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Planet of the Apes - The Ultimate DVD Collection
Planet of the Apes - The Ultimate DVD Collection
Actors: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, James Franciscus, Mark Wahlberg
Directors: David Comtois, Don Taylor, Franklin J. Schaffner, J. Lee Thompson, Kevin Burns
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense, Animation
G     2006     26hr 4min

Studio: Tcfhe Release Date: 11/04/2008 Run time: 1564 minutes


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Movie Details

Actors: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, James Franciscus, Mark Wahlberg
Directors: David Comtois, Don Taylor, Franklin J. Schaffner, J. Lee Thompson, Kevin Burns
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense, Animation
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Planet of the Apes, Animation, Science Fiction, Mystery & Suspense, Animation
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 03/28/2006
Original Release Date: 06/15/1973
Theatrical Release Date: 06/15/1973
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 26hr 4min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 14
SwapaDVD Credits: 14
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 8
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: G (General Audience)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Everything but the kitchen sink...
S. Lindvall | 01/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This should be the set that every "Apes" fan wants. It collects every bit of "Planet of the Apes" ever committed to film, including all the episodes of the never-before-released animated series "Return to the Planet of the Apes" and the hard-to-find live-action television series that starred Roddy McDowell. All five of the original movies, plus the 2001 version, are presented in digitally remastered, animorphic widescreen and are THX certified. And there are tons of commentaries and extras, including the feature-length documentary "Behind the Planet of the Apes." All in all, the set includes 14 discs and comes packaged in a specially-designed ape head.

The breakout for each disc is as follows:

Disc 1: The original "Planet of the Apes" in animorphic widescreen, THX certified, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS. It includes commentaries by composer Jerry Goldsmith, actors Roddy McDowell, Natalie Trundy, Kim Hunter, makeup artist John Chambers, and text commentary by Eric Greene, author of "Planet of the Apes as American Myth."

Disc 2: "Planet of the Apes" bonus disc, including "Behind the Planet of the Apes" 126-minute documentary, a documentary promo, makeup tests with actor Edward G. Robinson, Roddy McDowell home movies, dailies and outtakes, several other featurettes, publicity materials, film reviews, posters, and galleries.

Disc 3: "Beneath the Planet of the Apes" in animorphic widescreen, THX certified, Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby surround. Other features include a cast page, trailers for all six films, behind-the-scenes photo gallery and web link.

Disc 4: "Escape from the Planet of the Apes" in amimorphic widescreen, THX certified, Dolby Digital 5.1. Other features are similar to disc 3.

Disc 5: "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" in animorphic widescreen, THX certified, Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby surround. Other features are similar to disc 3.

Disc 6: "Battle for the Planet of the Apes" in animorphic widescreen, THX certified, Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby surround. Extras are similar to disc 3, but also includes an interactive game and CD-ROM content.

Disc 7: The first four episodes of the television series: Escape From Tomorrow, The Gladiators, The Trap, and The Good Seeds. Also includes TV spots and photos.

Disc 8: Episodes 5 to 8 of the television series: The Legacy, Tomorrow's Tide, The Surgeon, and The Dragoons. Also includes TV spots and photos.

Disc 9: Episodes 9 to 12 of the television series: The Horse Ride, The Interrogation, The Tyrant, and The Cure. Also includes TV spots and photos.

Disc 10: The final two episodes of the television series: The Liberator, and Up Above the World So High. Also includes TV spots and photos.

Disc 11: The first seven episodes of the animated series "Return to the Planet of the Apes": Flames of Doom, Escape from Ape City, Lagoon of Peril, Tunnel of Fear, The Unearthly Prophecy, Screaming Wings, and Trail to the Unknown.

Disc 12: The final six episodes of the animated series: Attack from the Clouds, Mission of Mercy, Invasion of the Underdwellers, Battle of the Titans, Terror on Ice Mountain, and River of Flames.

Disc 13: The 2001 version of "Planet of the Apes," including commentary by director Tim Burton, composer Danny Elfman, Tom Rothman and Richard Zanuck. It includes an enhanced, interactive viewing mode with behind-the-scenes on makeup, special effects, cast and crew, and location shooting.

Disc 14: "Planet of the Apes (2001)" bonus disc, including 23 featurettes and six documentaries: Ape School, Makeup Testing, Costume Testing, Shooting on Location, Scoring the Film, and Ape Movement. Also included: eight interactive multi-angle sequences, four quad-angle/4-way audio split vignettes of makeup testing, apes reactive testing, costume testing, movement and stunt testing, five extended scenes, an HBO "Making of" special, TV spots, trailers, and a music video.

