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Best DVD Picks for the Fam

wizard-of-oz-70thWhen in doubt, buying anyone in the family a DVD for the holidays seems to be the preferred fall back these days. No worries about preferred scents in candles or allergies to nuts.

And if nothing else, they can eBay it when they’re done viewing. So Babble has suffered through a whole lot of DVD viewing (OK, enjoyed a whole lot – and suffered a little) so you don’t have to. Here are our picks for everyone in the fam., culled from Warner Bros. list of holiday suggestions:

The Kids – because the holidays are about them anyway:

The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary 2-Disc Special Edition. Significantly less expensive than the ultimate collector’s edition, this is the better option for one very big reason: the kids don’t care about all those extras. That said, this does have a sing-along feature they’ll love, and a number of making of and retrospective featurettes for Mom and Dad to indulge in.

Happy Feet. Yes, it’s a few years old, but the Academy Award winner has  been redone for Blu-Ray, and to convince you to put in your money, they’ve added private dance lessons with Savion Glover (a film version – sorry mom) and extra animated sequences. Not to mention that blu-ray quality (see, not totally suffering here folks – and neither was our miniature viewer).

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Another blu-ray update and yet another “woo-hoo, there are sing alongs” choice for the kids. Far and away the best movie version of Roald Dahl’s tale, it’s as close as your kids will get to Dahl at home for awhile after falling in love with Fantastic Mr. Fox in the theaters. Although blu-ray reviews are supposed to be about sound and picture quality, we can’t help zeroing in on the packaging – a book makes up the case for this flick, with lyrics to the Oompa Loompa songs and the story behind the story.

march-of-the-penguins-on-the-wings-of-penguinsMarch of the Penguins/On the Wings of Penguins. Another older movie revamped to enhance DVD sales, our  mini reviewer was attracted to this mainly by the adorable penguin stuffed animal holding court in the front of the box. But the second half of the DVD opens up a new world of penguin life unexplored in the first popular documentary. Introducing African penguins and their troubles – mostly human caused. The critters are equally adorable, but fans of March will be pleased to find Wings is more child appropriate in part because it’s shorter on details (better for their attention spans) and in part because of the powerful messages in conveys.

Justice League The Complete Series. OK, I lied. These are supposed to be the DVDs for the kids, but I’m finding as many adult fans as kiddies tuning in for the DC Universe. And that’s OK. Because now they’ve got a cool collector’s tin and all 91 episodes in one spot for you, uh, we mean the kids.

For Mom:

Gossip Girl the Complete Second Season. So it’s a show about teens, do you know how many Moms are watching? No? Probably because we call it our secret shame, and keep it locked up in the same closet as our Twilight. Oh, wait, who let that slip? Label this one a snow day safety net.

Supernatural Season Four. No, we didn’t go searching for the trashiest shows on TV. They came to us. And along with our Elvis Christmas album, we can’t help falling in love. When a show actually names an episode Jump the Shark, we know they’ve got us hooked. The $14.99 pricetag doesn’t hurt either.

two-and-a-half-men-season-sixFor Dad:

The Eleventh Hour Complete Series. CBS let this one go, because of too few viewers, but that makes this one a better gift for Dad because the chances are he didn’t see it. And he should. A crime-fighting scientist who’s special advisor to the FBI incorporates a bit of House with his medical mysteries, a bit of the X-Files and a lot of timely problems.

Terminator Sarah Connor Chronicles Season 2. A great blend of action and drama, the AI-focused plotlines makes this a compelling series. And did we mention they’re about a mother and son duo? Perfect for a parent.

Two and a Half Men Season 6. Whether he’s a single dad or married, he’ll identify somewhere along the way with Charlie and Alan Harper and their brotherly . . . well, sort of love? Raising Alan’s teenage son together, this is the season where Charlie actually grows up (sort of) and the title finally takes on some semblance of meaning.

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