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|Sleeping Beauty (Fully Restored Limited Edition) (Walt Disney's Masterpiece) [VHS]
Lowest new price: $7.99
Lowest used price: $1.49
List price: $13.97
Brand: Walt Disney Home Video
Disney's 1959 animated effort was the studio's most ambitious to date, a widescreen spectacle boasting a gorgeous waltz-filled score adapting Tchaikovsky. In the 14th century, the malevolent Maleficent (not dissimilar to the wicked Queen in Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) taunts a king that his infant Aurora will fatally prick her finger on a spinning wheel before sundown on her 16th birthday. This, of course, would deny her a happily-ever-after with her true love. Things almost but not quite turn out that way, thanks to the assistance of some bubbly, bumbling fairies named Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather. It's not really all that much about the title character--how interesting can someone in the middle of a long nap be, anyway? Instead, those fairies carry the day, as well as, of course, good Prince Phillip, whose battle with the malevolent Maleficent in the guise of a dragon has been co-opted by any number of animated films since. See it in its original glory here. And Malificent's castle, filled with warthogs and demonic imps in a macabre dance celebrating their evil ways, manages a certain creepy grandeur. --David Kronke
|101 Dalmatians [VHS]
Lowest new price: $6.68
Lowest used price: $1.00
List price: $15.66
Full of boundless adventure and boisterous fun, Disney's 17th animated masterpiece is the original film classic starring 101 of the world's most lovable, huggable Dalmatians and their hilariously evil captor, Cruella De Vil! A charming London neighborhood is home to Roger and Anita, whose beloved Dalmatians, Pongo and Perdita, have become the proud parents of 15 puppies. But when Cruella and her bumbling henchmen, Horace and Jasper, unexpectedly appear, the pups soon disappear -- along with every other Dalmatian puppy in town! Now Pongo and Perdita must rally their animal friends and use the power of the "Twilight Bark" to find Cruella's secret hideaway and free the puppies. Featuring the unforgettable toe-tapping song "Cruella De Vil," 101 DALMATIANS is one of the most cherished and sought-after Disney classics of all time -- and among the last films to bear the personal touch of Walt Disney.
|White Christmas [VHS]
Lowest new price: $0.99
Lowest used price: $0.01
List price: $9.25
the movie stars Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye
This semi-remake of Holiday Inn (the first movie in which Irving Berlin's perennial, Oscar-winning holiday anthem was featured) doesn't have much of a story, but what it does have is choice: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, an all-Irving Berlin song score, classy direction by Hollywood vet Michael Curtiz (Casablanca, The Adventures of Robin Hood), VistaVision (the very first feature ever shot in that widescreen format), and ultrafestive Technicolor! Crosby and Kaye are song-and-dance men who hook up, romantically and professionally, with a "sister" act (Clooney and Vera-Ellen) to put on a Big Show to benefit the struggling ski-resort lodge run by the beloved old retired general (Dean Jagger) of their WWII Army outfit. Crosby is cool, Clooney is warm, Kaye is goofy, and Vera-Ellen is leggy. Songs include: "Sisters" (Crosby and Kaye do their own drag version, too), "Snow," "We'll Follow the Old Man," "Mandy," "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep," and more. Christmas would be unthinkable without White Christmas. --Jim Emerson
|The Merry Mishaps of Mr. Bean (Mr. Bean, No. 5) [VHS]
Lowest used price: $2.49
Included in this collection is Mr. Bean's brilliant Christmas show, in which the mumbling dolt (Rowan Atkinson) discovers an unusual technique for stuffing a large turkey that causes him to temporarily (and literally) lose his head. Which means, of course, cheese sandwiches for his poor, underappreciated girlfriend, not to mention the cheap gifts.... Also on this tape is Bean's misadventures at a hotel, where he is locked out of his room and ends up on the wrong end of a glare from the fusspot manager. Fabulous stuff. --Tom Keogh
|A Town Like Alice [VHS]
Lowest new price: $19.95
Lowest used price: $4.16
List price: $9.99
Brand: Anchor Bay
Set against the brutal chaos of World War II, a love story begins that will take two lovers through a living nightmare of captivity, across three continents and two decades. From the steamy jungles of Malaya to the dusty and desolate outback of Australia.
Based on Nevil Shute's international bestselling novel, A Town Like Alice follows the lives of Jean Paget and Joe Harman. Meeting in Malaya—she an attractive young English captive and he a cheerful Australian POW tortured for a simple act of kindness. Separated first by their captors then by the distance of passing years, the two are finally reunited in the rugged outback of Australia—to face a challenge every bit as demanding as their wartime trials.
|Back to the Future [VHS]
Lowest new price: $7.00
Lowest used price: $3.01
List price: $7.99
Brand: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is blasted to 1955 in the time machine created by Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and finds himself in a time-shattering situation that jeopardizes his future.
|Sesame Street - Getting Ready to Read [VHS]
Lowest used price: $14.85
List price: $9.98
|How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Includes Horton Hears a Who!) [VHS]
Lowest new price: $4.79
Lowest used price: $1.00
List price: $8.98
Brand: Warner Bros. Home Video
Notes: Produced by Warner Bros.
"A Cat in the hat presentation."
Videocassette version of two animated films released in 1966 and 1970.
Preceded by a brief advertising segment (ca. 3 min.), not included in running time.
