Universal's centennial Blu-ray bonanza

Hollywood giant confirms Jaws, E.T. and The Birds on Blu-ray as part of 2012 celebration

On April 30, 1912, Universal Film Manufacturing Company came into being. Flash-forward 100 years and Universal Studios is now one of the biggest players in Hollywood. To celebrate a century of film production, Universal Studios is planning a yearlong celebration of its cinematic legacy, including a series of extensive film restorations and the long-awaited Blu-ray debut of a number of its classic films from the likes of Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg.

Major restorations
The celebration gets underway here in the UK on February 13 with the Blu-ray release of To Kill a Mockingbird and All Quiet on the Western Front. These are the first in a series of 13 major film restorations the studio has undertaken, which also includes The Birds, Buck Privates, Dracula (English and Spanish versions), Frankenstein, Jaws, Schindler's List, Out of Africa, Pillow Talk, Bride of Frankenstein and The Sting

All of the above titles will make their Blu-ray debut throughout the coming year as part of a limited edition 100th Anniversary Collector's Series. featuring collectible digi-book packaging showcasing rare movie memorabilia, plus newly-comissioned special features. Universal also promises a series of what it calls 'special collections' (we're guessing, boxsets) throughout the year, that will culminate with the Blu-ray debut of the Universal Classic Monster and Alfred Hitchcock series. Other Universal classics such as Spielberg's E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial that have shaped the company will make their debut on Blu-ray alongside a series of re-releases with commemorative packaging.

Holiday hijinks
February also sees the unveiling of a new Universal Studios animated logo at the US premiere of Dr Seuss's The Lorax. This logo will then be used on all Universal Pictures releases going forward and will be integrated into all aspects of the company's business as well.

Meanwhile, Universal's Parks and Resorts will be joining in the fun with events and merchandise at both the Orlando and Hollywood locations. The studio claims that a 'specially-themed entertainment experience' celebrating its heritage will soon be announced for the Orlando resort, while the Hollywood park offers a world-famous Studio Tour with expert guides taking guests on a tour through 100 years of moviemaking history on the Universal Studios production backlot.

Further details about the celebrations, including extensive social media plans, will be announced at the new Universal Centennial website.