Disneyís original DVD contained only a theatrical trailer. Criterion of course adds on quite a few things.
First up is an audio commentaryfeaturing director Wes Anderson, co-writer Owen Wilson, and actor Jason Schwartzman. Anderson and Wilson talk mostly about their inspirations and their take on the characters. Anderson talks about some of his real life experiences that were used in the film, including getting kicked out of school himself. Thereís also mention of film influences. Schwartzman offers some amusing anecdotes and stories and makes it clear that for the movie he "shaved his chest!" I rather liked this track, finding it quite entertaining and funny. Unfortunately everyone was recorded separately (common to early Criterion tracks) but itís still quite informative, and also still the best one of all of the Criterion Wes Anderson tracks.
The rest of the supplements are divided into sections, the first called ďAV Club.Ē
A making-of featurette on the film by Wes' brother Eric is also included. Running 17-minutes it doesnít really get that in-depth, only offering a shallow look from the set. Itís interesting, giving an idea of the feel from the set but thatís about it. I guess I liked watching it but have to be honest in saying if it wasnít here I probably wouldnít have missed it.
An interview with Anderson and Murray on The Charlie Rose Show is also included on the disc. Iíve never really watched the show so I am unfamiliar with his interview style, but I canít say I was all that impressed. At 54-minutes he sort of meanders around with Rose concentrating on aspects that donít have to do much with the film. Murrayís portion takes up the most time, around 36-minutes or so, and Anderson gets the rest. The only interesting portion of the interview (that I can recall) is Anderson recalling how he was able to convince Murray to be in the film, which included sending him copy after copy of Bottle Rocket in hopes of convincing him. But I donít even think Rose watched the film and has very little interest in it (I felt anyways.) I actually question the inclusion of this as a feature, though wonder if Anderson felt it was somewhat funny (and I suspect this was the inspiration for the joke interviews that appear on the other Criterion DVDs of his films.) Worth watching only for its bizarre qualities.
Storyboards and a storyboard comparisons are also here. While the drawings are crude, I rather liked them. The scene compared is the opening sequence of Max figuring out the hardest possible math question. Finally you'll find the rather amusing theatrical trailer for the film.
"Archiva Graphica" is a photo gallery but has a very nice set-up. For example it shows the portrait displayed at the beginning of the film (the Bloom family portrait) and allows you to navigate through (using the arrows on your remote) to see close-ups of the portrait and even a photo of Murray posing for it. You can see the original concept for the theatrical poster (which I actually liked) and some close ups on that. Production stills are thrown about but the one bit I liked was the speech Max read to his new class is also included, presented over multiple cue cards. You can even find Mr. Blumes opening speech in here.
"The Max Fischer Players Present" section contains more photos, like the pamphlets and poster that were used for Max's plays.
This section also presents cast audition footage. They're presented for the twins Ronnie and Keith McCrawley, Mason Gamble, Sara Tanaka, Stephen McCole and of course Jason Schwartzman.
An amusing extra are a bunch of shorts used for the MTV Music Awards that have Max and his gang perform their own takes on The Truman Show, Armageddon and Out of Sight. Theyíre rather amusing, if too short.
We also get two inserts. We get a booklet written by film critic Dave Kehr and we also get a map that displays all of Rushmore's key events drawn by Eric Chase Anderson.
Itís a nice release, though future Criterion/Anderson releases were a little more impressive. Still I rather liked the commentary, the MTV Award skits, and the photo galleries. Plus itís better than the Disney DVD, which contained only a trailer. 6/10