"The Hunger Games" DVD Release August 18th - With Classroom Connections

The Hunger Games DVD cover image via Entertainment Weekly


Let the 12-week Countdown Begin!

Entertainment Weekly announced this week that the DVD and Blu-Ray versions of "The Hunger Games" movie will be released at 12:01 a.m. on August 18th...just in time for the start of a new school year!

One of the great features in the two-disc set is three (yes, three!) hours of bonus footage. It includes an eight-part behind-the-scenes documentary called The World is Watching: Making of The Hunger Games. 

You'll be able to pre-order the DVD or Blu-Ray versions tomorrow (Friday, May 25th - which marks the 12-week countdown to its release) for $39.99 or $30.99.

Many people have questioned why Lionsgate has gone against conventional wisdom when it comes to both the movie release and DVD release dates. Traditionally, most block-buster movies debut in the summer (such as the "Harry Potter" movies) and the DVDs are released around the holidays–perfect for stocking stuffers. But to me, it's a no-brainer. The Hunger Games trilogy is such a popular series to read (and teach) in school, so it only makes sense that the movie be released during a time when students are most-likely to be taking field trips while the DVD will hit the shelves as teachers and students are heading back to the classroom. Chocking it full of extras that enhance the educational aspect of the film further solidifies this. So I'd like to send Lionsgate a big "Thank You" for thinking of those of us in the field of education.

Classroom Connections

One topic covered in the extras that will be especially useful for teachers and students studying The Hunger Games is the discussion about why certain aspects from the novel did or did not make it into the movie. This can help in students' analysis of the film and the rationale behind the changes.

Image courtesy of http://www.charlesatlas.com
Another noteworthy feature is the actual "Propaganda Film" from the movie. I have a feeling there's more about the Dark Days and the first rebellion, as written in the novel. And perhaps there's even more about the Treaty of Treason that offers additional insight. I'd also like to study the actual images and video used in the piece. Was it just me, or was there a Charles Atlas moment in there when showing the boy and girl tributes (likely depicting Careers, obviously)? This feature will be an interesting addition to your lessons on propaganda. You can compare the scenes with advertisements like those for the Mr. Atlas program.

Will we ever see an official map of Panem?

As with the release of the movie in theaters, I feel as though the DVD will continue to fill in the blanks left by the movie. I have not read anything about offering an official Map of Panem, but an article on Down With the Capitol quotes Lionsgate's press release stating that there will be commentary about the creation of the control room, which features the three-dimensional map of the arena.

So, since we don't get an official Map of Panem in "The Hunger Games" movie, when, if at all, do you think we'll get to see one? I had heard rumors that "The Hunger Games Adventures" online game would feature one, but I have yet to see one surface. It would make sense that we would have to wait until the "Mockingjay" movie to see one. [SPOILER ALERT!] I think the first moment we "see" one in the novels is when Katniss is in Command in District 13 and President Coin walks around the room "studying the illuminated district maps that show the ongoing troop positions in the war" (from Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, page 76). What do you think? Is there an earlier moment to release it? Or will they release it at all?

Here's a link to my unofficial maps of Panem and rationale for district placement.
For teaching materials, see my Hunger Games Book vs. Movie activities packet, which is also included on my Hunger Games Complete Teaching Unit on CD.

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