Quite a package for the true "Apes" fan. For those fans, like me, who have already purchased these films and the live-action series, I hope Fox will put out a separate set of just the animated series. I have been waiting a long time for that."
Not "The Ultimate" but still pretty good
Michael Rogers | Webster, New York United States | 04/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Any meditation on early 1970's child pop culture would be incomplete without Planet Of The Apes.

It was among the mix with Star Trek, Space:1999, Six Million Dollar Man, Monster and Godzilla movies for those kids that had a taste for Sci-Fi.

The toys, mainly the action figures and playsets by Mego were on Birthday and Christmas lists (and you could have the Star Trek figures hang out with them because they were made by Mego too). The movies were kid "events" when they came to TV.

Of course, as you get older, you start to see the subtle (and not so subtle) socio-political comment in the Ape movies and you enjoy the movies (and shows) in ways beyond entertainment and nostalgia.

The Planet Of The Apes Phenomena fizzled in the middle 70's to ultimately be buried by Star Wars. Still, they stand as solid examples of 1970's movie and TV Science Fiction, are loved by a loyal group of fans and have a rock solid place in pop culture.

The history of Apes on Video goes right back to the beginning of it. Planet Of The Apes was among the first prerecorded videos released by Magnetic Video who contracted with 20'th Century Fox in 1978.

Throughout the years, Apes movies have seen releases on video, laserdisc and finally DVD.

When the first DVD's came out a few years ago, they were among the last to not be put on DVD in anamorphic widescreen. Instead, they were letterboxed widescreen which didn't allow good viewing on 16:9 TV's.

At the time, that was just fine for me since I had a run of the mill 4:3 TV. Now I have a 4:3 TV with anamorphic squeeze and the non anamorphic Apes stuck out like sore thumbs with less line resolution then what I became used to.

Now comes the Ultimate DVD collection with all films anamophically remastered and putting together most all the stuff released about POTA before on DVD and adding (for the first time) the animated show.

Planet Of The Apes gets the best treatment with a whole extra disc with the comprehensive AMC documentary Behind The Planet Of The Apes and other material. The movie and bonus disc is identical to the special edition released before.

The first movie, adapted by Rod Serling from the novel "Monkey World", in retrospect plays like the most elaborate "Twilight Zone" episode ever. With the shocking twist that time has somewhat blunted but is no less clever, Serling effortless weaves social comment into the fantastic happenings.

The Ape makeup at the time was revolutionary and it all was in a Simian city with uniquely different production design.

One funny thing about this movie (as well as many of the Apes movies that follow) is that while most these days would peg it at a hard PG or PG-13, the first three Ape movies were rated G.

This, despite the fact that in the first movie, there is a lot of violence and some male nudity. The second and third movie had their share of violent and scary happenings too.

I can only conclude that the way the MPAA was at the time that they considered Talking Apes attacking humans to be too fantastic to be taken seriously and declared it "fantasy violence". Also they must of figured the Male nudity did not matter because it was non sensual.

Next up is Beneath The Planet Of The Apes. Some hold this sequel in low regard but I have always liked it. The images of scared mutants, the scenes of post atomic NYC, with buildings that looked like ransacked jigsaw puzzles and the grim ending always stuck to me.

What I do see now is the heavy use of pullover ape masks in crowd scenes. I don't know why they decided to have pullover ape masks all have a slack jawed, gaped mouth look. If they were all made with closed mouths, they would gone less noticed.

From there we go to Escape From The Planet Of The Apes. Cornilius and Zira arrive in modern (well, modern back in 1973) America. It's easily the best and most enjoyable of the sequels. In the first half Cornilius and Zira experiencing aspects of our culture. Then, like the first two movies, it all ends on a tragic note when the government begins to see the danger they (or more specifically, their unborn child) bear to the future.

Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes comes next, set some 20 years later in a totalitarian America of enslaved Apes at the verge of speech. Because of the similarity between the Apes revolution and the Watts riots still fresh in people's mind, the MPAA gave the first PG to an Apes movie. Also, some of the ending dialog was altered for a slightly more upbeat ending.

Battle of the Planet Of The Apes is easily the least of the franchise. But it is made slightly better on this new version with the inclusion of some deleted scenes first seen in network showings and later on Japanese laserdisc. It is also interesting to note that this movie had really, the first post apocalyptic battle using abandoned cars (and other vehicles, like a school bus in this case) that would become a cliche' after "The Road Warrior". Apes did it first.

