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NEWS ARCHIVE

March 2001

'Doctor Who' DVDs in North America in Sept.
Posted Friday, March 30, 2001, 6:13AM CST by Franklin Harris
From Outpost Gallifrey: Further to our exclusive announcement of the onset of Doctor Who DVD in North America last week, we have now received official word from BBC Worldwide Americas that, in conjunction with Warner Home Video, they are finally bringing Doctor Who onto DVD in North America on September 11, with the simultaneous triple-release of "The Five Doctors", "The Robots of Death" and "Spearhead from Space" (contrary to earlier reports that they were being released months apart). The two releases will match their UK DVD counterparts in features very closely; commentaries, photo galleries, trailers, model footage and the UNIT Recruitment Film on "Spearhead" will definitely be included. All three DVDs are expected to retail for US $24.99. (Thanks to BBC Worldwide Americas for the final confirmation, as well as Brian Burkart, Jennifer Kelley, Michael Sliger, Kenneth Parker, Patrick Neighly and others)

William Hanna dies at age 90
Posted Thursday, March 22, 2001, 7:06PM CST by Franklin Harris
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Animation legend William Hanna, who with partner Joseph Barbera helped turn television into their own personal cartoon world, creating such characters as Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, the Flintstones, Scooby Doo and the Jetsons, died on Thursday at age 90, a spokesman for Warner Brothers said.

Hanna, the co-chairman and co-founder of Hanna Barbera Studios, died at his home in North Hollywood, Warner Brothers spokesman Scott Rowe said.

The cause of death was not immediately released.

Sci-Fi Channel to air new 'Babylon 5' movie
Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2001, 9:01PM CST by Franklin Harris
From The Sci-Fi Wire:

Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski is working on a two-hour telefilm called Babylon 5: The Legend of the Rangers that will premiere on SCI FI later this year. The film will take up the story of the legendary Ranger fleet as it attempts to restore order to hundreds of civilizations devastated by the Shadow War.

This new chapter of the Babylon 5 story finds the mysterious Ranger force--a combination of humans and alien Minbari trained in space warfare as well as the unique alien philosophy of the Rangers and just about every conceivable form of martial arts--faced with deadly challenges in its attempt to create peace out of the war's destruction.

Babylon 5 cast members may appear in the movie, which will also serve as the pilot for a potential SCI FI Channel series. Douglas Netter is executive producing the series along with Straczynski.

'Battlefield Earth' named worst of 20th Century
Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2001, 6:34PM CST by Franklin Harris
I'm not even sure "Battlefield Earth" was the worst film of 2000. There was "Dungeons and Dragons," after all. Maybe it was the second worst. Nevertheless, "Battlefield Earth" has earned the dubious distinction of being named not only the worst movie of 2000, but also the worst movie of the entire 20th Century.

"Battlefield Earth" picked up the ultimate Stinker Award, presented by the Hastings Bad Cinema Society, beating out "Wild Wild West," "Batman and Robin," "Howard the Duck" and "Spice World."

Ang Lee wins Directors Guild award
Posted Sunday, March 11, 2001, 7:39PM CST by Franklin Harris
From Inside.com: Ang Lee won the feature film award from Directors Guild of America for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," giving both the director and the picture a powerful boost in the Oscar race.

Only four times in the past has a Directors Guild winner failed to pick up the Best Director Oscar. Most recently, Ron Howard won the DGA prize for directing "Apollo 13" in 1995, but Mel Gibson won the Oscar for "Braveheart." The DGA prize usually predicts the Best Picture award as well.

'Dragonball' coming to CN in May
Posted Friday, March 9, 2001, 10:46PM CST by Franklin Harris
FUNImation has issued a statement confirming that "Dragonball," the precursor to "Dragonball Z," will air on Cartoon Network in May. According to the statement, this version of "Dragonball" will be less edited than the version that aired briefly in syndication in 1995. For more information, read the entire statement at Anime News Network.

CN announced new 'Toonami' series
Posted Thursday, March 8, 2001, 7:53PM CST by Franklin Harris
Here is the press release from Cartoon Network (via Anime News Network):

Cartoon Network will premiere BIG O (TV-Y7/FV) on Monday, April 2 at 5:30 p.m. (ET, PST) as part of the Toonami action-adventure programming block. This marks the first time that the Japanese animated series will appear on American television. BIG O will replace Outlaw Star in the Toonami line-up.

BIG O takes place 40 years after a mysterious occurrence known only as “The Event” has destroyed Paradigm City and erased the memories of its citizens. Although Paradigm City has since recovered, it maintains an austere existence under police rule and its citizens are forever questioning what happened to them 40 years ago.

Roger Smith, also known as The Negotiator, travels through Paradigm City's bleak urban landscape, rubbing elbows with both shady criminals and captains of industry. He solves problems on behalf of his clients, while he struggles with his own mysterious past. In his quest to safeguard Paradigm City, the Negotiator is assisted by Norman, his loyal butler, Dorothy, an android companion and BIG O, a towering robot.

'Battle of the Planets' hits home vid in August
Posted Wednesday, March 7, 2001, 9:00PM CST by Franklin Harris
According to Kidscreen, Rhino Video will finally release episodes of "Battle of the Planets," Sandy Frank's Americanized version of the original "Gatchaman" anime, on VHS and DVD in August. This is part of Rhino's continuing effort to bring "retro" cartoons from the '70s and '80s to today's audiences via home video. Rhino has already released "Transformers" and "G.I. Joe" TV episodes and movies on VHS and DVD and is looking to release other cartoons as well, including the cult favorites "Inhumanoids," "Visionaries" and "Robotics."

'Crouching Tiger' comes to DVD in June
Posted Wednesday, March 7, 2001, 7:16AM CST by Franklin Harris
According to DVD File, Columbia's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" DVD will arrive on June 5. The Region 1 disc looks pretty much like the Region 4 disc that is already available overseas. It features a widescreen, anamorphic transfer; a commentary track with director Ang Lee and screenwriter James Schamus; a Michelle Yeoh featurette; the Coco Lee music video; and other extras. Also, in other CTHD news, Image Comics will produce a comic-book adaptation for the film. There are no details on that project yet.

JLA/Avengers is finally a go
Posted Monday, March 5, 2001, 3:25PM CST by Franklin Harris
According to Newsarama, the JLA/Avengers crossover event George Perez has been fighting to get for 20 years is finally a go. Kurt Busiek will be writing the four-part, prestige-format (48 pages) series with Perez handling the art chores. But don't expect to see the series before 2002.



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