A new DVD release of interest from Facets The Animation of Alexeïeff featuring the pinscreen films of Alexeïeff and his wife Claire Parker, including such famed shorts as Night on Bare Mountain (1933) and The Nose (1963), along with commercials and documentaries, including The Pinscreen (Norman McLaren, 1973), as well as Jacques Droulin’s Mindscape, a National Film Board of Canada film made using Alexeïeff and Parker’s pinscreen (which ended up at the NFB). The set, in English and French, appears to be the same as now out-of-print ones previously available in the UK (Animation Works of Alexander Alexeieff ) and France (Le cinéma épinglé), which are both now out-of-print.
Currently, there is an almost total lack of films by Émile Cohl, the pioneer French animator, who also worked in the United States, available in on DVD; I know of two DVDs that I that have his seminal Fantasmagorie (1908), which is often seen as the first fully animated film to explore the artistic possibilities of the medium. While there may be other films available here and there, a complete edition of his extant films is long overdue.
However, in searching Amazon France, I noticed the announcement of a new book, Émile Cohl: L’inventeur du dessin animé (Émile Cohl: Inventor of the Animated Cartoon), by Cohl’s grandson Pierre-Courtet Cohl, with an introduction by Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies), to be published on August 20th; and best of all, the book also also includes a 2-DVD set of all the Cohl’s existing films. There is no indication yet whether the DVDs are region free; if not, it might be a reason to get a region free player or software.