Dragon Ball Z: Season 3 (Frieza Saga)
Manufacturer: Funimation Brand: FUNIMATION PRODUCTIONS, LTD Model: 4938504
The Definitive Collection continues! The battle to decide the fate of the universe begins! On the distant Planet Namek, the seven magic Dragon Balls have been brought together and the dragon Porunga summoned. Now, Goku and the Z-fighters are all that stand between the evil Frieza and his wish for immortality! Having survived their encounters with Friezaâ€™s dreaded minions, Goku and his friends are now left to contend with the ruthless tyrant himself. Despite their recent victories, however, the Z-fighters are ill prepared to face the terrifying reality of Friezaâ€™s power. To defeat this seemingly invincible foe and restore peace to the universe, there is but one hopeâ€”a Super Saiyan must emerge! This 6 disc set contains the complete Freiza saga. Stills from Dragon Ball Z: Season Three (Click for larger image) The third season of the popular shonen (boy's) show Dragon Ball Z continues the adventures of Goku and Gohan on Namek, Piccolo's home planet. Goku, who has been in a regeneration tank since the end of season 2, recovers just in time to challenge the sniggering Frieza, one of the most grating villains in anime history. Having defeated Gohan, Krillin, Vegeta, and Piccolo, Frieza takes on Goku in a protracted duel. When he begins to doubt his ability to overcome Goku, Frieza destroys the core of Namek, ensuring it will explode in a matter of minutes. Enraged by the death of Krillin and so many others, Goku transforms into the one thing Frieza fears: a Super Saiyan, a legendary warrior who appears once every 1,000 years. As the seconds tick away, the two most powerful individuals in the universe duke it out. While they're beating the soba out of each other, King Kai hatches a plan to use the Dragon Balls of Earth and Namek to ensure a happy ending. As the battle between Goku and Frieza intensifies, the kicks and punches fly, producing titanic explosions. But the duel goes on for more than 20 episodes: With only a limited budget and crude special-effects techniques at their disposal, the filmmakers have to recycle footage endlessly. Dragon Ball Z: Season 3 is more entertaining when the viewer allows a few days to elapse between episodes, rather than indulging in a Super Saiyan marathon. (Rated TV PG. suitable for ages 8 and older: violence, brief nudity, tobacco use, ethnic stereotypes) --Charles Solomon
Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Complete Book Two Collection
Manufacturer: Nickelodeon Brand: Paramount Model: 4924394
The kids return to the Fire Nation and prepare for their final confrontation with Firelord Ozai, but they discover that the Firelord has plans of his own: he has ordained himself Phoenix Lord and appointed Princess Azula as the next Firelord. In the spectacular 4-part finale of Avatar Book 3: Fire, Aang fulfills his destiny as Avatar and confronts the Firelord in the greatest battle of the series. Book 2: Earth, Vol. 1 Avatar the Last Airbender: Book 2 Earth, Volume 1 finds Aang, the Avatar and potential reconciler of a world divided into air, earth, water, and fire kingdoms, now a master Waterbender. That means he and companions Katara and Sokka can now leave the Northern Water Tribe and concentrate on mastering earth. New adventures and dangers await the heroic trio in the five episodes included on this DVD, which finds Aang experiencing nightmares about the power of the Avatar State. He also meets an earth kingdom general with plans for attacking the warrior tribes of the fire nation, gets trapped with possible love interest Katara in the Cave of Two Lovers, and gets pulled into a supernatural swamp by a tornado. As always, Avatar is above average as an engaging anime tale, with a wonderfully original storyline and striking artistry. --Tom Keogh Book 2: Earth, Vol. 2 The five chapters in Avatar the Last Airbender: Book 2 Earth, Volume 2 continue the story of young avatar Aang's adventures deep within the Earth Kingdom. As usual, each episode is a seamless blend of grave drama and comic relief, but the stakes seem higher than ever with the addition of a new member to Aang's team. Joining Katara and Sokka is Toph, a blind but powerful earthbending girl trying to obscure her aristocratic origins by defeating large, scary men in the ring. Aang recognizes Toph from his vision of an earthbending teacher, whom he needs to help him master control over the earth element. Toph also adds a kind of sardonic, tart tone to Aang's journey, ultimately leaving her world to join the seriesâ€™ trio of young heroes. "The Blind Bandit" finds Aang, Katara, and Sokka working hard at convincing Toph to help their mission. "Zuko Alone" carries on the tale of the firebending prince who now travels alone and anonymously, but comes close to befriending a boy in an Earth Kingdom town. (The episode is full of interesting flashbacks from Zukoâ€™s youth.) "The Chase" also concerns Zukoâ€™s past, but is primarily about Aang, Katara, and Sokka adjusting to Tophâ€™s somewhat self-centered presence on the team at the same time Princess Azula is relentlessly hunting them all down in a kind of speeding tank. "Bitter Work" finds Toph having difficulties training Aang, while "The Library" is an exotic episode about a professor who leads the crew to a library containing information useful against the Fire Nation. When they get there, they find the place guarded by the owl-like Wan Shi Tong, who begins sinking the library in defense against the perceived invad...
