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Headsup: Hanna-Barbera, HBO’s Queen, and a Holiday Favorite

Disclaimer: Warner Brothers Home Entertainment requests that we note it provided a free copy of Josie and the Pussycats: The Complete Series, The Flintstones: The Complete Series, and Catherine the Great for review purposes. The opinions I share are my own.

Josie and Pussycats Blu-rayJosie and the Pussycats have reunited for an exclusive engagement! Their claws and fangs emerged to bust the meanest dudes — without messing up their hair and makeup for their next big sold-out concert. Josie, from the legendary Archie comics, is here to put on an unforgettable show! So put on those Saturday Pussycat pajamas, grab some cereal, call your friends and rock out to this 2-disc complete series collection!!” — from Warner Brothers

Josie and the Pussycats: The Complete Series is now out for the first time on Blu-ray, featuring all sixteen episodes of the series in new 1080p HD masters. Extras are limited to the featurette “The Irresistible Charm of Dan DeCarlo: The Man and His Art” examining the life and career of beloved cartoonist, illustrator, Archie Comics veteran and Josie and the Pussycats creator Dan DeCarlo, but for true blue fans, that’s still pretty neat. You can snag the Blu-ray on Amazon for $24.99.

Flintstones Complete Series Blu-ray“Living in the suburbs in the town of Bedrock, Fred Flintstone is a devoted husband who is employed at the Slate Rock and Gravel Company. He is married to Wilma, a smart, strong-willed red-headed beauty. Their next-door neighbors and friends are Barney and Betty Rubble. The four of them are always involved in variety of hilarious shenanigans of every-day living. Although they live in pre-historic times, they have modern conveniences but they are made from stone age materials and mainly powered by animals. Since the stone age, The Flintstones has delivered entertainment that never ‘shales’ to delight each new generation. And now, all 166 episodes are available for the first time in high definition. So grab a Bronto burger and Cactus Coola, and settle in to watch the first primetime animated television series and celebrate 60 years of history in the making.” — from Warner Brothers

The Flintstones: The Complete Series is now out in a Blu-ray set which includes all 166 episodes of the series’ six-season run along with two bonus movies, The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smackdown! and The Man Called Flintstone. Extras amount to about two hours of bonus content in the form of several mini featurettes with input from the creators, a spotlight on the series’ parodies, a photo album, a Fred Flintstone drawing tutorial from Hanna and Barbera themselves, an examination of Music Director Hoyt Curtin’s contribution to the Hanna-Barbera brand, and more. The set is currently available on Amazon for $60.99.

Its a Wonderful Life 4K Steelbook“Frank Capra’s heartwarming masterpiece has been embraced as a cherished holiday tradition by families around the world!
George Bailey (James Stewart) sets aside his dreams of world travel to run his father’s small community bank and protect the people of Bedford Falls from greedy businessman Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore). When a costly mistake pushes George to the brink of despair, a visit from a kindly angel (Henry Travers) will show George how the life of one good man can change the world forever.” — from Paramount

Who doesn’t love It’s a Wonderful Life? Coming out just in time for holiday gifting or home viewing, this set comes in pretty steelbook packaging and includes a vintage mini poster. From what we can tell, this is basically just a re-packaging of the 4K release from 2019, but it’s important to note that that release was a majorly upgraded presentation of the film — it was created from a 4K restoration from the original nitrate negative, spliced together where necessary with footage from two fine grain masters. It also included a refreshed soundtrack in Dolby TrueHD 2.0 mono and was topped off with three featurettes (“Restoring a Beloved Classic,” “Secrets From the Vault” and “It’s a Wonderful Wrap Party”). Therefore, if you’re gifting this season to someone who doesn’t have the film yet (or who has a pre-2019 version), this is a great one to get. If you purchased the 2019 version already, this is basically just that same one in a pretty dress. And if you need a hard copy for your own library, by all means get this set — beautiful inside and out! The steelbook 4K set (which also includes a blu-ray colorized version of the film) is available for pre-order on Amazon for $27.99 for the release set for November 17th.

Catherine the Great“[In HBO’s limited series Catherine the Great,] Oscar-winner Helen Mirren (“The Queen”) stars as the tumultuous monarch and politician who ruled the Russian empire and transformed its place in the world in the 18th century. The four-part miniseries charts Catherine’s reign as the intelligent, resourceful, and utterly determined Empress who fights off threats to her crown, wages war with the Ottoman Empire, and expands Russia’s borders as far as the Black Sea and Crimea. A sweeping epic, the miniseries also depicts the love affair between Catherine and Russian military leader Grigory Potemkin (Jason Clarke), this most extraordinary woman and man of their age who formed a singular and powerful relationship, turned the nation into a great global power, and shaped the future of Russian politics.” — from Warner Brothers

Catherine the Great is now out on DVD and includes all four episodes of the limited series. There are no bonus features. (“What??” you may ask.) That’s right. With Helen Mirren as its star, incredible costumes, shooting locations that spanned Russia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and amazing historical source material for the story, there is not one bonus feature. This makes me sad. Maybe they’re waiting to release some really souped-up version in the future with commentary from the creators and Mirren, behind-the-scenes featurettes showing production challenges and triumphs, conversations with historians about the real Catherine versus the stories / myth(s) we hear about her today… things like that? Let’s hope. Until then, fans can grab the DVD on Amazon for $22.99, although considering you can get the whole series digitally there for $9.99, that may be the way to go on this one.