DVDs now the kid’s format of choice, and TV cartoon series are out in abundance:
- Only recently ”have we started seeing a significant amount of children’s programming coming to DVD,” says Jan Saxton, an analyst with Adams Media Research. ”It’s gotten hot.”
Indeed, Paramount last year began releasing DVDs of cartoons from the popular Nickelodeon network and now counts compilation discs of Rugrats, Spongebob, Blue’s Clues and Dora the Explorer episodes among its top sellers. The discs sell in stores for about $20.
”Television is easier to digest on DVD than it is on television,” Lesinski says. ”Once you get involved in the characters, it’s fun to watch more than one episode. And if you can provide an hour or more of content, that’s exactly what mom needs to occupy her 6-year-old.”
….Warner Home Video is another big player in the burgeoning cartoons-on-DVD market. The studio last summer released a handful of Batman the Animated Series episodes on DVD and now has four entire brands of superhero DVDs, including X-Men, Justice League and Super Friends.
DVD compilations are released sequentially, ”so kids can collect them,” says Ewa Martinoff, Warner’s vice president of family marketing.
”Superheroes are huge,” she says. ”We got a huge response with our first Batman Animated DVD, and what we found is that the audience is not just kids. It extends to the teen area as well.”
….Contemporary cartoons aren’t the only ones going to DVD. Warner recently released some vintage Tom and Jerry and Scooby-Doo cartoons on disc. MGM Home Entertainment has released four Hello Kitty DVDs, featuring episodes from the 1986 TV series, and plans to release a gift set later this year.
And Artisan Home Entertainment has just come out with a collection of Speed Racer cartoons from the 1960s. The 11-episode ”collector’s edition” comes packaged in a case made of tire rubber and sells for $20. Special features include interactive Mach 5 control demonstrations, production notes, a theme-show singalong and a villains’ gallery.
”People are buying it,” says Glenn Ross, president of Artisan’s Family Home Entertainment division. ”But I’m not sure if it’s for their kids, or for themselves.” [USA Today]
Time to stock up again – even 3-year-olds need plenty of fresh material.