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Basketful of Easter, Family Titles Coming

7 Feb, 2014 By: Chris Tribbey

Bunnies, epic Bible films and … dragons?

This year’s Easter home entertainment slate features a wide array of holiday- and Bible-themed titles, along with a slew of children’s and family titles that just fit the season.

Nickelodeon Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution are coming out of the Easter gate early with a slew of seasonal titles, wrapped in “Essentially Spring” O-sleeves, all streeting Feb. 18 with an SRP of $14.99 each.

Those titles include Peter Rabbit, Peter Rabbit: Spring Into Adventure!, Max & Ruby: Everybunny Loves Spring, Dora the Explorer: Dora’s Easter Adventure, Dora the Explorer: Egg Hunt and Max & Ruby: Easter With Max & Ruby.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is loading up on Bible-themes titles, first with the DVD double feature Charlton Heston Presents The Bible: Genesis and Charlton Heston Presents The Bible: The Passion, out Feb. 25. Warner will follow that up with a Blu-ray Disc double feature of Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments. In the family segment, Warner has several double and triple feature releases Feb. 25: Both “Journey to the Center of the Earth” films, The Blind Side and Dolphin Tale paired together, as well as Hugo and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. On DVD: Lemony Snicket's and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and TMNT; Barnyard, Rango and Yogi Bear; and Dolphin Tale, Flipper and Free Willy.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will look to its popular “Swan Princess” animated franchise with a fifth installment: The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale, out Feb. 25 on Blu-ray combo pack, DVD and digital. Both (specially marked) combo packs and DVD packages include a free tiara for girls, and a free Shutterfly Photo Book (worth $29.99) for moms. The DVD also features two sing-along videos: “We Wanna Hear From You” and “Right Where I Belong.”

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment will be the one to beat March 18 with its multiple SKU release of Frozen (which is still adding on to the $360.7 million it’s pulled in at the domestic box office) and it’s multi-SKU release of the Tom Hanks film Saving Mr. Banks.

Shout! Factory has a few to play as well, leading off with the March 11 release of Noah’s Ark, a Spanish-English animation from filmmaker Juan Pablo Buscarini. The retelling of the classic Bible story takes a lighter approach, telling the tale from the animals’ perspective.

Shout! Factory also has a slate of “Transformers” animations (Transformers Prime: Ultimate Bumblebee, Feb. 25; Transformers Armada: The Complete Series, March 11; and Transformers Rescue Bots: Heroes on the Scene, March 18), along with an all-new DVD collection from the “Slugterra” animated series (Slugterra: Heroes of the Underground, March 4) and a new “My Little Pony” (My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic — A Dash of Awesome, March 25).

DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will go with new dragons and an exclusive offer for an online video game March 25 when they release “Dragons: Defenders of Berk,” the first part of the Cartoon Network series based on DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon.

That release kicks off the franchise’s “Year of the Dragon,” which features the film sequel in theaters in June, Dragon game apps, books and more throughout the year. The DVD includes “Dragon Tracker Part 3,” which focuses on the Screaming Death, Fireworm Queen, Flightmare and Skrill dragons; an “Evolution of Screaming Death” featurette; and a “SuperFly” music video.

Fox has also set Walking With Dinosaurs: The Movie for March 25, offering 3D Blu-ray combo, Blu-ray combo and DVD SKUs of the BBC Earth Films adventure. Blu-ray owners are rewarded with several exclusive bonuses, including “The Ultimate Dino Guide,” “Match the Call,” “Interactive Map” and “Brainosaur Trivia Track” features, as well as a “Nickelodeon Orange Carpet Dino Rap” and a “Cretaceous Cut” of the film itself.

Mill Creek Entertainment will have several Bible-themed releases leading up to Easter, including a half-dozen “Biblical Collector’s Series” releases and a half-dozen “Miracles Around Us” titles, all on Feb. 18. Mill Creek also has several children’s DVDs (each with an SRP of $12.98, and each packaged as three discs with at least six hours of content) slated for March 18, including Dennis the Menace Vol. 1, Animal Mechanicals Vol. 1, Bo on the Go Vol. 1 and Monster Math Squad.

Entertainment One has The Dove Foundation-approved Erik Estrada film Finding Faith already out (Feb. 4), offering a cautionary tale of teen abduction, inspired by real events, with a faith-based message. The DVD includes a 12-page resource guide for families and the featurette “Introduction to Internet Safety 101.”

Lionsgate Feb. 11 releases Grace Unplugged, starring AJ Michalka, James Denton and Kevin Pollak, on Blu-ray combo pack and DVD. The film has been availably digiallty since Jan. 28. The film tells the story of a teen who runs away to pursue her musical dreams, prompting her father to pray to God to watch over his daughter.

Lionsgate also brings Zeus — the Labrador retriever voiced by Mario Lopez in 2009’s The Dog Who Saved Christmas — back April 8 in The Dog Who Saved Easter, with the DVD available exclusively at Walmart (and available via digital outlets three weeks earlier March 18). Bonus features include a commentary track, a still gallery and a behind-the-scenes featurette. 

About the Author: Chris Tribbey

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