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DISNEY'S PLUS A MINUS COPIES OF 'TOY STORY 2' DVD GIVEN R-RATED SCENES AS RESULT OF MIX-UP.

Byline: Robert Monroe Staff Writer

BURBANK - No, there is no profanity-laden, live-action ``director's cut'' footage in ``Toy Story 2.''

But certain buyers of collectors' editions of the G-rated animated feature DVD were surprised to find inadvertently weaved into it scenes from ``High Fidelity,'' the R-rated 1999 film starring John Cusack as an occasionally foul-mouthed record store owner.

Burbank-based Disney branch Buena Vista Home Entertainment said Tuesday that the problem was a ``manufacturing defect'' created at Technicolor Videocassette, the Camarillo company where the DVDs were produced.

Technicolor said in a statement it ``will continue to investigate the cause of the defect and the magnitude of the problem.''

In a separate statement, Buena Vista said it is ``confident that the defective product has been isolated and removed from store shelves.'' Company representatives would not comment further.

The mixed-up DVDs appear to be contained to a special edition release packaged as ``Toy Story, The Ultimate Toy Box'' and containing three DVDs. Distribution was limited to Costco stores, which sent 10,000 copies of the movie box set back to Disney, according to spokesmen from both companies. The botch, however, is one in a series that has plagued Disney video releases over the past decade.

Last year, Technicolor accidentally recorded the Disney movie ``The Prince of Egypt'' onto DVDs packaged as ``Pinocchio.'' Disney also had to recall 3.4 million videocassettes of its 1977 animated film ``The Rescuers'' after two frames depicting a woman's nude torso were inserted into the master copy.

Disney's video hi-jinks date back further, to 1994 when hawk-eyed videophiles discovered on laserdisc copies of ``Who Framed Roger Rabbit?'' the cartoon character Jessica Rabbit with no underwear. In the same film, the animated character Baby Herman made lewd gestures with his fingers in a few frames of the laserdisc and videocassette versions of the movie.

In 1995, a Christian group criticized Disney for lewd subtleties it said it found in the children's movies ``Aladdin,'' ``The Little Mermaid'' and ``The Lion King.'' In the last, ripples in a cloud of dust spell out the letters S-E-X. The alleged additions were the basis of a 1997 lawsuit by three Louisiana women against Disney subsidiaries.

Costco Vice President and General Merchandise Manager Joe Basse said the problem was discovered Oct. 17 and that the wholesale chain got wind of it the following day when customers returned the ``Toy Story 2'' box set. The Issaquah, Wash.-based company immediately pulled copies off its shelves.

Basse said he's received no explanation of the mix-up from Disney. ``It's all part of the digital world, I guess.''

CAPTION(S):

3 photos, box

Photo: (1 -- color) no caption (Toy Story)

(2 -- color) no caption (John Cusack in High Fidelity)

(3 -- color) no caption (Toy Story)

Box: Jiminy Cricket!

A brief history of Disney video controversies

SOURCE: Daily News and AP research

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 25, 2000
Words:474
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