Credits: Teleplay, 1st program, Dr. Seuss ; animation, 1st program, Ken Harris ... [et al.], 2nd program, Ben Washam ... [et al.] ; editing, Lovell Norman, John Young, Jim Faris ; lyrics, Dr. Seuss ; music, Albert Hague, Eugene Poddany.
Performer(s): Narrator and Grinch voice, 1st program, Boris Karloff ; narrator, 2nd program, Hans Conried ; voices, 2nd program, June Foray, Chuck Jones.
Description: 1 videocassette (52 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in and with clamshell case with original artwork.
Details: VHS format. Dolby processed.
Contents: Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch stole Christmas (c1966) (26 min.) --
Dr. Seuss' Horton hears a Who! (c1970) (26 min.).
Series Title: Warner Bros. family entertainment.
Other Titles: How the Grinch stole Christmas
Responsibility: produced by Churck Jones and Ted Geisel ; directed by Chuck Jones ; co-director, Ben Washam.
How the Grinch stole Christmas is a tale of a mean-spirited Grinch and his attempts to steal the Christmas celebration of Who-ville. Also included is "Horton hears a Who!" in which a big-eared elephant named Horton protects the tiny inhabitants of Who-ville. Animated.
This all-time classic now has Horton Hears a Who! on the same video for a great double bill.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
To heck with the kids--this is one of the best holiday presents you can give yourself. Adapted from the children's book by Dr. Seuss, this charming story is one to watch every holiday season. It is just edgy enough to help you forget the more cloying aspects of Christmas, yet it is also sweet enough to remind you of the reason for all that holiday cheer. Animation genius Chuck Jones directed this 1966 television production featuring the voice of Boris Karloff as the mean greenie. Bitter and selfish, the Grinch decides to steal Christmas away from the Whos, the sweet little folk who live at the bottom of his mountain home. When little Cindy Loo Who returns his hateful act with kindness, she melts the old miser's heart. There are many reasons to watch this: inventive wordplay, Karloff's impressive narration, and a very memorable soundtrack. --Rochelle O'Gorman
Horton Hears a Who!
Chuck Jones was chief animator on this lively adaptation of the famous book by Dr. Seuss. The story of a friendly elephant named Horton who discovers--deep inside a daisy--a tiny city called Whoville with tiny, intelligent residents--this film (fleshed out a bit from the source) is strong on character and has striking, appealing visuals. The little folks of Whoville, with their natural air of aristocracy, are a kick, and when they come to see Horton as a hero for his democratic view of all life big and small, the effect is quite touching. This should be a real treat for kids already familiar with the book, and just might inspire those who haven't read it to pick it up. --Tom Keogh
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas Includes Horton Hears a Who
- Includes Horton Hears a Who
- Warner Bros. Home Video
- Warner Bros
|It's a Wonderful Life [VHS]
Lowest new price: $1.00
Lowest used price: $0.89
List price: $9.98
Now perhaps the most beloved American film, It's a Wonderful Life was largely forgotten for years, due to a copyright quirk. Only in the late 1970s did it find its audience through repeated TV showings. Frank Capra's masterwork deserves its status as a feel-good communal event, but it is also one of the most fascinating films in the American cinema, a multilayered work of Dickensian density. George Bailey (played superbly by James Stewart) grows up in the small town of Bedford Falls, dreaming dreams of adventure and travel, but circumstances conspire to keep him enslaved to his home turf. Frustrated by his life, and haunted by an impending scandal, George prepares to commit suicide on Christmas Eve. A heavenly messenger (Henry Travers) arrives to show him a vision: what the world would have been like if George had never been born. The sequence is a vivid depiction of the American Dream gone bad, and probably the wildest thing Capra ever shot (the director's optimistic vision may have darkened during his experiences making military films in World War II). Capra's triumph is to acknowledge the difficulties and disappointments of life, while affirming--in the teary-eyed final reel--his cherished values of friendship and individual achievement. It's a Wonderful Life was not a big hit on its initial release, and it won no Oscars (Capra and Stewart were nominated); but it continues to weave a special magic. --Robert Horton
|Lady and the Tramp [VHS]
Lowest new price: $2.10
Lowest used price: $1.59
List price: $6.95
Brand: Walt Disney
Generations of fan have fallen in love with walt disney 15th animated masterpiece an irresistible song-filled adventure about lady, a lovingly pampered cocker spaniel, and tramp, a roguish mutt from across the tracks. As one of disney's most delightful and captivating classics, lady and the tramp has earned praise as a marvel of animation. When aunt sarah moves in with her devious felines si and am to baby sit, the very protective lady soon finds herself being fitted for the unthinkable a muzzle. In her bid for freedom, she meets and is charmed by tramp, dog about town.
Disney's first animated feature in CinemaScope is now available in widescreen presentations on video, and it is definitely good to get the whole picture. One of the studio's most original and charming movies, the 1955 film tells the story of a rakish, street-smart dog named Tramp, who helps an aristocratic pooch named Lady out of some trouble and then commences a romance with her. Sweet, funny scenes abound, and the combination of innocence and sophistication would have done well in a live-action picture. Peggy Lee cowrote the songs and provides the voice of the Siamese cats in one of the film's best-known musical sequences. This newly restored version spruces up both sonics and visuals, and a letterbox version is available. --Tom Keogh
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