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Return to the Planet of the Apes - Updated Info About Planet of the Apes - The Ultimate DVD Collection: Date Change, Possible Packaging, Limited Edition, Anamorphic Films!

Posted by David Lambert
1/15/2006
 
The other day we broke the news that Fox Home Entertainment is preparing a giant 14-DVD release of Planet of the Apes - The Ultimate DVD Collection, which will contain all the films, the 1974 live-action TV series and the 1975 animated TV Series. We now have some new updates about this release, some of which touches on the film side, but we'll include that info here since it's all info that our readers will use to decide whether or not they want this set and the two TV programs included on it.

First and foremost, there seems to be a date change. When the information for this was originally put together, April 4th was the street date. As we said, one of the aspects of the timing for this release is to tie it in with the DVD debut of Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong (i.e., another "ape" film). Originally the speculation for the release of that film to DVD was going to be in early April. Since The Digital Bits' Rumor Mill is reporting that Universal is setting King Kong's street date to the last Tuesday in March instead, then it's no surprise to find out that Fox is moving Planet of the Apes - The Ultimate DVD Collection to March 28th as well.

That date is echoed in a USA Today brief from Mike Snider at the bottom of the paper's recent "Coming Attractions" column. Snider goes on to say that "the collection comes in a limited-edition ape-head-shaped package based on Roddy McDowall's character, Caesar, in Conquest." If that's accurate, then it will surely look like the pictures of the Region 2 version of the set found at Amazon UK's listing for this same release. Another British e-tailer, Play.com, has a better picture of that package showing how the discs would be able to fit into such an "ape head" design (presumably the small digipak case goes up into the bottom of the ape head):

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We warn you that the art shown above IS for Region 2 (Europe), and our showing it to you is purely speculative where Region 1 (North America) is concerned. Our reasons for showing that are based solely on Mike Snider's comments in USA Today that the packaging will be "ape-head-shaped" and while that picture wasn't shown in the online version of the story, we're told the disc-less version of the picture did appear in the print version of Mike Snider's story. Fox has not verified the packaging design to us at TVShowsOnDVD, nor have they provided any pictures to us. The studio *does* verify that this will be a Limited Edition release, however. No word on if an "unlimited" version will be made available at any point in time. We've already seen potential customers comment on the internet how they would prefer a simpler package at a lower pricepoint than the $179.98 SRP; hopefully Fox is hearing that feedback and is considering a lower-end version of this to be available at some point.

The big news, which we think we're the first to break here, is that all of the films on this release will be ANAMORPHIC! Fox has taken all of the previously "letterboxed" widescreen editions of the various Apes films and remastered them to include Anamorphic Widescreen...and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround as well! The films are all now THX certified, and should be a treat for your Home Theater System. In our story the other day we commented about how we were told initially that the discs other than those new ones from the animated series were "all apparently the exact same discs as the ones which have been released previously"; uh-uh. Fox is giving fans a good solid reason to upgrade to this new set. I know that I will!

So why wait? This collection can be pre-ordered from Amazon.com right now for just $125.99! That's a bit better than the price we speculated on in our last news post, and it's well worth locking in your copy at that price (averaging $9 per disc in a 14-DVD set). Amazon still shows the April 4th date, but when we got our most recent info from Fox, the change to March 28th was just made, so the e-tailer will catch up with that new date pretty soon.

If the idea of this big 14-DVD set doesn't drive you ape, then be aware that the films with the new anamorphic transfers will also be available separately. Since those releases don't involve the TV shows, we won't go into them here. Keep an eye on general-interest DVD News websites like DVDActive.com and The Digital Bits for more info about those configurations.

Finally for you today, we have the disc-by-disc content listing of all 14 DVDs, straight from the studio. We don't think anyone else has this yet. It confirms the anamorphic nature of all the films:


Disc 1 includes:
  • 2-Disc version of Planet of the Apes Anniversary DVD
  • Anamorphic Widescreen with Dolby Surround 5.1 - THX Certified and DTS
  • Disc 1 includes: Commentary by Composer Jerry Goldsmith and Commentary by Actors Roddy McDowell, Natalie Trundy, Kim Hunter, Make-up Artist John Chambers & Text Commentary by Eric Greene, Author of "Planet of the Apes as American Myth"

