Full Metal Jackets: Animation Steelification

It seems to be SteelBook week here in the blog. That wasn’t intentional, but so many Blu-ray metal cases have been announced recently that I have a lot of catching up to do. Today’s post brings us a look at a quartet of animated hits. The good news with these is that they’re all available for shipping to the U.S.

‘Monsters University’

Available at: Zavvi
Release date: November 25, 2013
Price: £23.99
Region code: Listing says Region B, but Disney Blu-rays are frequently region-free.

As much as I loved ‘Monsters, Inc.’, I couldn’t muster up enough enthusiasm to see this Pixar prequel in the theater. It just looked like a desperate cash-in and another step in the wrong direction for the studio. However, reviews were mildly favorable, if not enthusiastic, and it actually outperformed the original at the box office. (3D ticket prices probably helped.) I’m sure that I’ll pick this up on Blu-ray, to go next to my Steelbook copies of the tepid ‘Brave’ and the lamentable ‘Cars 2’ on my shelf. It can’t be worse than those, right?

This is obviously temp art. The case doesn’t even have the movie’s title printed anywhere on it. I hope that the image selection isn’t finalized yet, because the first one sucks as a front cover. I’d rather see that rear image on the front. The inside is pretty good, though.

The listing at Zavvi makes no mention of 3D. Unfortunately, I’m left to assume that the SteelBook will only have the 2D edition, leaving me to acquire the 3D copy separately and consolidate it into the case.

‘Despicable Me 2’

Available at: Zavvi
Release date: November 25, 2013
Price: £22.99
Region code: Listing says Region B, but Universal Blu-rays are usually region-free.

Speaking of cash-ins, Gru and his lovable Minions are back in this mega-hit sequel. I thought the first movie was cute when I caught it on HBO, but never got around to actually buying a copy on Blu-ray. Had it been released in a SteelBook, I probably would have.

That leaves me with a mild dilemma. I like the looks of this new SteelBook, but do I need to buy the sequel if I don’t own the original? My collector urge is competing with my common sense instinct here.

Again, this appears to lack 3D. That may play a factor in my decision, since I was on the fence about this one anyway.

‘Wreck-It Ralph’

Available at: Zavvi
Release date: December 1, 2013
Price: £22.99
Region code: Listing says Region B, but Disney Blu-rays are frequently region-free.

So many Disney animated productions wind up in SteelBooks that I was both surprised and disappointed that ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ didn’t get one when it was first released on Blu-ray. My impatience drove me to buy the 3D edition in a regular keepcase.

Well, better late than never, Zavvi now offers this very nice Steelie for the movie. I like everything about the art selection.

Once again, this probably doesn’t have 3D. That’s less of a problem for me since I already own the Blu-ray 3D disc.

‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’

Available at: Zavvi
Release date: December 2, 2013
Price: £16.99
Region code: Listing says Region B, but Disney Blu-rays are frequently region-free.

Finally, along comes this reissue of Tim Burton’s stop-motion masterpiece. The cover art is pretty classy.

In fact, I think it’s even nicer than the original SteelBook that was released through Future Shop and Best Buy in North America.

However, given that I already own that one, I find it hard to justify purchasing another copy just for a different SteelBook. I’ll probably pass on this.

3D or no 3D? Given that the movie was originally produced in 2D and only converted to 3D years later, the absence of 3D here doesn’t seem like a big deal. (Also, I already have the Blu-ray 3D for this as well anyway.)


  1. Drew

    It’s funny … this is the first SteelBook blog post that I’ve seen, in which I’ve already bought every single one mentioned.

  2. Timcharger

    “Disney Blu-rays are frequently region-free.”
    “Universal Blu-rays are usually region-free.”

    I think read that you wrote in other blogs that Warners are usually region-free, too.

    So Josh, which studio(s) are the import-blockers?

    • Josh Zyber

      Of the major studios, Fox is the worst about region-blocking Blu-rays even when they distribute the same title (and otherwise an identical disc) in every territory. After that, you’ll mainly see this from smaller studios, which may only have the rights to distribute a particular movie in one territory.

  3. Wow, I’m really digging the Wreck-It-Ralph art choices for the SteelBook. I would consider that one, and not because of the SteelBook case, but rather the great art choice.

    And as for Monsters University, Josh, I can say this much: It’s quite a fun movie for what it is. And what it’s supposed to be is a college campus comedy first. Go into it thinking that more than looking at it as a direct comparison to Monsters, Inc. Still, there’s a fairly straightforward bridge between the two films, so it’s not like they made it standalone. I liked it more than I expected and, honestly, am seriously considering picking it up. I don’t buy movies much anymore because our library is amazing, but sometimes some movies just make a good impression on you.

    • Josh Zyber

      I received the Monsters University SteelBook tonight. Bizarrely, that’s not temp art above. That’s the actual design. It doesn’t have the movie’s title anywhere on the front or spine, just on the pendant Mike waves on the back cover. It’s some of the most awkward cover art I’ve ever seen.

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