Manufacturer: Disney-Pixar Brand: Buena Vista Home Video Model: 3349654
From the creators of CARS and THE INCREDIBLES comes a break-through comedy with something for everyone. With delightful new characters, experience Paris from an all-new perspective. It's "terrific movie making" raves Leonard Maltin of ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT. In one of Paris' finest restaurants, Remy, a determined young rat, dreams of becoming a renowned French chef. Torn between his family's wishes and his true calling, Remy and his pal Linguini set in motion a hilarious chain of events that turns the City of Lights upside down. RATATOUILLE is a treat you'll want to enjoy again and again. One key point: if you can get over the natural gag reflex of seeing hundreds of rodents swarming over a restaurant kitchen, you will be free to enjoy the glory of Ratatouille, a delectable Pixar hit. Our hero is Remy, a French rat (voiced by Patton Oswalt) with a cultivated palate, who rises from his humble beginnings to become head chef at a Paris restaurant. How this happens is the stuff of Pixar magic, that ineffable blend of headlong comedy, seamless technology, and wonder (in the latter department, this movie's views of nighttime Paris are on a par with French cinema at its most lyrical). Director Brad Bird (The Incredibles) doesn't quite keep all his spinning plates in the air, but the gags are great and the animation amazingly expressive--Remy's shrugs and nods are nimbler than many flesh-and-blood actors can manage. Refreshingly, the movie's characters aren't celebrity-reliant, with the most recognizable voice coming from Peter O'Toole's snide food critic. (This fellow provides the film's sole sour note--an oddly pointed slap at critics, those craven souls who have done nothing but rave about Pixar's movies over the years.) Brad Bird's style is more quick-hit and less resonant than the approach of Pixar honcho John Lasseter, but it's hard to complain about a movie that cooks up such bountiful pleasure. --Robert HortonBeyond Ratatouille on DVD Ratatouille on Blu-ray Ratatouille Toys & More Other Classic Pixar Hits Stills from Ratatouille (Click for larger image)
Dragon Ball Z: Season 4 (Garlic Jr., Trunks, and Android Sagas)
Manufacturer: Funimation Brand: Funimation Model: 3708088
The Definitive Collection Continues!! Season Four contains the complete Garlic Jr., Trunks and Android sagas on 6 discs. Having returned victorious from their battle with Frieza, the Z-fighters can at last breathe a collective sigh of reliefâ€¦ But they wonâ€™t have long to rest. A new host of villains has appeared, ready to wreak havoc on the Earthâ€”and Goku, the Z-Fightersâ€™ greatest hero is still missing! In the face of these new dangers, a mysterious youth with Super Saiyan powers has come bearing a bleak prediction for the future: in just three yearsâ€™ time, an evil greater than any the Z-Fighters have ever faced will emerge to cast a shadow of destruction and despair over the Earth. And if the young Saiyanâ€™s prediction is correct, the Z-Fighters will have to train like they have never trained before in order to have any hope against these seemingly unstoppable foesâ€”the Androids! Goku is still missing in action after the destruction of the planet Namek, as the fourth season of Dragon Ball Z opens. With Goku unavailable, Gohan and the other Z-fighters must defeat Garlic Jr., who has reemerged from the Dead Zone with his accomplices, the Spice Boys. Gohan saves the Earth by ramping up his powers and destroying the planet Makyo, the source of Garlic's strength. Before the dust can settle a new menace arrives: A largely robotic version of Frieza and his more powerful father, King Cold. These villains are easily dispatched by a new Super Saiyan: Trunks, the illegitimate son of Vegeta and Bulma. Trunks has come from the future to save Goku from what would have been a fatal heart virus. Goku must live to prevent the Artificial Humans created by Dr. Gero from ravaging the Earth. (Gero was one of the leaders