Disc 2 "BONUS DISC" includes:
  • Behind the Planet of the Apes Documentary 126 minutes
  • Behind the Planet of the Apes Promo (1998)
  • Planet of the Apes Makeup Test with Edward G. Robinson (1966)
  • Roddy McDowall Home Movies approx. 20 minutes
  • Planet of the Apes Dailies and Outtakes (no audio)
  • Planet of the Apes (1967 N.A.T.O. Presentation)
  • Planet of the Apes Featurette (1968)
  • A Look Behind the Planet of the Apes (1972)
  • Don Taylor Directs Escape from the Planet of the Apes
  • J. Lee Thompson Directs Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
  • Publicity: Original Theatrical Trailers, Planet of the Apes Teaser Trailer, Planet of the Apes Trailer, Beneath the Planet of the Apes Trailer, Escape from the Planet of the Apes Trailer, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes Trailer, & Battle for the Planet of the Apes Trailer
  • Film Reviews (1968) 34 stills
  • Theatrical Posters 7 static images with 28 seconds audio
  • Galleries: Original Sketches by Costume Designer Morton Haack 9 stills with 36 second audio & Photo Gallery 17 stills

Disc 3 includes:
  • Beneath the Planet of the Apes Single Disc
  • Remastered to include Anamorphic Widescreen and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - THX certified and includes Dolby Surround
  • Special Features include: Cast Page, Trailers for: Planet of the Apes 1968 and 2001, Escape from the planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Planet of the Apes Cross-Promo Trailers, Theatrical Trailer, Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery and Web link.

Disc 4 includes:
  • Escape from the Planet of the Apes Single Disc
  • Remastered to include Anamorphic Widescreen and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - THX certified
  • Special Features include: Cast Page, Trailers for: Planet of the Apes 1968 and 2001, Escape from the planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Planet of the Apes Cross-Promo Trailers, Theatrical Trailer, Don Taylor Directs Escape from Planet of the Apes and Web link.

Disc 5 includes:
  • Conquest for The Planet of the Apes Single Disc
  • Remastered to include Anamorphic Widescreen and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - THX certified, Dolby Surround
  • Special Features include: Cast Page, Trailers for: Planet of the Apes 1968 and 2001, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Planet of the Apes Cross-Promo Trailers, Theatrical Trailer, J. Lee Directs Conquest of the Planet of the Apes and Web link.

Disc 6 includes:
  • Battle for The Planet of the Apes Single Disc
  • Remastered to include Anamorphic Widescreen and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - THX certified, Dolby Surround
  • Special Features include: Cast Page, Trailers for: Planet of the Apes 1968 and 2001, Beneath the planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Planet of the Apes Cross-Promo Trailers, Theatrical Trailer, Fox Interactive Presents: Behind the Scenes of the Planet of the Apes Game & CD-ROM Content - Self Contained Web Site.

Disc 7 includes:
  • Disc 1 of TV Series has 4 Episodes: B-503 Escape from Tomorrow, B-502 The Gladiators, B-505 The Trap and B-501 The Good Seeds.
  • TV Spots
  • Still Photos

Disc 8 includes:
  • Disc 2 of TV Series has 4 Episodes: B-504 The Legacy, B-508 Tomorrow's Tide, B-509 The Surgeon and B-510 The Dragoons.
  • TV Spots
  • Still Photos

Disc 9 includes:
  • Disc 3 of TV Series - 4 Episodes: B-511 The Horse Ride, B-512 The Interrogation, B-513 The Tyrant and B-506 The Cure.
  • TV Spots
  • Still Photos

Disc 10 includes:
  • Disc 4 of TV Series - 2 Episodes B-507 The Liberator and B-514 Up Above the World So High.
  • TV Spots
  • Still Photos

Disc 11 includes:
  • Animated TV DVD: Return to the Planet of the Apes (1975) - Component number: 2233823 (Not for sale)
  • Disc 1 of Animated TV Series - 7 Episodes: DFE01 Flames of Doom, DFE02 Escape From Ape City, DFE05 Lagoon of Peril, DFE04 Tunnel of Fear, DFE03 The Unearthly Prophecy, DFE08, Screaming Wings and DFE09 Trail to the Unknown.

Disc 12 includes:
  • Disc 2 of Animated TV Series - 6 Episodes: DFE10 Attack from the Clouds, DFE11 Mission of Mercy, DFE12 Invasion of the Underdwellers, DFE13 Battle of the Titans, DFE06 Terror on Ice Mountain and DFE07 River of Flames.

Disc 13 includes:
  • 2-Disc version of Planet of the Apes (2001) DVD
  • Disc 1: Enhanced Viewing Mode (interactive versions includes behind the scenes on make-up, special effects, cast/crew, shooting on location), commentary by Tim Burton, Danny Elfman, Tom Rothman, Richard Zanuck, & cast/crew bios.

Disc 14 "BONUS DISC" includes:
  • Disc 2 of Planet of the Apes '01: 23 featurettes, 6 documentaries - "Apes School," "Make-Up Testing," "Costume Testing," "Shooting on Location," "Scoring the Film" and " Ape Movement," 8 interactive multi-angle sequences that "Put you in the Director's Chair," 4 quadangle/4 way audio split vignettes of make-up testing, Apes reactive testing, costume testing, Apes movement/stunt testing, 5 extended scenes, HBO "The Making of" Special, TV spots, Trailers and a music video.

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