Blu-ray Buyer’s Guide: August 29

The-Lion-King-1994

This Tuesday, one of Disney’s timeless classics comes to Blu-ray for a second time, and in a multi-release. But unlike most of the Disney animated rereleases of late, this one might actually be worth getting. That and a new issue from the Star Wars universe – all today on the Blu-ray Buyer’s Guide!

Here are my picks for August 29, 2017.

170134_frontThe Lion King
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Written by Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts
and Linda Woolverton

Directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff

Almost 25 years after its release, it’s difficult to gauge The Lion King. The film, its characters and songs are so superfluous in the pop culture and the Disney landscape that it might make the film less desirable. I mean, I haven’t seen The Lion King in many years because of this reason. But it really is a special movie with stunning animation and art, animals that move realistically, and beautiful vistas of the African landscape. The songs are fun – some of the best of the second Disney animation renaissance. The story is a familiar and compelling one with a lot of thematic resonance.

This new release, part of the new Walt Disney Signature Collection, is really worth noting because, unlike other Signature Collection releases (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Beauty and the Beast and Bambi), this edition of The Lion King has a plethora of new extras and bonus material. Plus, the bonus material from other editions is available digitally (though I’m not entirely sure how much is available). While I would prefer there be a hard copy of all the bonus material, it’s nice that it’s at least accessible.

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Best Buy: SteelBook

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Disney Store: Exclusive lithograph set and 40% off coupon

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Target: 32-page storybook and film frames

My Pick: Unless you have small children you can read to, are a fan of the art of The Lion King, or collect SteelBooks, I’d say you’re better of with just the normal release, I personally didn’t find any of the bonus material compelling enough to purchase specifically. I’m really torn about purchasing this release at all, as I already have the Diamond Edition of The Lion King. But the vast amount of bonus material might make this Signature Collection release worth getting.

Other New Releases:

182793_frontStar Wars Rebels (Season 3)
Lucasfilm Animation
Created by Simon Kinberg, Dave Filoni
and Carrie Beck
Based on characters created by George Lucas

This series continues to surprise me. When it was first announced, I was convinced that Disney had cancelled a great show (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and was replacing it with a more kid-centric, dumbed-down show with Star Wars Rebels. The first few episodes seemed to prove this fear, but then interesting plot points began to happen in the latter half and into season two.

Season three of Rebels is definitely my favorite so far (and season two was hard to top with the inclusion of Darth Vader!). The main arc of the season has the Ghost crew contending with a reimagined version of one of the greatest villains of the Star Wars universe: Grand Admiral Thrawn. It’s an interesting cat-and-mouse game with the entire rebellion at stake. But the true highlight of the season was the final confrontation between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul on the burning sands of Tatooine. That was probably the best episode of the entire series so far.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming fourth and final season of Rebels this fall. So if you haven’t seen this show, you should definitely pick up the third season Blu-ray and catch up!

Happy Watching!

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