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Summer Hit ‘Finding Nemo' Swims to Video Nov. 4

28 Jul, 2003 By: Stephanie Prange

Finding Nemo, the biggest box office hit of the year, which just this week broke the record as the highest-grossing animated film of all time, will swim to video Nov. 4 from Buena Vista Home Entertainment.

The Disney-Pixar title will be released in a $29.99 two-disc DVD set designed to please the film's broad audience of both kids and adults. The cassette is $24.99.

“Our expectations are that this will clearly be the No. 1 video and DVD of the year,” said Gordon Ho, SVP of brand marketing for Buena Vista Home Entertainment. “I think it could become the biggest DVD of all time. Whether or not it can get past The Lion King [to become the biggest-selling video ever], I don't know.”

The all-time top DVD seller is Spider-Man, at 12.7 million units, according to Video Store Magazine market research. The Lion King, which just lost its animated box office title to Nemo, is the top-selling video of all time, at more than 25 million units.

Buena Vista has separated the DVD release of The Lion King Special Edition (due Oct. 7) from Nemo by a “whole month” and will put a Nemo trailer on the King DVD to ensure the titles promote rather than cannibalize each other's sales, Ho said.

The studio designed the Finding Nemo DVD to appeal to both kids and adults because it has wide demographic appeal, Ho said.

Aimed at DVD enthusiasts, disc one will include a widescreen version of the feature, filmmakers' visual commentary, deleted scenes, recording sessions, a making-of documentary, a review of the art in the film and virtual aquariums. Targeted at kids, disc two will include a fullscreen version of the film (with some recomposed images); the educational “Exploring the Reef With Jean-Michel Cousteau,” combining live action with animated characters from the film; an encyclopedia of fish; “interviews” with the animated characters; the Pixar short “Knick Knack”; a tour of the animation studio; the virtual aquariums; and the game “Fisharades.”

Buena Vista's last Pixar disc, Monsters, Inc., was similar in its design to please both kids and adults, though the fullscreen version of the film was not placed on a separate disc with the kid-targeted extras, Ho said.

He said games, such as “Fisharades,” are a “huge factor” with children -- “often the first thing kids ask for is the games” -- and Disney is branding its DVDs to include the type of extras that appeal to kids.

While kids' stuff has often not been a hit with DVD enthusiasts, the easier that studios can make it for DVD fans to find the stuff they like, the better, and dividing the content “makes sense,” said Peter Bracke, editor of DVD-fan Web site DVD File.

Nemo promotional partners include Dannon, Mrs. Fields, Orville Redenbacher, Dole and Kellogg. There also will be a sweepstakes contest for a trip to the Bahamas on the Disney Cruise Line.

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