With Battle, they seemed to get more careless with the makeup. Unlike most of the time before, Ape actor's teeth were not painted black to hide them beneath the false teeth attached to the appliences. And in a key scene where Caeser shouts "Now, fight like Apes!" Roddy's lower mouth piece is almost falling off (and his real teeth are in full view). This is why there is a smudge on the picture. It was added optically to try to hide this but does not succeed (and it was used in the trailer).

All the Ape movies are anamorphically remastered with pretty good results. But that's not to say thier age does not show in spots.

20'th Century fox is at work on making a full film restoration to Planet Of The Apes (I saw a print with the pieces restored so far recently). But the Apes films here all are done with video based restoration which is fine for DVD.

I should also mention here that all films have a remixed 5.1 soundtrack but also have the option of original mono. I often choose the mono as that was how the films were released. The 5.1 gives improved sound to the score if not that much more directionality to rest of the soundtrack.

This set also has the complete live action Planet Of The Apes TV show. It wasn't a hard feat since it lasted only 14 episodes.

The show is actually more similar, plot wise, to The Fugitive. Two Human Astronauts with an Ape friend (Galen, played by Roddy McDowall) work to evade capture by General Urko and Dr, Zauis. During which they encounter different groups of people and apes with different challenges.

Unlike the movies, the other humans in this show can talk too, although they are still slaves to the apes.

In order to gain syndication revenue, Fox ended up pairing up a number of episodes of the show into several TV movies with names like "Life, Liberty and Pursuit Of The Planet Of The Apes".

Some have said Roddy McDowall filmed additional material in Galen Makeup in 1981 for these TV movies. It's been so long since I've seen them I can't remember if that's true or not. If it is, it should've been included on this set. Also, early information for this set also mentioned that there would be TV spots and stills for the show. They are not included but somehow I figured it was a mistake and was not surprised. The transfers are the same as it was with the original release of this show, pretty good considering the age.

For what it was POTA: The TV show was pretty good. Roddy McDowall was especially fond of playing Galen since he had so much more time to develop the character then he had for Cornilius and Milo/Caeser.

Same goes for Return To The Planet Of The Apes, the 1975 Saturday Morning Cartoon. This rarely shown cartoon, was taped by me in the late 1980's off of WPIX on Saturday Morning. It turns out I was lucky because many an Ape fan has had their money ripped off with absolutely awful looking bootleg tapes and DVD's from Ebay just for a chance to glimpse the show. If they didn't come from edited Sci-Fi channel showings then they usually came from murky, awful sources.

I never would've believed that the Apes Cartoon would see legitimate DVD before the Star Trek cartoon would, but that's exactly what happened (and proves just how asleep at the wheel Paramount is with the Trek Franchise).

So far, unlike the rest of the stuff, the cartoon is exclusive to this set (for now at least, Fox has said it will release it separately in the future).

The cartoon is produced by the same people that did the Pink Panther cartoons (DePatie and Freling) and has yet another three astronauts (Bill, Jeff and Judy)land in Ape land.

Although this is a slightly more advanced ape world. The apes have cars, and (primitive 1950's looking) television. This Ape world also has giant mutated spiders, a prehistoric bird and a pacifist ape sect that is looked over by a giant King Kong style ape that they worship. B Monster movie stuff that us kids would eat up.

Not to mention the titles of the episodes which read like the attention grabbing titles of those same B movies. "Flames Of Doom", "Lagoon Of Peril", "Terror on Ice Mountain" and so on.

The cartoon is in a semi serial format. For instance, Judy seemed to be swallowed up by a Forbidden Zone illusion of the Earth opening up only to turn up again with the Underground dwellers in the third episode. Still, they fail to retrieve her until a later episode.

The cartoons are barely animated, taking the term "limited animation" to the legal limit sometimes. But the artistic style is really nice, with many high contrast renderings that remind me of comic book style art.

The show also avoids the cute and/or young character put in the the show because it was for kids.

The voices on the show include Austin Stoker (who was in Battle for The Planet Of The Apes and the original Assault on Precinct 13)as the Astronaut Jeff and Henry Corden as General Urko. Henry Corden took over the voice of Fred Flintstone after Alan Reed died. Therefore, you can hear a lot of "Fred Flintstone" in General Urko's voice. It's a little bizarre.

It appears that fox used pre-existing transfers for most of Return. They lack the look of a full high definition remaster like was done for most of Spiderman the 1967 cartoon.

The print quality on these old school transfers is colorful but worn looking. It will still be better than anything you can get bootleg but not a home run by any means.

But at 3 episodes: "Tunnel Of Fear", "River Of Flames" and "Mission Of Mercy" that have undergone the full high definition transfer treatment. These episodes are so clear you can often see the brush strokes on the art and they are cleaned up nice too.