of the Red Ribbon Army, which Goku destroyed in Dragon Ball.) But Trunks' mission may have altered the future in ways he didn't intend: Instead of two Androids, there are three, all programmed to kill Goku. The season ends on a cliffhanger, with the fate of the Z-Fighters--and the Earth--hanging in the balance. Trunks' visit creates a number of paradoxes, including the problem of his existing as an adult and an infant in the same space-time. However, these questions are unlikely to trouble Dragon Ball fans, who will be too busy watching Vegeta training at 450 gravities, Gohan mastering his latent powers, Goku's new combat move, and any number of battles, not to mention the comic relief of Krillin's courtship of Maron and Master Roshi's continued lechery. Some of these epsiodes were recut into the feature The History of Trunks. (Rated TV PG. suitable for ages 8 and older: violence, alcohol and tobacco use, ethnic stereotypes) --Charles Solomon
Daria: The Complete Animated Series
Manufacturer: MTV / Paramount Brand: Paramount Model: 7046410
The people of Lawndale just don't get Daria Morgendorffer. She's cool with that. See, Daria was born alienated, and now she's just trying to make it through high school with as little human contact as possible. Popularity, friends, activities... whatever. Daria lacks enthusiasm, but she makes up for it with sarcasm. Includes all five seasons plus both movies! Turns out that Clarissa did not explain it all, like what a sick sad world it is, how much student life sucks, and how the notion that it is great to be young is a storybook fantasy. Daria, which aired on MTV between 1997 and 2002, does not paint a rosy picture, but this so-called outcast for whom suburban life "is one smart-ass joke" gave sardonic voice to the disaffected. "I'm not miserable," Daria states, "I'm just not like them." She's not kidding. Though she's referring to the "interesting idiots" she suffers none too gladly at Lawndale High School, she could well be talking about the women normally paraded on MTV, the hedonistic spring break partiers, serial daters, spoiled sweet sixteeners, and tabloid tarts like Tila Tequila. And then there's Daria, an animated (just barely) character who after five seasons and two movies (both included in this eight-disc set) managed to survive high school with her sense of self unbowed and uncompromised. Daria came a long way, baby. Before she got her own series, she was a recurring character on Beavis and Butt-head, a brainy foil for the two heavy metal imbeciles, whose pet name for her was "Diarrhea." Daria relocated her to Lawndale and introduced her self-absorbed yuppie parents and her airhead, popularity-obsessed younger sister. It also gave her a best friend and kindred misanthropic spirit, Jane Lane. Their deadpan and sarcastic banter has lost none of its incisive edge. The broadly drawn high school stereotypes--vapid cheerleaders, fashion-plate mean girls, corruptible administrators, empty-headed jocks--seem unworthy of their contempt. But the series really hit satiric pay dirt when it addressed "profound and fundamental moral issues of life," such as one episode in which Jane joins the track team out of spite, but becomes a track star, alienating Daria, who is not above enjoying some of the perks of Jane's newfound popularity. When all reverts back to, for want of a better word, normal, Daria remarks, "The system continues, you haven't redeemed yourself, and we're ostracized anywayâ€¦ Hey, they really are preparing us for the real world." Daria comes to DVD with 99 percent of the original music changed due to rights issues, regrettable, but that shouldn't be a deal breaker, especially for those making Daria's acquaintance. The special features almost compensate. They include an animatic version of the pilot episode "Sealed with a Kick," a series retrospective featuring series creator Glenn Eichler and key members of the voice cast, Daria and Jane episode intros, and a Top Ten video countdown hosted by the duo (videos not included). --D...
Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Complete Book Three Collection
Manufacturer: Nickelodeon Brand: Paramount
The kids return to the Fire Nation and prepare for their final confrontation with Firelord Ozai, but they discover that the Firelord has plans of his own: he has ordained himself Phoenix Lord and appointed Princess Azula as the next Firelord. In the spectacular 4-part finale of Avatar Book 3: Fire, Aang fulfills his destiny as Avatar and confronts the Firelord in the greatest battle of the series. Book 3: Fire, Vol. 1 Avatar the Last Airbender: Book 3, Volume 1 is a slightly unusual suite of episodes in the Avatar canon, as the majority of programs are even more comical than usual. Not that the five shows included on this disc lack seriousness: the long-running series now finds young Aang (the once and future avatar destined to reunite the worldâ€™s four estranged nations) and his traveling companions behind enemy lines in the Fire Nation, disguised as colonists. In "Awakening," Aang arises--with a surprising headful of dark hair--from several weeks of unconsciousness (due to the injuries he sustained during a battle for Ba Sing Se) aboard a captured Fire Nation warship. Though he finds old friends Sokka, Toph, and Katara nearby, all urging him not to take matters in his own hands, Aang ultimately feels compelled to go head-to-head with the Fire Lord before he is ready. The result forces Aang and the others to remain incognito, setting up subsequent episodes in which the heroes are forced to lay low and find something else to do with their time besides fight adversaries. In "The Headband," Aang enrolls in a Fire Nation school, where his eyes are opened to such ordinary experiences as dealing with a campus bully and getting a hard time from strict teachers. In "The Painted Lady," Aang, Sokka, Katara, and Toph visit an impoverished fishing village and have to repress their typical instinct to help lest they be recognized as outsiders. (An alternative is found.) "Sokkaâ€™s Master," in some ways the most enjoyable episode here, finds Sokka feeling useless because he doesnâ€™t possess powers similar to his mates. His solution: talk a master swordsman into taking him on as an apprentice. Finally, the most unexpected story in this collection is "The Beach," in which Prince Zuko, Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee--all of whom are back in the Fire Nation, too--take an awkward holiday but end up learning a lot about one another. Meanwhile, Zuko--following his extended banishment from the Fire Nation--discovers that his father welcoming again, but only because his manipulative sister, Princess Azula, has falsely told everyone that Zuko killed Aang. Fearing that his father will disown him again, Zuko chooses not to tell the truth and works on having Aang quietly assassinated. Where Zuko had been more of a complete human being during his exile, heâ€™s back to being a monster again, going so far as to keep his dutiful uncle, Iroh, in a dark, dank prison. --Tom Keogh Book 3: Fire, Vol. 2 Avatar the Last Airbender: Book 3--Fire, Volume 2 finds the ser...
Dragon Ball Z: Season 6 (Cell Games Saga)
Manufacturer: Funimation Brand: Funimation Model: 4938507
Having at last achieved his Perfect Form, the evil Cellâ€™s powers have soared to terrible new heights, overshadowing even the greatest of the Z-Fighters. Eager to demonstrate these newfound abilities and prove his superiority, Cell proposes a tournament. He issues an ultimatum to the people of Earthâ€”produce a worthy opponent or die! The day of reckoning upon them, Goku and the Z-Fighters line up to participate in Cellâ€™s twisted game, the worldâ€™s best hope of defeating the monster. But they are not the only ones brave enough to accept the challengeâ€”the reigning World Martial Arts Champion, Mr. Satan, has also stepped into the ring! Now, with the fate of the human race hanging in the balance, one of these valiant fighters must come forward to defeat the seemingly invincible Perfect Cellâ€”but who will it be? Dragon Ball Season Six contains the entire Cell Games Saga - episodes 166-194. Stills from Dragon Ball Z: Season Six (Click for larger image) At the end of season five of Dragon Ball Z, artificial android Cell achieved his perfect form and challenged the Z Fighters to a martial arts tournament to determine the fate of the Earth. Now the tournament begins, but it proves to be a very uneven adventure. The contest begins slowly: The first 11 episodes are just set-up and filler, with little action. The battles between Cell and the Z Fighters offer plenty of excitement, as the brawlers blast each other through rocky cliffs and fling bursts of energy into space. Goku correctly predicts that Gohan will crush Cell. But the story falls into repetitions; Cell has to be killed three times before he'll stay dead. When Cell announces the tournament on TV, Mr. Satan, a WWF-type, appears as Earth's champion. Although he's a coward and a phony, the TV crew fawns over him--a lame gag that goes on far too long. The filmmakers also change the rules in mid-story. Cell had to absorb Androids Nos. 17 and 18 to achieve his perfect form. After a series of body blows from Gohan, he vomits up No. 18 (intact); later, he regenerates himself into an even more perfect form without the Androids. Goku is killed and decides to remain in the Next World with King Kai, rather than risk attracting more evil creatures to Earth. But when Trunks returns to the future, he destroys Cell before he can travel to the past and achieve his perfect formâ€¦ which means the Cell that killed Goku never existed. Season six could have easily fit on four discs--the last two discs contain just three episodes apiece, and the only extras are textless songs and some trailers.(Rated TV PG. suitable for ages 8 and older: violence, tobacco use, ethnic stereotypes) --Charles Solomon (166. What Is the Tournament? 167. The Doomsday Broadcast, 168. Meet Me in the Ring, 169. No Worries Here, 170. A Girl Named Lime, 171. Memories of Gohan, 172. A New Guardian, 173. Dende's Dragon, 174. The Puzzle of General Tao, 175. The ...
