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Rhino DVD News

Written by Big Bot on June 25, 2004 | DVD,News,Rhino |

Tim Finn (Rhino’s Transformers and G.I. Joe consultant) has released some information on upcoming Rhino releases, and about how they go about releasing Transformers material.

You can read the full details below:

RELEASE DATES:

Transformers Armada Vol 5 Aug 24
Transformers Armada Vol 6 Aug 24
Beast Wars Season 3 Aug 24
Transformers Armada S1 P1 Nov 09
Beast Machines Season 1 2005
Beast Machines Season 2 2005

The announcement of Fox doing Beast Machines for Canada does not affect the US release.

TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE

Rhino wants to do a 1-disc letterbox Movie. We disagreed over whether or not it exists. If it does and they can get it, they’ll do it. If it does not, they won’t.

TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE

is Saban, which is owned by Disney, which means not a Rhino possibility.

TRANSFORMERS ENERGON

If the Armada box sells, they would consider it. But that decision is a long ways off.

TRANSFORMERS HEADMASTERS

Rhino likes the idea of doing this, and I’ve been telling them for a year to do it. It all depends on if a deal could be worked out with Pioneer (or whoever did the Headmasters DVD box in Japan, I forget who is was). It is yet one more kind of deal and would require getting Rhino, Hasbro, Takara, and Pioneer (or whoever) to agree on terms of money, shipping, schedules, and then actually following through and delivering the digital masters.

I do not know if Pioneer (or whoever) remastered the Headmasters films when they did their Headmasters boxed set. Rhino, if a deal were to go through, would use whatever masters were used in Japan. If Headmaster was remastered there, they would be here as well. If not there, then not here either.

That said, if Rhino did do Headmasters, it would be subtitled, and they’d bring in a Japanese speaking Transformers fan to tweak the subs. They understand the show has idiosyncracies and wouldn’t give it to a translator without running it by a TF fan.

RELEASES ARE COMING OUT TOO SLOWLY

In terms of speed and patience, we all have to remember that Our Favorite Animation is but a fraction of what the DVD team at Rhino handles. They’ve got MST3K, music concert videos, and live action stuff like Ed Sullivan. We may want more and faster releases, but they can only do so much and I’d argue that the above release schedule coupled with what’s already come out in the first half of the year is actually a huge amount.

MASTERFORCE, VICTORY, ZONE, SCRAMBLE CITY

Would only happen if Headmasters happened.

DR. RHINO

The gentleman who reads the Dr. Rhino (customer service/suggestion) e-mail is a friend of Rhino’s DVD head, and immediately forwards all TF/Beast Wars e-mail to her. So your notes to Dr. Rhino are going to the right place and are being read promptly.

DISAPPOINTING BONUS FEATURES

-For those of you who dislike Rhino’s TFTM, that was before the current team.

-For those of you who want toy commercials, Rhino has to pay residuals to the child actors who appeared in those ads, and would need to track down said actors. Until they can do so, they cannot release the ads. They have the ads, and I believe they’ve already remastered them.

-For those of you who wonder why Rhino can’t get a Peter Cullen interview or a Frank Welker interview or a Fill-in-the-blank interview with a certain actor, Rhino knows you want them and Rhino knows how to track down those actors. Rhino is not a SAG or AFTRA signatory, and many union actors will not do an interview with a company that is not a union signatory. The Cullen interview was lined up, but Mr. Cullen declined. The Welker, Berger, and Ross interviews are likely to fall through imminently for the same reason. Rhino is not likely to become a signatory because Rhino is one part of a larger Warner Music unbrella, which is to say red tape, red tape, red tape. Rhino’s head of DVD has worked tirelessly this past week find a loophole that would make the Welker/Berger/Ross interviews happen. She deserves our appreciation even if the interviews don’t happen. She has also worked hard to line up interviews with actors who will forego the union thing.

-Many bonus features require the assistance of a third party or multiple third parties. If Rhino wants something for Beast Wars, they have to get Mainframe to do the legwork. Rhino does not send a rep up to Vancouver to scour the Mainframe hard drives. (Nor should we realistically expect them to.) If Mainframe is busy, it may not happen. And Hasbro legal needs to sign off on it. If Hasbro legal is busy, things move slowly and it may not happen. If Rhino wants something for TFG1 or G.I. Joe, they have to work with Sunbow, which is in New York but owned by TV Loonland in Germany. More time and red tape. Sunbow didn’t want any of the TF or Joe film elements to leave New York, so Rhino had to use a (long distance) New York lab to remaster picture and sound, rather than shipping the material to LA and doing it locally. And again, Hasbro has to sign off on everything.

This is to say that in some ways, in terms of time, budget, manpower, and approval, Rhino’s hands are tied. So while it’s easy to say “I’m so disappointed in Rhino! A different DVD company would do a better job!” that other home video company would have the same hoops to jump through.

GOOD WORK NEEDS TO BE RECOGNIZED

Just as Hasbro has told us they can’t deal with exclusively negative comments, the same goes for Rhino. Hasbro needs to hear when we’re disappointed with a toy or feature or episode, but just as importantly needs to hear when something goes right. “Strongarm’s head sculpt is awesome.” “I’m relieved you’re releasing Alternator Tracks.” “Episode 12 showed an improvement in script translation and dubbing.”

The same goes for Rhino.

If you think the Beast Wars Season 2 set kicks ass, please tell Rhino. If you think adding the Broadcast Audio option to the latter Joe and TF sets was a good idea, please tell Rhino. If you’re happy you can bypass the annoying “best of” Armada discs in favor of a large box, please tell Rhino.

But don’t do it on a message board, do it directly:

drrhino@rhino.com

Rhino Home Video
DVD Production Team
3400 W Olive Ave
Burbank CA 91505

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