I don't know why they remastered only a few shows without doing the whole thing. Perhaps they were unable to locate 35mm prints for most of the shows and if so, it just isn't worth it to do a high def transfer of 16 mm if you already have a fairly decent transfer already on hand. Or perhaps those are High def transfers of 16mm prints. Who knows?

Whatever the case may be, I'm glad at least a few got the better treatment to at least give a good representation of the art in the series.

!UPDATE! It would now appear that the old school transfers being on this set were only there because most of the new transfers weren't ready when the head set was to be released. Fox did, as promised, release the cartoon series seperately and on this release all the shows are remastered and carry the next week previews. Although I am glad that these remastered versions are available they should've been the ones buyers of this set got. Now you have to buy this seperate release if you *really* want to have the Ultimate collection. At a $15 price point (and probabaly less than that as time passes and secondary sellers offer it) it's not too big a deal but it's doesn't take away from the fact that Ape Head set buyers were entitled to it from the beginning !UPDATE!

Finally, there is the 2001 remake by Tim Burton duplicating the 2 discs of the original 2 disc release. I haven't looked at it yet.

While I thought the remake was okay, it doesn't demand repeat viewings by me as the older films do. One day, I'm sure I will check it out.

The 14 DVD's in total are put into a small fold open plastic tray case that does a good job of holding the discs and allows for easy finding of the disc you want.

It all goes into a compartment in the back of this 2 foot Ape head bust. It resembles and is dressed like Caeser.

For a long time, I have seen the things that was done with packaging for multi disc sets in Japan and wishing we could have something like that in the US.

Well, with Apes, it has come to pass. The head is made of hard vinyl or plastic is nicely painted with real (well, real synthetic) applied hair and the green jumpsuit on the bust is represented by real fabric and zippers. The likeness to Caeser is a little off with the face being a little more narrow than in real life. The hair is set a little too close to the face as well. But overall, It is a nice representation of the Apes makeup.

It makes a nice conversation piece in the very least. But if you are somehow disenchanted with the head, the case with the discs goes very nicely onto the shelf while you can store the head somewhere seperately(maybe in the huge box and styrofoam packing it comes in).

But it shows everything comes full circle. At least for those that grew up with Apes as a part of thier pop culture tapestry. The Ape head with all the movies is like a huge toy. Something you can look at to see the detail in the makeup (which it was sculpted from). I think the face is a little bit too narrow for Roddy McDowall but it is still nice to have an up close look at a close to life size representation of the Apes makeup.

If I had a choice of getting all the discs without the head, I'm not sure if I would've gotten it but since it's here, it ain't going nowhere.

The movies (the updated anamorphic remasters) are available seperataly, as is the TV show (in exactly the same way as it is on this set) and the 2001 2 disc set.

What this set gives you is a unified set of discs with matched labeling and the cartoon series (that is promised to someday be released seperataly) in a unique (to say the least) package.

For those that have been waiting for the right time to plunge into the Planet Of The Apes, this is a no brainer. Long time Ape fans who have gotten the previous DVD's will have most everything here and will have to decide for themselves if the cartoon and the deluxe head make it worth the purchase (since the anamorphic remasterings are available seperataly).

If only they added some more to the extras (like really having those TV spots and addtional versions of trailers and TV spots for the movies and the rumored material shot for the TV films) that eclipse what had been in release before, it would be more of a must for Ape fans who have kept up with the DVD releases in the past.

...but is it really worthwhile to upgrade?
shaxper | Lakewood, OH | 09/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Let's make one thing clear - The only people devoted enough to shell out $180 for this collection are the same devoted fans that shelled out $90 to purchase the original DVD boxed set less than a decade ago. So, in discussing this collection, it's less a question of whether the 14 discs are worth $12 a piece, and more a question of whether the 8 discs of new material are worth the $180 cost to upgrade.

To be clear, there's virtually no difference between the original and new DVD releases of the 5 Apes films. The first film has a new menu (I don't like it, but at least this one doesn't give away the end of the film), and the last film has ten minutes of previously cut material that makes a nice connection to the second film. Some will note that the five original films are now presented in Anamorphic Widescreen instead of Letterbox, but the difference won't be noticable unless you have a widescreen television. Aside from these changes, everything else is the same...even the DVD menus. Oh, and Fox has added two unskippable anti-theft statements at the begining of each DVD, which is quite annoying.

No new supplimental features have been added for any of the 5 films. The only new feature to be found is on the Behind the Planet of the Apes documentary DVD, which now features silent behind-the-scenes footage of the first film as shot by Roddy McDowall, as well as a few 1968 promos for the first film and sparse behind the scenes footage of the third film. The 2001 Planet of the Apes film also features a second disc of features, though I don't know if any of these are included in this set for the first time. As for the the remaining Apes films, no new material has been added at all. Each film DVD includes trailers for all six Apes films as their only special feature. The 1974 television show and 1975 cartoon discs have no special features at all.

