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Blu-ray Release: Disney 2 Movie Collections

March 12, 2013

Disney Home Entertainment is releasing the animated films The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan and Brother Bear for the first time on Blu-ray today, packaged with their respective sequels.  All three are highly recommended for fans who want to add these ones to their collections.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Blu-ray Cover

First released in 1996, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a darkly beautiful take on the classic Victor Hugo novel about Quasimodo (Tom Hulce), an outcast kept atop the Notre Dame cathedral by his oppressive guardian Frollo (Tony Jay).  But when he escapes to celebrate the Festival of Fools, he comes to protect Esmeralda (Demi Moore), a young gypsy who shows him kindness.  With wonderful musical numbers and a deeply moving story, this is a brilliant animated film that still holds up.  The sequel was released in 2002.

The Blu-ray includes audio commentary and a lengthy featurette for the first film, and a look “behind the scenes” with Jennifer Love Hewitt on the second one.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is 91 minutes and rated PG.  The Hunchback of Notre Dame II is 66 minutes and rated G.

Mulan Blu-ray CoverTwo years later in 1998, Disney continued to take their animated films in interesting directions with Mulan, the story of a young woman (Ming-Na Wen) who becomes a hero after she secretly takes the place of her weak father and joins the Chinese army.  Exploring themes of gender roles and family honour with plenty of humour and musical numbers, the animation is vibrant and the battle sequences are still exciting.  The sequel was released in 2004.

The Blu-ray includes commentary, deleted scenes, numerous backstage featurettes and music videos on the first film, as well as deleted scenes, a featurette and a music video on the second one.

Mulan is 88 minutes and Mulan II is 79 minutes.  Both are rated G.

Brother Bear Blu-ray CoverReleased in 2003, the Oscar-nominated Brother Bear is a beautifully done animated film.  When Kenai (Joaquin Phoenix) impulsively kills a bear, he is transformed into a bear as punishment and forced to confront his actions when he comes to protect a young cub, Koda (Jeremy Suarez).  The songs are catchy and the story continues to resonate, and those of us in Canada will still get a kick out of the two moose voiced by Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis.  The sequel was released in 2006.

The Blu-ray includes deleted scenes, outtakes, a “making of” featurette and a music video on the first film, and a look at the music for the second.

Brother Bear is 85 minutes and Brother Bear II is 73 minutes.  Both are rated G.

-John C.

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