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TK's MORNING BUZZ: Today's a Big Day for Big Ugly Things Guaranteed to Make Heaps of Money

2 Nov, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Today's a big day in the entertainment industry, with two major events, bothrevolving around Big Ugly Things guaranteed to make heaps of money.

In theaters, Disney and Pixar's Monsters Inc. opens amid anticipation thatthis will easily be the next Toy Story or Bug's Life.

On video, DreamWorks' Shrek, the biggest movie of the year, is released.

I'll let the Hollywood trades drool over the much-ballyhooed Monsters.

I'll do a little drooling myself for Shrek, not just because it's one of themost entertaining movies I've ever seen, but also because everything about its video (and by that I mean DVD and VHS) release is first-class.

DreamWorks certainly gets a gold (green?) star for issuing a first-class DVD.I've got a copy at home, and the transfer is about as clear and pristine as any I've seen. The extras are enticing and easily accessible, and the gamesare a ton of fun -- easy to play, but with plenty of attention to detail. Forexample, in the "ask the mirror" game, the mirror doesn't stare blankly at you while awaiting a question -- it hems and haws and makes eye movements.

DreamWorks also gets extra kudos for including the extended ending to Shrek on the VHS cassette. In this aspect, the studio is certainly setting atrend -- there's so much cool extra stuff being created for DVD that it's a shame more of it doesn't get included on the VHS, wherever and wheneverpossible.

The hype machine for Shrek is also in full gear, with all sorts of retailpromotions. Blockbuster is issuing Shrek gift cards and has invited ananimator from the movie to paint one of its Los Angeles stores with giant Shrek characters. Kmart is hosting bean-bag tosses and coloring contests and giving away Shrek videos. Even Baskin-Robbins, the ice cream chain, isgetting in on the action, with an eight-week promotion revolving around a special Shrek flavor for ice cream, sundaes and ice cream cakes.

Shrek is streeting on a Friday, so hopefully I'll get some early reports onstreet activity and buzz in time for Monday's column.

It should be a most entertaining weekend, in the most literal sense imaginable.

Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

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