Here's a rundown of what Apes fans will recieve by upgrading to this new set:

The Caesar Bust package - Cute, but how many of us are really planning on displaying this in our living rooms? Personally, I prefer the original DVD release packaging. Much nicer to look at than the generic cardboard case that holds the DVDs within the bust.

Supplemental footage: Roddy McDowall silent footage, 1968 promos, and some behind the scenes footage for the third film - Only the most obsessive of Apes fans is really going to care much about this.

The complete 1974 Television Series (14 episodes) - A major bonus. The series isn't as campy as you might expect. It still makes excellent use of costumes and sets, as well.

The complete 1975 Cartoon series (13 episodes) - Another major bonus. The cartoon is surprisingly well done and definitely worthwhile to a serious Apes fan.

The 2001 Apes film - You can find this for $5 in virtually any used DVD store. Definitely not a major selling point for most.

Special features disc for the 2001 Apes film - You'd have to be a fan of the film to really care.

While I enjoy owning this set, I'm not sure I see the value. I was able to acquire mine while Amazon was running a sale ($100 and free shipping for the set), which almost made sense to me (I'd probably pay $30-40 each for the 1974 TV series and 1975 cartoon series), but I'm just not sure you're getting a $180 value out of this collection, especially without the addition of any major supplemental features.

Think long and hard about this one before purchasing -- just how much is a hairy bust of Caesar worth to you?"
The missing link in the Apes Evolution.
Dave Cordes | Denver, CO | 05/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"With HD and Blu-Ray hitting the market, I was reluctant to get my stinking paws on this expensive set, but after breaking out my old non-anamorphic Evolution box set and watching it on my widescreen Cinema Display, it was immediately apparent that I was in dire need of an upgrade to hold me over. The standard 4:3 letterbox transfers played as small unscalable windows within the confines of my 16:9 widescreen display and the audio was only in Dolby stereo surround which prompted me to take the plunge. Now I could have just purchased the new anamorphic remastered Legacy box set for about a quarter of the cost but there was just no going part way.... if you're going to upgrade, you gotta go ALL THE WAY!

First of all, what true Apes afficianado could resist the limited collectible packaging of a 2-foot tall ape bust of Caesar?!?! It is beautifully sculpted with soft ape-like hair and real cloth green shirt with zipper pockets and will instantly standout as the centerpiece of your collection. The DVD box is cleverly stowed behind a velcro flap on the back of the shirt. Limited to only 10,000 (mine is 2099) there surely won't be enough Ape Heads across the country to satisfy demand. I guess for the inevitable HD box set (and you KNOW it is coming) they will probably package them in the Lawgiver Statue, a Dr. Zaius bust, or maybe even the partially buried iconic remains of the Statue of Liberty (FOX, if you are reading this, I hope that you will seriously take this into consideration).

The transfers are finally all preserved in anamorphic widescreen and will scale correctly when viewed on a 16:9 widescreen display while preserving the original 2:35:1 theatrical aspect ratio so they still have a letterbox matte but without any cropping of the original frame. I can now behold the breathtaking panoramic vistas of the Forbidden Zone in true anamorphic < < < W I D E S C R E E N > > > glory! The audio has been digitally remastered with Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS on the original Planet of the Apes that was included on the 35th Anniversary release which I thankfully didn't buy because it is included here. All of the bonus material like trailers and marketing publicity for each film is included as well as the extensive Behind the Planet of the Apes documentary hosted by Roddy McDowall. There is even an Easter Egg hidden under Ape Phenomenon on disc 2 which is an old Mego toy commercial of VERY poor VHS quality but is still a nice extra for nostalgic preservation. In addition to the entire catalog of theatrical Apes films (including the blasphemous 2001 Tim Burton "re-imagining") it includes all 14 episodes of the television series and also 16mm film transfers of the 13 episodes from the never-before-released Return to the Planet of the Apes animated series (featuring the voice of Fred Flintstone as General Urko) which is only included in this set and is another major consideration to upgrade your collection.

This set has everything to satiate even the most fervent Ape appetites. If you are holding off for HD, then you are denying yourself a truly remarkable piece of historic Apes memorabillia. I will gladly pay for another remastered HD box set at some point but for now, this Standard Def box set is enough to keep me entertained until they arrive. Unlike Taylor, however, it probably won't take us 2000 years (give or take a decade) to return to the Planet of the Apes."