Family Fun Pack [6 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Dr. Dolittle 2
Eddie Murphy returns as a doctor with a gift for talking to animals in this sequel to a box-office blockbuster. Murphy is John Dolittle, who this time around attempts to save an endangered Pacific forest from lumber industry forces by reintegrating an endangered species of bear back into the wild. Unfortunately, Dolittle's candidate is a performing bear (voice of Steve Zahn) with a taste for junk food and no natural skills in the wild. If Dolittle is going to save the species and its habitat, he must get him to mate with a fussy female (Lisa Kudrow) by providing lessons in winning the heart of the opposite sex. Dr. Dolittle's problems are compounded by a local animal work stoppage and furry woodland creatures who have organized their own version of the Mafia. Norm Macdonald returns as the voice of Lucky the Dog, co-starring with Kevin Pollak, Jeffrey Jones, Michael Rapaport, Molly Shannon, Reni Santoni, and Kristen Wilson. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

The Man from Snowy River
Inspired by an epic poem by A.B. "Banjo" Patterson, The Man From Snowy River was a major step forward for the regenerated Australian film industry of the early '80s. This "down-under Western" spotlights Tom Burlinson as Jim Craig, a headstrong young man who goes to work for a powerful cattle baron. Burlinson falls in love with Jessica (Sigrid Thornton), his boss' daughter, and becomes enmeshed in a bitter land feud. Kirk Douglas has a high old time in the dual role of hard-hearted landowner Harrison and grizzled, one-legged old prospector Spur. Previously filmed in 1920, The Man From Snowy River was directed by the other George Miller, not the director of the same name who helmed Mad Max (1979). A monumental moneymaker, the film inspired a 1988 sequel, confusingly titled Return to Snowy River, Part II. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Big
More than anything else, 13-year old New Jerseyite Josh (David Moscow) wants to be "big". That's the wish he makes at an odd-looking amusement pier fortunetelling machine. The next morning, Josh wakes up-only to discover that he's grown to manhood overnight! (At this point, the part is taken over by Tom Hanks). Still a 13-year-old mentally and emotionally, Josh decides to hide out in New York City until he can figure out what to do next. He lucks into a job with a major toy company run by kid-at-heart McMillan (Robert Loggia). By cannily bringing a child's eye view to McMillan's business, Josh rises to the top-and in process, he falls in love with fellow employee Susan (Elizabeth Perkins). But he's still a kid, and he'd like to go back to his own world and own body. Written by Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg, Big proved a crucial success for budding director Penny Marshall, who'd work harmoniously with Hanks again on the radically different A League of Their Own. The cinematography was by Barry Sonenfeld, who went on to become a director himself with The Addams Family. That Big was heavily reliant upon the input of Tom Hanks and Penny Marshall was proven by the failed attempt to turn the property into a Broadway musical. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Mrs. Doubtfire
Robin Williams learns that keeping in touch with his children can be a drag in this hit comedy. Daniel Hillard (Williams) is an eccentric actor who specializes in dubbing voices for cartoon characters. Daniel is a kind man and a loving father, but he's a poor disciplinarian and a shaky role model. After throwing an elaborate and disastrous birthday party for his son, Daniel's wife Miranda (Sally Field) reaches the end of her patience and files for divorce. Daniel is heartbroken when Miranda is given custody of the children, and he's only allowed to visit them once a week. Determined to stay in contact with his kids, Daniel learns that Miranda is looking for a housekeeper, and with help from his brother Frank (Harvey Fierstein), a makeup artist, Daniel gets the job disguised as Mrs. Iphegenia Doubtfire, a stern but caring Scottish nanny. Daniel pulls off the ruse so well that neither his ex-wife nor his children recognize him, and in the process, he learns how to be the good parent he should have been all along. However, Daniel also has to deal with the little matter of Miranda's new boyfriend, Stu (Pierce Brosnan). ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

The Sound of Music
One of the most popular movie musicals of all time, The Sound of Music is based on the true story of the Trapp Family Singers. Julie Andrews stars as Maria, a young nun in an Austrian convent who regularly misses her morning prayers because she enjoys going to the hills to sing the title song. Deciding that Maria needs to learn something about the real world before she can take her vows, the Mother Superior (Peggy Wood) sends her off to be governess for the children of the widowed Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer). Arriving at the Trapp home, Maria discovers that her new boss is cold and aloof, and his seven children virtual automatons-at least, whenever the Captain is around. Otherwise, the kids are holy terrors, as evidenced by the fact that Maria is the latest in a long line of governesses. But Maria soon ingratiates herself with the children, especially oldest daughter Liesl (Charmian Carr), who is in love with teenaged messenger boy Rolf. As Maria herself begins to fall in love with the Captain, she rushes back to the Abbey so as not to complicate his impending marriage to a glamorous baroness (Eleanor Parker). But the children insist that Maria return, the Baroness steps out of the picture, and Maria and the Captain confirm their love in the song "Something Good." Unhappily, they return home from their honeymoon shortly after the Nazis march into Austria. Already, swastikas have been hung on the Von Trapp ancestral home, and Liesl's boyfriend Rolf has been indoctrinated in the "glories" of the Third Reich. The biggest blow occurs when Von Trapp is called back to active duty in the service of the Fuhrer. The Captain wants nothing to do with Nazism, and he begins making plans to take himself and his family out of Austria. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Dr. Dolittle
Betty Thomas directed this adaptation of the classic children's stories by Hugh Lofting (1886-1947), updating the original concepts into the present day. When noted surgeon Dr. John Dolittle (Eddie Murphy) swerves his car to avoid hitting a dog, he hits his head on the windshield, triggering his long-dormant gift for holding conversations with animals. Friends, associates and his wife Lisa (Kristen Wilson), all express concern, but Dr. Dolittle is happy as he takes on new animal clients. Soon Dolittle's clinic becomes a haven for talking rats, birds, and other assorted members of the animal kingdom, and Dolittle's new four-legged and furry friends, in turn, teach him a few things about being human. The effects seamlessly combine Jim Henson Creature Shop animatronics, computer graphics, and real animals, but some viewers might yearn for a return of the Great Pink Sea Snail and Lofting's other imaginative creatures. The 1967 20th Century Fox musical Dr. Dolittle starred Rex Harrison in a strange storyline that began with Dolittle escaping from a lunatic asylum and leaving the Victorian village Puddleby-by-the-Marsh, England, to search the South Seas for the Great Pink Sea Snail. Along the way, he gathered diverse Dolittle denizens and animal anomalies, including the Giant Moon Moth and the famed, two-headed Pushmi-Pullyu. The earlier film spawned the Oscar-winning popular song success, "Talk To The Animals," along with numerous now-forgotten toys, books, and collectibles. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

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