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Holiday Gift Guide



Written by Sara Michelle Fetters, Mitchell Hattaway, Dennis Crane




The Fantastic Mr. Fox

(save and buy from Amazon)


Like the best family or all-ages entertainment, Fantastic Mr. Fox can be appreciated by different people on different levels, and even by many people on the same levels. After stumbling a bit with his last two live-action efforts, Wes Anderson came roaring back with this adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book. I have the feeling there’s an audience out there just waiting to discover it. Hot box!




[ Fantastic Mr. Fox Blu-ray Review ]




Beauty and the Beast (Diamond Edition)

(save and buy from Amazon)


As far as animation is concerned, nobody does high-definition better than the folks over at Walt Disney. Time and time again they’ve put out product that boggles the mind, and this virtuoso talent is no more apparent than with this 1991 Oscar-winning classic. From the opening frames viewers are in absolute awe, the cacophony of colors just bursting off the screen. This 3-disc set comes packed with extras fit for the whole family’s enjoyment, making this the perfect present for fans young and old alike.


-Sara Michelle


[ Beauty and the Beast Blu-ray Review ]




How to Train Your Dragon

(save and buy from Amazon)


One of the most invigorating and pleasant surprises of 2010, How to Train Your Dragon is a thrilling coming of age Viking-set adventure about a young outcast boy befriending a wounded dragon and through their growing friendship finding the key to saving his village from ruination. The movie is a soaring spectacle that might just be the best thing DreamWorks Animation has ever produced. The Blu-ray is simply astonishing, a quality product filled with goodies galore. A perfect present for the kids, but as I’m tempted to proclaim it one of the best films of the year maybe I’m being shortsighted as I’m fairly sure adults love the darn thing, too.


-Sara Michelle





(save and buy from Amazon)


Yeah, the lack of a lossless audio track for the original Japanese mix rankles, but it’s Miyazaki in high-def, which is gold.




[ Ponyo Blu-ray Review ]




Fantasia / Fantasia 2000

(save and buy from Amazon)


A combo-pack of two Disney classics, probably a pair of the most ambitious animated pictures the studio has ever attempted. The true highlight here is of course 1940’s Fantasia featuring Paul Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” with Mickey Mouse (voiced by Walt Disney himself for the final time), the melodious fairy-driven version of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite” and the terrifyingly thrilling “Night on Bald Mountain” by Mussorgsky. But don’t throw the winning Fantasia 2000 out with the bathwater, it’s got plenty of remarkable moments as well.


-Sara Michelle




The Karate Kid

(save and buy from Amazon)


The 1984 original holds a place very near and dear in my heart, and my affinity for Daniel Russo and Mr. Miyagi’s adventure cannot be overstated. Sony’s reasonably priced Blu-ray of the film is a certified can’t miss, the studio giving it a beauteous presentation worthy of hi-def. So sit back, relax and enjoy watching Daniel fight his way to glory and learn from his sensei that sometimes the best punch is the one that is not thrown.


-Sara Michelle





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