Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Cheap DVDs

Fans of Cheap DVDs - defined as being priced anywhere from 25 cents to $4.99 - should join Live Journal's Cheap DVDs group or check out the Cheap DVDs Website at Like the Crocodile Hunter, these Bargain Bin hunters and collectors obsessively track down new arrivals and share their finds with like-minded minds.


The Curious Mr. Wonderbird (1953, 70 minutes)

This Digiview release is the English-dubbed U.S. version of the 1953 French film La Begere et la Ramoneur (also known in the UK as The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep) by the French animator freres Paul and Pierre Grimault. It features great British voice work from Denholm Elliot, Claire Bloom (Anouk Aimee was the voice in the French version!) and Peter Ustinov as the title character, Mr. Wonderbird.

In his IMDB review, Iconophoric comments, "Imagine discovering a prime Disney feature from their hot 1937-1947 period moldering in the dollar bin, unheralded, let slip into public domain. That's the thrill-- and sadness-- you get from just a few minutes of this obscure French cartoon from 1952." Iconographic goes on to say:
I have heard it said that this film...was an influence on some fine anime directors, and I don't doubt it. It's surreal, sweet and beautiful. It's a pity this film has wound up teetering on the edge of extinction. It is one of the most unique, witty, stylish and strange cartoons you will ever see. It's nothing less than a masterpiece of world animation, deserving more exposure and respect. I would hope KINO or the Criterion Collection will get a presentable copy of this together for posterity; a full restoration isn't too much to ask for this film.Panda and the Magic Serpent (1958)
This was the first Japanese color animated feature film. It was released in Japan in 1958 and made it was distributed in the U.S. in 1961.

Related links:
Cheap DVDs Web site (


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