Fairytale favorites, kids with tricks up their sleeves, Martians and animal buddies are some of the assorted characters featured in new family-oriented releases.
*Little Red Riding Hood and the Big (not so bad) Wolf get a pop-culture makeover in the animated adventure "Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil" (Anchor Bay Entertainment). Featuring the voices of Hayden Panettiere, Glenn Close, Patrick Warburton and Joan Cusack, the story follows Red and her pals in the Happily Ever After Agency as they search for her kidnapped grandmother. The pop-culture references are far-reaching, everything from "Happy Days" to "Die Hard," "H.R. Pufnstuff" and even some dissing of Rachael Ray. (Red is being trained by the Sisterhood of Kung-Fu Bakers who show off such moves as "the spatula" and closely guard the secret of the powerful chocolate truffle.)
The film comes in a variety of formats: DVD ($29.98), Blu-ray and DVD combo pack ($34.99) and the 3D Blu-ray four-pack ($39.99) complete with a 3-D Blu-ray, a "regular" Blu-ray, standard DVD and a digital copy.
Extras include three music videos (one featuring Panettiere), two storyboard sequences, production artwork and featurettes on five of the voice actors such as supermodel Heidi Klum who plays the very big, very happy and very voluptuous yodeler, Heidi. "I think I'm gonna be the coolest mom ever," she says of her part in the movie.
*Just in time to coincide with the release of "Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 4D" is the Blu-ray release of the first three films: "Spy Kids," "Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams" and "Spy Kids 3: Game Over," each available separately for $19.99.
The original "Spy Kids" has been released with new extras including featurettes on stunts and special effects (how did they make the Thumb-Thumbs and Squished Guy?); each Blu-ray also has a digital copy of the film. Other bonuses include commentaries by director Robert Rodriquez, deleted scenes and film school "making-of" featurettes.
*One of the most interesting things about "Mars Needs Moms," the Disney animated feature about a boy who travels to Mars to rescue his kidnapped mom, is that the film had a Martian dialogue coach. No kidding. As you'll learn in the featurette "Martian 101," his name is Stephen Kearin and he, along with the voice actors, created a special language out of noises, ad-libbing and made-up words. Bee-hinton-tah, for instance, is "take him to prison." Nice.
This film also covers all the formats: a four-disc 3-D Blu-ray combo pack ($49.99) with a 3-D Blu-ray, standard Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy; a two-disc Blu-ray combo pack ($39.99) with Blu-ray and DVD) and a single-disc DVD ($29.99).
All versions have "Martian 101," deleted scenes with intros by director Simon Wells and "Fun with Seth," a featurette on funny guy Seth Green who makes up songs and raps on the spot and is just an all-around-goofball on the set.
The Blu-ray also has an extended opening, a look at motion-capture (the animated process where the actors are decked out in special suits and the computer captures their movements) and more deleted scenes. The 3-D Blu-ray has a "new," alternate scene on the "mom-napping."
*Two "classic" Disney tales, "The Fox and the Hound" and its sequel, "The Fox and the Hound 2" are offered together in a 30th anniversary collection.
The 1981 original, the studio's 24th animated film, tells the story of the unlikely friendship between the hound dog Copper and the fox Tod. It featured the voices of Mickey Rooney, Pearl Bailey and Kurt Russell. The collection is sold as a two-disc DVD set ($29.99) and a three-disc Blu-ray combo pack ($39.99) where you'll find each movie on a separate DVD, plus a Blu-ray disc that has both films on it. There are also sing-alongs, music videos and a making-of feature.