- Elemental’s VOD release offers behind-the-scenes content and deleted scenes that enhance the film’s themes and storytelling.
- Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’s digital release features a comprehensive 56-minute special feature that showcases the film’s biggest sequences and the passion of its cast and director.
- The Little Mermaid’s digital release includes a sing-along version, featurettes that explore the making of the film, and behind-the-scenes footage of the actors recording the songs.
In a summer full of blockbuster hits and major flops, several big franchises and new IPs are arriving with home releases. Whether it’s the latest and final Indiana Jones or the brand new live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid, these new iterations offer plenty of content to audiences.
Here are the best new home releases and what they bring to the table.
Elemental was one of Disney’s more divisive theatrical releases. The Pixar chief creative officer, Pete Docter, considered this response to the film to be “confusing.” Whereas some reviews found the film to be “enchanting” with its romance and CGI. Now, with its VOD (video on demand) release, it is determined to win audiences over. If you are already a fan of the movie, then you will enjoy this home release. For those who need convincing, the special features pack a meaningful punch.
This digital release contains a variety of behind-the-scenes content and deleted scenes. The featurette “Paths to Pixar: The Immigrant Experience” gives the film a rich context. Director Peter Sohn speaks about his passion regarding this immigrant story in ways that will resonate with you. To get a deep and more meaningful approach to the film, these featurettes help paint a fuller picture. Fan or not, these great behind-the-scenes features make this digital release worth your time.
Elemental Special Features
- Carl’s Date – Written and directed by Academy Award® nominee and Emmy® Award winner Bob Peterson and produced by Kim Collins, this all-new short, “Carl’s Date,” finds Carl reluctantly agreeing to go on a date with a lady friend —but admittedly with no idea how dating works these days. Ever the helpful friend, Dug steps in to calm Carl’s pre-date jitters and offer some tried-and-true tips for making friends — if you’re a dog. “Carl’s Date” opened in theaters in front of Disney and Pixar’s Elemental.
- Ember and Wade – Take a deeper look at the development of main characters Ember and Wade, from early designs to final effects, and learn how the complex work of the technical and character teams brought these characters to life.
- Next Stop: Element City – Explore how Element City is built to accommodate its different inhabitants. Director Peter Sohn and crew members share insights about the evolution of the designed world, as well as some of the research that inspired its unique look.
- Paths to Pixar: The Immigrant Experience – Hear from first-generation filmmakers on the Elemental crew as they share their journeys to Pixar. Discover how Elemental’s real-world themes of sacrifice and identity, amongst many others, reflect or diverge from their own lived experiences.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Indiana Jones is one of the most beloved franchises in Hollywood history. The character’s fifth and final adventure, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, drew a mixed response from critics and audiences. Everyone enjoyed the film but felt it did not live up to its potential. Now available on digital retailers, viewers have a chance to enjoy Indy from the comfort of their homes. There is only one question that remains about The Dial of Destiny’s digital release. Does the film warrant being added to your digital collection?
The Dial of Destiny contains only one extensive five-part special feature. Its sole featurette is titled “The Making of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny Chapter 1-5.” Some might consider this single 56-minute featurette to be disappointing. The entire vignette follows the shooting days of the film’s biggest sequences. Chapter 2’s section on the “New York Moon Parade” chase is particularly enthralling. Some chapters are better than others, but it’s the passion of Harrison Ford and Director James Mangold that leaves an impression. Both men wanted to deliver the best film they could, and while the response was mixed, their drive was infectious.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny Special Features:
- Chapter 1 – Prologue – Harrison Ford leaps back into action as Indiana Jones! Journey to 1944 as this featurette reveals the filmmakers, characters, stunts, locations, and incredible visual effects that make up the thrilling opening of Dial of Destiny!
- Chapter 2 – New York – Blast off to adventure as James Mangold showcases the re-creation of 1969 Manhattan for the Moon Parade chase. This featurette spotlights Helena (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) as John Williams conducts his beautiful new theme for this compelling character.
- Chapter 3 – Morocco – The man in the hat is back! Explore Morocco as this featurette breaks down the white-knuckle stunts of the medina tuk-tuk chase and hotel brawl. Meet Teddy (Ethann Isidore), Indy’s precocious new ally in the hunt for the dial!
- Chapter 4 – Sicily – Meet Renaldo (Antonio Banderas) as he guides our heroes on a perilous underwater treasure hunt! Catch up with Harrison Ford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge on location in Sicily and explore the caverns, traps, and bugs surrounding Archimedes’ tomb!
- Chapter 5 – Finale – This featurette breaks down the thrilling climax to the Indiana Jones series. Cast and filmmakers James Mangold, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, John Williams, Steven Spielberg, and Harrison Ford bid farewell to one of the greatest heroes of all time.”
The Little Mermaid
Disney’s track record with live-action remakes has been admittedly rocky. Some have left audiences pining for the original classics. 2023’s The Little Mermaid manages to be one of the best of the bunch. Halle Bailey’s magnetic lead performance is pitch-perfect for this adaptation.
She has Ariel’s sense of wonder and charm but also a ferocious independence perfect for modern viewers. Her performance takes the narrative on a trajectory that is entirely unlike the original film. It made a reasonable profit with the hope of making money on its home release. Thankfully for diehard fans, this digital release contains numerous special features.
