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<I>Aladdin</I> Gets Platinum DVD Treatment

6 Feb, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

Fans of Disney's Aladdin and DVD will get their wish Oct. 5 when Buena Vista Home Entertainment releases the restored and remastered title to DVD for the first time in a two-disc platinum edition and a special collector's gift set.

“We've had such great success with our platinum editions. This was just a good opportunity for a whole new generation of families to experience Aladdin,” said Gordon Ho, Buena Vista SVP of marketing.

The title, previously released on VHS and laserdisc, has been on moratorium for more than 10 years. The new release also will be available on VHS ($24.99), but the DVD ($29.99) and DVD gift set ($49.99) will be packed with extra goodies. The title prebooks Aug. 10.

Many of the bonus materials that were included on the laserdisc edition will also be on the DVD set, but the new sets go far beyond those materials.

“The laserdisc of Aladdin didn't really have as much material in terms of how Aladdin was made,” Ho said. “We had to create this all for the Aladdin DVD. This will be new territory for [fans].”

Among the bonus features will be the deleted song “Proud Of Your Boy” by Oscar-winning songwriters Howard Ashman and Alan Menken; a magic carpet ride with all-new animation and 5.1 Enhanced Home Theater Mix sound; deleted scenes; never-before-seen Aladdin movie secrets; a 3-D tour of the genie's lamp; games that extend the movie experience; genie musical postcards; sing-along songs; and all-new music videos.

“We actually have Robin Leach, who is going to host a tour into the genie's lamp. It really plays off the whole home craze,” Ho said.

In some instances, characters were redrawn to add more facial detail to accommodate the sharper DVD image quality. Background colors in many scenes were enhanced for color and for detail -- all under the supervision of Disney Feature Animation and members of the original creative team.

“At the end of the film, the genie is freed from his bonds as a genie, and he travels around the world in a minute,” Ho said. A feature called “Genie's Magical Journey” will be a travelogue of the places he visited in his whirlwind world tour.

The collector's gift set is only the second Disney has offered on an animation title; the first was for The Lion King. Each gift set will also include all-new sketches by the original animators, an actual film frame from the movie and a DVD companion book.

Aladdin will get a marketing program befitting a title that is one of Disney best-selling animated hits ever. Promotions range from a McDonald's national Happy Meal promo to special themed Kellogg's cereal and Kleenex tissue boxes. Mattel will include an Aladdin DVD message with its Princess Jasmine dolls, and there will be Fisher-Price Aladdin toys and Oral B Aladdin toothbrushes as well.

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