Exactly what you’ve all been waiting for… Sort of. Warner Home Video has announced today that they will release Halo: Legends, a series of seven animated short films. It will hit DVD and Blu-ray on February 9, 2010.
For your amusement, please see the official press release below:
Go deeper into the Halo universe than ever before with Halo Legends, an all-new, CG and traditional anime PG-13 experience that presents enthralling new stories from one of the world’s most popular video game franchises. Produced by 343 Industries, a part of Microsoft Game Studios, the exciting tales-beyond-the-games will be distributed February 9, 2010 by Warner Home Video as a Special Edition 2-disc version on DVD and Blu-Ray for $29.98 (SRP) and $34.99 (SRP), respectively, as well as single disc DVD for $19.98 (SRP) due date for all versions is January 5, 2010. The chapters will also be available On Demand and Digital Download.
Halo Legends is a seven-story anthology – told across eight spectacular episodes – that explores the origin and historical events of the Halo universe and its intriguing characters. Halo Legends has been created in the same breakthrough format as The Animatrix and Batman Gotham Knight with each individual episode imagined by a cutting-edge, renowned Japanese anime director/animator, including Shinji Aramaki, Mamoru Oshii, Hideki Futamura, Tomoki Kyoda and Yasushi Muraki. The stories are inspired and produced by the creative minds of 343 Industries, including Halo franchise development director Frank O’Connor and managing editor Kevin Grace.
The individual episodes fall within Halo’s 26th Century mythology as the battle between humanity and aliens rages on in an attempt to protect Earth and mankind’s expansive number of space colonies. The dramatic, action-packed stories feature characters and locales familiar to Halo fans, and episodes range in length between 10 and 17 minutes – resulting in nearly two hours of animated adventures.
The episodes are animated by some of the world’s most respected studios and directors in anime today. The studios range from Production I.G. (Ghost in the Shell, Batman Gotham Knight), Bones (Cowboy Bebop, Fell Metal Alchemist) and Toei Animation (Dragonball Z, Digimon) to Studio 4oC (The Animatrix, Batman Gotham Knight) and Casio Entertainment. The stellar roster of animation talent on Halo Legends is highlighted by creative supervisors Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed) and Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell); directors Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed), Hideki Futamura (The Animatrix), Daisuke Nishio (Dragonball Z), Hiroshi Yamazaki (Karas), Toshiyuki Kanno (Black Lagoon), Koichi Mashimo (Blade of the Immortal) and Koji Sawai (Patlabor); directors/action designers Tomoki Kyoda (Eureka Seven, Evangelion 1.0) and Yasushi Muraki (Macross Plus, Vampire Hunter D); and writer Dai Sato (Cowboy Bebop).
Halo is a centerpiece in the world of video games, selling more than 27 million units to a devoted legion of fans – including the latest hit Halo 3:ODST. The Halo franchise has driven more than $1 billion in revenue from its award winning Xbox games, New York Times best-selling novels and comics and a wide variety of other merchandise.
Halo Legends – 2 Disc Special Edition version will have several hours of incredible bonus features, including:
• The Making of Halo Legends – An introduction to Halo Legends followed by a making-of segment for each episode.
• Halo: Gaming Evolved – Explaining the Halo phenomenon from its inception as an Xbox video game to a present day entertainment franchise.
• Audio Commentary with directors Frank O’Connor and Joseph Chou
• Widescreen (1.78:1)
Halo Legends Blu-Ray versions will be loaded with bonus materials, including all the great extras from the 2-disc Special Edition as well as Halo: The Story so Far, an overview of the Halo universe up until the end of Halo 3
“Halo Legends offers fans stunning, new creative visions of the popular video game’s expansive universe, providing added depth and perspective to these beloved characters and thrilling environments,” said Halo franchise development director Frank O’Connor. “Halo Legends is a perfect complement to the game’s growing canon of ancillary entertainment options.”
“Warner Home Video is proud to partner with Microsoft to bring this video game phenomenon to fans in an altogether different entertainment medium,” said Amit Desai, WHV Vice President of Family, Animation & Partner Brands Marketing. “The great storytelling, memorable characters and truly astounding CG/Anime make Halo Legends a must-have for the fans.”
Halo Legends will be extensively marketed with a major national TV, Print, Radio and Online media campaign.
The campaign will also include trailering on WHV titles to garner an additional 10 million impressions. Exciting promotions with Xbox LIVE, iTunes, Amazon and other related partners will drive strong consumer awareness and demand amongst the core fan base. Additionally, the dedicated Halo Legends website URL halolegendsdvd.com will include an enticing sweepstakes offer to drive traffic and viral activity. More information about Halo and Halo Legends can be found at halolegends.com.
Exclusive previews of Halo Legends will be available on the new Xbox LIVE experience, Halo Waypoint, starting November 7, 2009.