This release is perfectly designed for fans of the original film. Besides two featurettes, it encourages audiences to join in on the music. Containing a “Sing Along” version, families will have a joyous time. To have a proper experience, I would recommend starting with the “Song Breakdowns.”
While we are given moments of the behind-the-scenes recording process, it also allows viewers to learn the lyrics. Learning the lyrics, along with the actors will make the “Sing-along” version even better. It is a perfect home release that families can make a fun experience out of.
The Little Mermaid Special Features:
Sing Along Version – Sing along with your favorite songs while watching the movie with on-screen lyrics.
- Hotter Under The Water – Discover how director Rob Marshall and his team brought the story of The Little Mermaid to life with this documentary in five chapters:
- A Tale Of The Bottomless Blue – Join Rob Marshall on the set of one of the most ambitious and challenging films he’s ever directed.
- I Know Something’s Starting Right Now – Join cast members Halle Bailey, Melissa McCarthy, Jonah Hauer-King and more and learn how they were cast in the film and what it was like to bring director Rob Marshall’s vision to life.
- Down Where It’s Wetter – Dip your toes into the virtual ocean and learn about how the breathtaking underwater world was created with visual effects, imagination and a lot of talented artists.
- Explore That Shore Up Above – From Prince Eric’s castle to the beach, explore the above-the-sea locations and the elaborate production design behind them.
- Do What The Music Say – Discover how legendary composer Alan Menken teamed up with Lin- Manuel Miranda to write new songs to accompany the original classics
- Song Breakdowns
- Wild Unchartered Waters – Prince Eric, played by Jonah Hauer-King, gets his own song, written by Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Go behind the song, from the writing to the recording, to the filming on a practical ship.
- Under the Sea – Get a first-hand look at how professional dancers helped bring director Rob Marshall’s vision to life as they stood in for the various animated sea creatures that sing and dance in this showstopping number.
- Kiss The Girl – Float along and get a frog’s-eye view of the beautiful set built to film the live-action version of this classic song.
- Poor Unfortunate Souls – Join Melissa McCarthy (Ursula) as she takes us on the journey of making her character’s signature song.
- The Scuttlebutt On Sidekicks – Dive in and meet Sebastian, Flounder and Scuttle, who not only have their own song, “The Scuttlebutt,” but also fresh looks as they work hard to make sure Ariel and Eric kiss before Ursula’s deadline.
- Passing The Dinglehopper – Ariel met Ariel when Halle Bailey worked with Jodi Benson — the voice of Ariel in the original animated movie — who appears in a clever cameo in the live-action film.
- Bloopers – Laugh along with the cast as they have the time of their lives making The Little Mermaid.
The Boogeyman crept under the radar when it was released in June. Based on a short story by Stephen King, there are plenty of haunts in the film for audiences. The story follows the Harper family as they are dealing with a horrific loss. When the mysterious entity known as the Boogeyman latches onto them, they begin to fight for their lives.
Viewers who are looking to scratch a horror “itch” need to look no further. This spooky film will deliver plenty of thrills and chills from the comfort of your home. Those looking for more of how the chills were made may be disappointed.
This digital release only contains two bonus features. One of which is a 16-minute behind-the-scenes feature titled Into The Darkness. This featurette gets you into the mind of director Rob Savage and his vision for the film. Besides the cast’s commitment, Savage’s passion for the material is clear. It makes you, as a viewer, appreciate his vision and admire his execution.
The Boogeyman Special Features
- Into the Darkness Featurette – Open the door into the dark world of The Boogeyman as the cast and crew share how the terrifying tale, based on Stephen King’s classic short story, was crafted.
- Outtakes – It’s not all just jump scares and bumps in the night.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was a success in every imaginable way. It was a groundbreaking achievement that reinvigorated audience excitement for superhero films. Miles Morales’s emotional arch made for some of the most compelling drama of the year. With it only being a part one, audiences will have to wait for his journey to conclude. While viewers are pondering over the cliffhanger, this digital release has plenty to offer. The fifteen behind-the-scenes featurettes can help enhance your viewing experience.
This is the rare digital release where every featurette enhances the next. From behind-the-scenes breakdowns, cast interviews, and certain scene recreations, it has a bit of everything. For a Spider-Man fan, adding this to your digital collection is a no-brainer. The results will do more than make you appreciate the film. Each feature makes you see the love of everyone who was involved in this epic story’s creation had. It’s a special film with special features that will make Spider-Man and Non Spider-Man fans love the journey and its destination.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Special Features
- 4K UHD, BLU-RAY™, AND DIGITAL
Blu-ray™, 4K UHD and Digital Exclusives:
- Obscure Spiders and Easter Eggs
- Deleted Scene: Miguel Calling
- “I’mma Do My Own Thing” Interdimensional Destiny
- Across the Worlds: Designing New Dimensions
- Designing Spiders and Spots
- Scratches, Score and The Music of the Multiverse
- Escape from Spider-Society
- Across the Comics-Verse
- Lyric Videos
- Filmmaker Commentary
- Also Includes:
- Creating the Ultimate Spider-Man Movie
- Raising a Hero
- Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Cast
- Creating the Ultimate Spider-Man Movie
- Raising a Hero
- Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Cast