, she expects everyone to do things her way - by watching home-movies of herself. The other kids are bored and go outside and make their own movie with Vaz's movie camera. Jetta stubbornly refuses to join them and soon learns it's more fun to play when everyone has a voice in deciding what to do together.

Clifford Cleans His Doghouse - Have respect; Be a good friend
Clifford's good friends come over to help him clean out his doghouse, determined to get rid of all his old "junk." But each item holds a special memory for Clifford. Mac thinks this is nonsense, until he is reminded of a memory in which he was included, resolving that one dog's "junk" can be another dog's treasure.

And Baby Makes 4 - Share; Help others
Jetta gets a new baby brother and at first is extremely proud to be a big sister. But when she realizes she will now have to share the spotlight with the baby, she goes all out to get back her position as the "center of attention." She eventually learns it's more rewarding to be a "big sister" than the "star of the show."

Jetta's Tall Tale - Be truthful
Jetta feels a twinge of jealousy when the other children make a fuss over Emily Elizabeth's wonderful big pet Clifford, so boasts of her own wonderful big pet - a huge parrot named Lulu - which grows into a bigger and bigger lie. Her conscience finally makes her do the right thing and she apologizes for having created the lie in the first place.

The Big Fetch - Help others
Vaz, a new paperboy, struggles with getting the papers onto people's doorsteps. Cleo discovers that she can earn treats by helping out! She recruits Clifford and T-bone and together they enjoy helping Vaz - and getting treats. Before long Cleo grows more concerned with getting treats. Clifford and T-bone help her rediscover that helping for its own sake is its own reward.

Potluck Party Pooper - Be a good friend; Be kind
The Howards are having a party and everyone they know is attending. Everyone but Mr. Bleakman, the old "party pooper," who insists he'd rather stay home as usual. But Clifford, Emily Elizabeth and friends convince Mr. Bleakman that trying something new can be fun!

The Best Gift - Believe in yourself
Emily Elizabeth believes she has the perfect gift for her mother's birthday. She plans to spend the entire afternoon with her mother and read her a poem written just for her mom. Jetta has other ideas, but Emily Elizabeth soon realizes that a gifts created from the heart really is the best gift.

Two's Company - Be a good friend
All of the dogs are so excited that their old friend K.C. is back on the island for a couple of days. Cleo focuses all of her attention on him, ignoring T-bone and Clifford. She discovers being a good friend means being kind and considerate to all your friends and not take any of them for granted.

Fairweather Friends - Be a good friend; Help others
Mac is particularly disappointed when rainy weather threatens to ruin the annual Back-to-School Barbecue. The other dogs vow to find a way to stop the rain from falling. Mac's disappointment is replaced with delight that his friends would go to such lengths to try and help him.

Topsy Turvy Day - Be kind; Be a good friend
Jetta and Emily trade dogs for the Island's annual Topsy Turvy Day, a day when everything gets turned around. Jetta learns that being kind and thoughtful gets you a lot farther than being bossy.

Clifford's Charm School - Help others; Believe in yourself
Mrs. Bleakman is having a very special party for her book club members and Cleo and Mac convince Clifford that his regular good manners won't be good enough for the event. After trying to learn some "fancy manners," Clifford decides to just be himself - and ends up saving the party by providing shade for Mrs. Bleakman's guests.

Forgive And Forget - Be a good friend
When Clifford forgets a play date, Cleo gets upset and won't even accept Clifford's apologies. But T-bone points out to Cleo that maybe she is the one who isn't being a good friend. After all, a good friend would never hold a grudge. Cleo learns that good friends forgive (and forget!).

Mimi's Back In Town - Be a good friend; Have respect
T-bone really likes Mimi, a little brown poodle that visits the island occasionally, and is excited to hear she's coming back! But when Cleo starts teasing him about it, T-bone gets embarrassed. Cleo learns that teasing is not cool when it makes someone feel uncomfortable.

Blanket Blues - Have respect; Be a good friend
Cleo spies Clifford's favorite blanket and proclaims it the perfect cape for Super T-bone. Clifford reluctantly allows his friends to use the blanket. But the game turns rambunctious, the blanket gets dirty - and Clifford gets upset. Cleo and T-bone realize that to be a good friend you should respect the wishes and property of others.

Dino Clifford - Believe in yourself; work together
Bones and fossils on Birdwell Island! Clifford and his dog friends have great luck digging up fossils that will complete a dinosaur skeleton Teresa is assembling ? everybody but T-bone. But by believing in himself, T-bone ultimately comes up with one of the most important bones needed.

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News Link of the Day - Call it Poetry in Stop-Motion

According to the Chicago Tribune:

"At last, after several out-of-print months, director Nick Park's "Wallace & Gromit" trilogy returns to DVD in a special edition. While the sharp wit of the scripts drive this trio of short films about a cheese-loving man and his amazing dog, it's the intricate stop-motion animation work that provides much of the duo's charm..."

Click here for the full story.

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