Wallace & Gromit's recent TV series comes to DVD and Blu-ray, along with many more programs on home video for the first time.
"Wallace & Gromit's World of Invention" (Lionsgate, 2010, $14.98). That stop-motion animated duo — obtuse British inventor Wallace and his much cleverer but silent pooch Gromit — introduce live-action segments on real-life wacky contraptions, ranging from flying machines to robots. Enjoyable silliness for fans of the characters, or those who simply like their documentaries with a dollop of whimsy.
Extras: widescreen, six episodes, featurettes (also on Blu-ray, $14.99)
"The Killing: The Complete First Season" (Fox/Blu-ray, 2011, three discs, $49.99). BYU graduate Mireille Enos is excellent in this AMC cable series as a homicide detective investigating the death of a young woman, clashing with politicians and family members — and her own partner — along the way. Quirky character study/mystery, which caused some controversy by not solving the crime by the end of the season. (Although producers have promised to do so in Season 2, which begins April 1.)
Extras: widescreen, deleted scenes, extended season finale, audio commentary, featurettes
"In Their Own Words" (Athena, 2010-11, two discs, $49.99). The two programs here, "British Novelists" and "Great Thinkers," are collections of vintage video and audio recordings from BBC interviews with famous men and women in those two categories. The authors include Virginia Woolf, J.R.R. Tolkein, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell and Evelyn Waugh, while the thinkers include Sigmund Freud, Bertrand Russell, Margaret Mead, Susan Sontag, Jane Goodall, along with many more.
Extras: widescreen, six episodes, text biographies, discussion questions; 16-page booklet
"Out" (Acorn, 1978, two discs, $39.99). Tom Bell stars as a paroled bank robber who returns to his gangland haunts after eight years, looking for the snitch who turned him in. But he must learn to navigate changes wrought by the arrival of the 1970s, as well as play cat-and-mouse with a crime boss (Brian Cox) and the detective (Norman Rodway) that would love to return him to the clink.
Extras: full frame, six episodes, audio commentaries
"Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales: The Complete Collection" (Shout! 1963-65, six discs, $49.97). The beloved Saturday-morning animated show, often cited as the first to include educational material, has long had episodes available on short-form VHS and DVD, but this is the first time all of the Tennessee Tuxedo cartoons voiced by Don Adams have been collected in a single set. Supplemental features include episodes of The King and Odie, The Hunter, Tooter Turtle and Klondike Kat.
Extras: full frame, 70 cartoons, audio commentaries, featurette; 20-page booklet
"Titanic: The Complete Story" (History, 2012, two discs, $19.95). Three feature-length documentaries on the "unsinkable" ship are "Death of a Dream," "The Legend Lives On" and "Titanic's Achilles Heel," arriving just in time for the theatrical 3-D reissue of James Cameron's film.
Extras: widescreen, three episodesComment on this story
"History of the World in Two Hours" (History, 2011, $19.95). Actually, 88 minutes sans commercials. And, of course, it's far from comprehensive. Despite the promises of the provocative title this is really a collection of highlights, but it moves right along, it entertains and it does educate, perhaps encouraging viewers to look up some topics in more depth.
"Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire" (Warner/Blu-ray + DVD + Digital, 2012, two discs, $24.98). Brand-new straight-to-video feature-length musical has the Scooby gang hopping in the Mystery Machine to take a vacation but instead landing at Vampire Palooza, where an evil vampire lord is summoned from the undead.
Extras: widescreen; Blu-ray, DVD and digital versions; sing-along (also on DVD, $19.98)