At a carnival, young Josh Baskin (Hanks) wishes he was big ? only to awake the next morning and discover he is! With the help of his friend Billy, Josh lands a job at a toy company. But the more he experiences being an adult, the more Josh longs for the simple joys of childhood.
Penny Marshall's high-concept charmer gets the deluxe treatment in this two-disc set. The first features the theatrical release, an extended edition, and commentary from writers Anne Spielberg (Steven's sister) and Gary Ross (Pleasantville
). The extra material, over 20 minutes worth, is interesting in and of itself, but the original version remains definitive (one of the deleted scenes features Frances Fischer as Billy's stressed-out mother). As for the commentary or "audio documentary," it combines contemporary comments with archival conversation (the duo taped their brainstorming sessions). Since their words are only loosely linked to the visuals, however, a formal documentary approach probably would've worked better. Still, it's amusing to hear them refer to the adult Josh Baskin as the "Bill Murray or Dan Aykroyd character." (Marshall initially had Robert De Niro in mind, with whom she would work in Awakenings
.) Of the five featurettes, four concern aspects of the film, like writing and casting, while The Work of Play
profiles toy company employees like the one that employs Josh after he hits adulthood. Participants include Spielberg, Ross, Marshall, producer James L. Brooks and actors Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, Jared Rushton, and David Moscow--but no Tom Hanks (except in period interviews). The set is rounded out by four trailers. --Kathleen C. Fennessy