Happy holidays! Here is a list of Christmas, winter, and holiday themed Blu-ray/DVD releases for kids new in 2012.
Photo © Sony Pictures
Up at the north pole, Arthur, one of Santa's two sons, works in the mail room carefully reading and responding to letters from children all over the world. Arthur doesn't have the leadership skills of his big brother Steve, but he's got Christmas spirit to spare. When one child is inadvertently forgotten on Christmas night, Arthur reminds everyone what Christmas is all about. Arthur Christmas
was released in theaters in 2011. The movie is uniquely animated in a bright and colorful style, and it's a comical Christmas adventure for the whole family. (PG, recommended for ages 5+)
Photo © Disney
The Totally Tinsel Collection contains two Disney Christmas specials which aired originally on ABC family: Prep & Landing
and Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice
. These specials are really fun, hilarious, and well done, but short, so it's good to have them both together on one disc to watch at the same time. The title also includes several bonus features as well as two animated shorts. We all love the Christmas classics, but sometimes it's fun to get something new, and the Prep & Landing shows are worthy of becoming classics for years to come. (TV-G, recommended for ages 3+)
Photo © NCircle Entertainment
This feature length special of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That
finds the Cat in the Hat on a Christmas adventure with his friends Sally and Nick. The educational journey begins when a poor baby reindeer needs help finding his way back home. When the unexpected happens, the Cat, Nick, Sally and the Fish must depend on a variety of animals - from African bush elephants to bottlenose dolphins to red crabs - and their remarkable abilities to help them. (Recommended for ages 2-7, NR)
Photo © Disney
Okay, to explain this new title, we have to go back to 2009 -- or even a little further. You remember the Disney classic Air Bud
, well he had some puppies called the Buddies. Disney has made several movies featuring these adorable little pups with personalities, one of which was the 2009 Christmas movie Santa Buddies
. In this movie, the Buddies meet Puppy Paws, son of Santa's right-hand dog Santa Paws. A spinoff movie about Santa Paws called The Search for Santa Paws
came out in 2010. And that brings us to Santa Paws 2
In Santa Paws 2
, Santa Paws' pups -- Hope, Jingle, Charity and Noble -- stow away in Santa's sleigh when Mrs. Claus travels to a town called Pineville to seek out a special person with a lot of Christmas spirit. The pups mean well, but they get into trouble when their Christmas wish granting goes awry.
Photo © Viacom
SpongeBob isn't really my cup of tea, but I will admit that the show does contain a bit of cleverness in there with the obnoxious humor. It must, after all, have something going for it. SpongeBob has lasted over 10 seasons and continues to be one of the most popular animated shows on TV. What I love about this new Christmas movie, is that it's stop-motion animated. The style is quirky and looks like the old-school stop motion we all love and remember. It's got a lot of character.
In the movie, Plankton is upset about getting a lump of coal every Christmas. Does he decide to be good this year, so he can get off of the naughty list? Nope. He decides to make everyone else in Bikini Bottom bad.
Photo © Dreamworks Animation
Master Shifu asks Po to host the epic Winter Feast in this holiday special from Dreamworks. We know Po has mad kung fu skills, and he can take down the most infamous bad guys. But can he pull his weight as a party planner?
Bonus features on the title include a learn to draw segment (always a favorite with kids), how to use chopsticks, the Kung Fu Panda Holiday Shuffle, and more.
Photo © Dreamworks
3 Dreamworks holiday classics all on one Blu-ray:
- Merry Madagascar: In this wild adventure featuring our Madagascar friends, Santa and his reindeer crash onto the island of Madagascar. Alex, Marty, Gloria, Melman and the penguins are the only ones who can save Christmas. Also includes "The Penguins in a Christmas Caper."
- Shrek the Halls: Ogres aren't really known for their Christmas spirit, but Shrek tries his best to get things right for Fiona and the kids. But, as per usual, his best laid plans are turned upside down by Donkey and the gang. Also includes "Donkey's Caroling Christmas-tacular."
- Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury: How to Train Your Dragon is one of the better animated films of the last decade, so it's no wonder Dreamworks brought the characters back for a holiday special. In "Gift of the Night Fury," Toothless has Hiccup and his friends worried, but they soon see the amazing reason for the dragons' weird behavior.
I wouldn't call these holiday specials Christmas classics, but they are funny and our family enjoyed watching all of them. This is probably a Blu-ray I would put on for the kids while I'm trying to cook or something. They will happily watch it again, but it's not one we will likely sit down to watch as a family every year.
Photo © Anchor Bay
Eleven-year-old Bobby finds great joy in his best friend, his dog Chilly. But when Bobby's single parent father Patrick accepts a job in New York City with the FBI, he fears that Chilly won't make a good indoor dog. Bobby and his friends attempt to teach Chilly a few new tricks for becoming the perfect indoor dog. Meanwhile, a ring of dog thieves have sniffed out Chilly and plan to make a little cash off him. This Christmas caper proves that a boy's love for his dog can surmount almost any obstacle. (NR)
Photo © Lionsgate
Internet sensation Gummibär saves the day when Santa is kidnapped by an alien! Yep, kids have made this YouTube bear so popular, he got his own show. Gummibär and his friends Cala the cat, Vamp the bat, and Harry the chameleon must find out what happened to Santa when he is reported missing after a visit to Christmas Island. The movie contains several of the popular Gummibär songs. (NR, see review for age recommendation)
Photo © Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Princess Odette, Prince Derek and their trusted woodland friends reunite in an all new Christmas celebration. As the kingdom prepares for a festive holiday, the villainous Rothbart plots to destroy Christmas. This CG animated tale features music featuring music by Anna Graceman. (PG)