Warner prepares to maul Middle Earth
Warner Home Video, which was johnny-on-the-spot last spring with home video releases of old Josie and the Pussycats eps to coincide with Universal’s live-action film based on the kitschy `70s cartoon, is now angling to ride the promotional coattails of New Line’s marketing efforts for its upcoming film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy book trilogy The Lord of The Rings.
Though New Line’s The Fellowship of the Ring won’t reach theaters till December, Warner plans to whet the appetite of Hobbit-lovers everywhere next month by
re-releasing Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 version of LOTR, which was produced in rotoscope animation.
Additionally, the studio will put out Rankin and Bass’s 2-D cel-animated adaptations of The Hobbit and The Return of the King, both based on other books by Tolkien that are set in the same fictitious world of Middle Earth.
All three titles, which prebook on August 14, will be available separately on VHS (US$14.95) and DVD (US$19.98) on September 11.
Scooby goes high-tech for Halloween release
Warner’s top dog is set to hit video aisles this fall with a new direct-to-video title called Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase. In the franchise’s latest installment, Scoob and the gang are sucked into the world of a computer game while pursuing a phantom computer virus. The title, which prebooks September 4 and streets on DVD (US$24.98) and VHS (US$19.96) October 9, also features voice spots by members of pop group The B-52s, as well as an original song.
As has become customary with past Scooby Halloween releases, Warner will flex its synergistic muscles to promote the movie. Beginning on October 1, Cartoon Network will cross-promote the title with an on-air Cyber Chase contest. Cartoonnetwork.com will offer Scooby screensavers, and AOL and WB Online! will feature trailers and sneak previews of the movie.
Promotional partners tying in with the release include Wendy’s, Frigo Cheese Heads, Equity Marketing, Pressman Toys, THQ and The Learning Company. In October, Warner will kick off a national ad campaign for the movie, covering all major TV and print sources. Additionally, Warner will include in-pack savings booklets in every video, providing consumers with discounts on a variety of licensed Scooby merchandise.
Warner will provide Cyber Chase to retailers in a variety merchandisers as well as mix packs featuring older Scooby features, including last year’s Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders.