Josie and the Pussycats get tamed by Universal

In an all too common move, Universal Studios Home Video has announced a new edition of a film recently released on DVD. What makes the announcement unusual is that instead of adding footage and features, it is removing them. After the August 14th release of Josie and the Pussycats: Special Edition, Universal began work on a toned down version of the film to qualify for a PG rating (as opposed to the PG-13 rating of the current DVD release and theatrical presentation).

With the exception of the edited version of the film, the DVD supplements and specification will remain the same for this new version. The disc will contain an anamorphic widescreen transfer complimented by Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 English audio tracks as well as a French Dolby 5.1 track. An additional audio track will contain an audio commentary with directors Deborah Kaplan & Harry Elfont and producer Marc Platt. Three music videos performed by the film’s fictional bands; “3 Small Words”, “Backdoor Lover” and “Dujour Around the World”. Additional features include deleted scenes a “Backstage Pass” featurette featuring behind the scenes footage with cast & crew interviews, a theatrical trailer, production notes, cast and crew biographies and DVD-ROM features.

It is unclear why Universal has made sudden plans to re-release an alternate version of the film, but it is only one of many films released by the studio in recent months given multiple releases based on ratings. It is surprising that Universal does not consider branching for its DVD as other studios do which would allow both version of the film to be placed on the same disc. The original DVD specifications, in fact, allowed for a little used feature allowing multiple versions of the film to be branched on a disc and chosen by the parental control rating. (More information on this is available in the DVD FAQ)

The new version of “Josie and the Pussycats” will be available on November 20th, and will carry a suggested retail price of $26.98.

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