High def, Spanish vids set to heat up ‘Ice Age’

Fox Home pic to be first D-VHS release

“Ice Age” is set to break the ice in two new markets on Nov. 26.

The Fox Home Entertainment CGI-animated movie will be the first major studio film to debut simultaneously on the new D-VHS high-definition format and in a Spanish-dubbed VHS version.

Fox senior VP of marketing Peter Staddon said “Ice Age” was chosen for a simultaneous release on JVC’s high definition D-Theater VHS because it demonstrates the potential of the HD format.

“It’s a CGI-animated digital film created in the digital domain. In high-definition digital format, it looks absolutely amazing,” Staddon said. “The difference between D-VHS and DVD is the same as the difference between DVD and VHS.”

Fox will push the title for retailers selling JVC’s high definition VHS machines this holiday season. “Ice Age,” with a $34.98 suggested price on D-VHS, is the first animated release in the format. Fox, DreamWorks, Universal Studios and Artisan have released only catalog on D-VHS.

The Spanish-dubbed version marks a continuation of Fox’s push into the Spanish-speaking market that began with the studio’s En Espanol line launched in May. (The DVD already includes a Spanish-dubbed track.) The 50-plus En Espanol releases available until now have been catalog titles.

The Spanish-lingo market accounts for 6% of home entertainment purchases and rents and buys more VHS movies each year than the average home, according to the studio.

The Spanish-language tracks on the “Ice Age” DVD and VHS will include celebrity voice talents from the dubbed theatrical version of the film released in Latin America. Fox has been promoting the Spanish release through Spanish-lingo media with the Latino voice talent, according to Steven Feldstein, senior VP of marketing and communications. “Ice Age” promotional partners Papa John’s and others will market the movie to the Spanish-speaking aud.

Fox will also release “Like Mike” in Spanish on VHS on Dec. 10 and select new releases going forward.

(Jennifer Netherby is a reporter for Daily Variety sister publication Video Business.)