Dear Mom and Dad,
You’ll be glad to learn that Junior/Juniorette is coming home for the holidays. You can look forward to doing several weeks of dirty laundry, waking him/her up at 1 PM, cooking him/her meals every 30 minutes, and their undying gratitude (probably). The best part of winter break, though, is settling on the couch for a movie marathon. Whether your kid loves childhood classics, animated new releases, or comics on the big screen, our list covers it all. This gift guide is designed for “the kid in your kid” – a list of presents for the young ‘un hidden in your grown-up offspring.
‘THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL’ Michael Caine as Scrooge surrounded by an all-felt cast in Brian Henson’s 1992 adaptation of the classic Dickens story.
‘THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS’ Tim Burton’s 1993 vision of a goth Christmas, rendered in stop-motion animation by the director Henry Selick (“Coraline”).
‘INDIANA JONES: THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES’ All four films in the action-adventure series directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by George Lucas, three of them on Blu-ray for the first time. There’s a fifth disc of supplements.
‘BRAVE’ The adventures of a rebellious princess in early Scotland, in an animated film from Pixar. Kelly MacDonald stars as a fiery redhead who embarks on woodland adventures – a nice change of pace from the ‘Princess/Prince Charming.’
‘HUGO’ It’s his first children’s film, but you’d think he’s been doing it for ages. Martin Scorsese adapted Brian Selznick’s ‘The Invention of Hugo Cabret’ into a Franco- and cinephilic fantasy, starring Sir Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Emily Mortimer and the two stunning child actors, Asa Butterfield and Chloe Grace Moretz.
‘PARANORMAN’ Writer/director Chris Butler puts his experience working on CORALINE and TIM BURTON’ S THE CORPSE BRIDE to good use in this charmingly morbid tale of an eccentric young hero facing supernatural forces that would make most grown-ups cower in fear. Eleven-year-old Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is a young misfit with a remarkable gift: he sees dead people.
‘ICE AGE 4’ Scrat the Squirrel’s acorn obsession sparks a continental catastrophe that sends Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary), and Sid (John Leguizamo) on an epic adventure involving a ship full of fearsome pirates, and an unexpected reunion as the ‘Ice Age’ saga continues in this eye-popping sequel.
‘ARTHUR CHRISTMAS’ So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night? The answer: Santa’s exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole. But at the center of the film is a story about a family in a state of comic dysfunction and an unlikely hero, Arthur, with an urgent mission that must be completed before Christmas morning dawns.
‘THE PIRATES: BAND OF MISFITS’ The wizards of stop-motion mirth at Britain’s Aardman Animations have significantly stepped up their art, craft, and storytelling style in this claymation film. The source material is a series of books by Gideon Defoe that are of the for-kids-and-grownups-alike variety, which means The Pirates! is perfect family fare that has plenty of intelligent asides to counterbalance the wacky and slapstick shenanigans. The story is set on the tropical high seas and in the heart of Victorian London, where the nefarious Queen Victoria herself (Imelda Staunton) has a starring role.
From Comics to Movies
‘THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN’ The classic detective comic got a 21st century spin earlier this year, when the crack team of Steven Spielberg, Steven Moffat and Peter Jackson used motion capture animation to restart the famous series. The Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack includes over 90 minutes of special features that take viewers behind-the-scenes, learn about Tintin’s origins, delve into the design and animation processes, explore the creation of Tintin’s faithful dog, Snowy, and much more.