Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes is about to make its digital debut

You have the first five movies. You have the television series. You have the documentary. All that’s left to pick up on DVD is this summer’s retelling of the Planet of the Apes. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is working to put an end to that wait just as well.

In the year 2029, interstellar reconnaissance missions are relegated to chimpanzee pilots from the Space Station Oberon in deep space. On such a mission, a chimp loses communication and vanishes from the radar. Fearless astronaut Leo Davidson launches a rescue mission and, following a malfunction, lands on a jungle-like planet not unlike the Earth. To Leo’s astonishment, English-speaking apes and primitive humans inhabit the planet. Following his capture by the apes and subsequent escape, Leo assembles a small band of defiant humans and empathetic apes in an attempt to re-establish contact with Oberon, but his focus changes following an unexpected discovery. Armed with this new information, Leo leads a rebellion against an overpowering ape force that will result in freedom or complete annihilation.

After a fully interactive marketing campaign for the film’s theatrical release, it’s not surprising that the DVD will be another milestone from Fox in advancing the sophistication of the DVD format as a two disc set. The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen with English 5.1 DTS, English 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish Dolby Surround sound. Additional features accompanying the film include an enhanced viewing mode that enables the consumer to choose when to go behind the scenes, search cast and crew biographies, or view the special effectsm an audio track by composer Danny Elfman, DVD-ROM and NUON-enhanced features and two easter eggs. The second disc contains several supplements including HBO’s “First Look” special, five extended scenes, several featurettes including “Simian Academy” (Ape Movement), “Face Like A Monkey” (A Day in the Make-Up Chair), “Costume Tests,” “On Location in Lake Powell,” “Chimp Symphony Op. 37” (Behind The Scenes On Scoring The Film), and “Swinging From The Trees” (Stunt Work). Also included are Makeup, group and movement tests, a gallery of multi-angle features that lets the viewer climb into the director’s chair for several key scenes theatrical trailers, a music video, and television spots, a concept art and design gallery and additional DVD-ROM features of a novella and links to Web sites.

Ruling the planet will only cost $29.98. The two disc special edition will be in stores on December 23.

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