Dragon Ball Z: Season 8 (Babidi & Majin Buu Sagas)
Manufacturer: Funimation Brand: Funimation Model: 4938509
The forces of good and evil have converged upon the planet Earth, and the fate of the universe hangs in the balance! The evil wizard Babidi has traveled across the galaxy on a quest for revenge, hoping to fulfill his fatherâ€™s thwarted dreams of universal domination. Meanwhile, the Supreme Kai has come to enlist the aid of the Z-Fighters in an effort to prevent Babidi from completing his plans and awakening a monster of unimaginable terrorâ€”Majin Buu! As Goku and the Z-Fighters descend into Babidiâ€™s lair, they are confronted by an army of powerful minions, led by the Demon King Dabura himself! Can our heroes resist the wizardâ€™s dark magic and battle their way through this host of villains before time runs out? With each passing second, more energy is gathered for the sleeping Majin Buu. And should this creature of pure evil be awakened, all lifeâ€”everywhereâ€”will be extinguished! Season Eight contains the complete Babidi and Majin Buu sagas. Stills from Dragon Ball Z: Season Eight (Click for larger image) The eighth and penultimate season of Dragon Ball Z pits the Z Fighters, the Supreme Kai, and his attendant Kibito against the evil wizard Babidi, who hopes to release the monster Buu, which his father Bibidi created. (The names are apparently a back-handed salute to Walt Disney's Cinderella.) Goku, who's technically dead but still visting from the Other World, joins Vegeta and Gohan in the initial fights against Babidi's minions. As the battles escalate, Babidi use Vegeta's overweening pride to entrap the Saiyan Prince and turn him against his allies. It's all Goku can do to win Vegeta back, and the energy loosed in their stand-off enables Babidi to free Buu. Instead of one of the over-muscled behemoths the Z Fighters usually tackle, Buu is an obnoxious, infantile creature who looks like a sumo wrestler molded out of pink marshmallows. But he's incredibly powerful and resilient: even the Saiyans can't defeat him. Goku realizes only one warrior can destroy Buu: Goten and Trunks in their Super-Saiyan forms must fuse to form an Ã¼ber-hero. The boys initially balk, as the Dance of Fusion looks and feels silly. But Gohan and Picollo whip them into shape and the formidable Gotenks appears. Season 8 offers much more action and excitement than the World Tournament story that takes up most of Season 7. But unlike the earlier DBZ adventures, the Babidi & Majin Buu Sagas end on a cliffhanger, with the fate of the Earth and its inhabitants hanging in the balance. (Rated TV PG. suitable for ages 8 and older: violence, violence against women, tobacco and alcohol use, ethnic stereotypes) --Charles Solomon (220. The Wizard's Curse, 221. King of the Demons, 222. Vegeta Attacks, 223. Next Up, Goku, 224. Battle Supreme, 225. Eighteen Unmasks, 226. Pay to Win, 227. Heart of a Villan, 228. The Dark Prince Returns, 229. Vegeta's Pride, 230. The Long Awaited Fight, 231. Magic Ball of Buu, 232. Bu...
Toy Story 3
Manufacturer: Disney*Pixar Brand: Buena Vista Home Video
What made the original Toy Story so great, besides its significant achievement as the first-ever feature-length computer animated film, was its ability to instantly transport viewers into a magical world where it seemed completely plausible that toys were living, thinking beings who sprang to life the minute they were alone and wanted nothing more than to be loved and played with by their children. Toy Story 3 absolutely succeeds in the very same thing--adults and children alike, whether they've seen the original film or not, find themselves immediately immersed in a world in which Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head (Don Rickles and Estelle Harris), Ham (John Ratzenberger), Rex (Wallace Shawn), the aliens, and the rest of Andy's toys remain completely devoted to Andy (John Morris) even as he's getting ready to pack up and leave for college. Woody scoffs at the other toys' worries that they'll end up in the garbage, assuring them that they've earned a spot of honor in the attic, but when the toys are mistakenly donated to Sunnyside Daycare, Woody is the only toy whose devotion to Andy outweighs the promise of getting played with each and every day. Woody sets off toward home alone while the other toys settle in for some daycare fun, but things don't turn out quite as expected at the daycare thanks to the scheming, strawberry-scented old-timer bear Lots-o'-Huggin' (Ned Beatty). Eventually, Woody rejoins his friends and they all attempt a daring escape from the daycare, which could destroy them all. The pacing of the film is impeccable at this point, although the sense of peril may prove almost too intense for a few young viewers. Pixar's 3-D computer animation is top-notch as always and the voice talent in this film is tremendous, but in the end, it's Pixar's uncanny ability to combine drama, action, and humor in a way that irresistibly draws viewers into the world of the film that makes Toy Story 3 such great family entertainment. (Ages 7 and older) --Tami Horiuchi
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