The Joy of Sets: Gift Guide, Take Three!
Faerie Tale Theatre
OK, so now that we've got the holiday commercials running around the clock, I'm sure there are some of you going 'Holy non-denominational celebration! I still need to find the perfect present for [fill in the blank]!' Never fear, here are some more grand ideas to keep you on the right side of your gift-giving icon of choice's "naughty-or-nice" list.
For the Kiddies: Fraggle Rock — The Complete Series
As a Muppet devotee, the idea of subterranean Henson creatures bopping around on TV almost gave me conniptions. Where was Kermie? Or Fozzie?! Nowhere to be found, it turned out. But I am happy to report that 25 years later, Gobo, Red and the rest of the gang are way more awesome than I gave them credit for. And if you have a toddler to buy for, this massive 20-disc joy will not only thrill them, but also the parents who just found a way to keep the kid occupied until next Christmas.
Buy Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series at Amazon.com
For the Big Kiddies: Faerie Tale Theatre
Remember this one? OMG, I was so jealous of my friends who had Showtime, because they got to see Shelley Duvall's enchanting take on the classic tales. They were so fun and cool and had stars like Jeff Bridges, Joan Collins and Jennifer Beals (as, like, the hottest Cinderella ever). But now, thanks to the glorious repackaging of the six seasons, plus a gorgeous storybook, we can all get our happily ever after on. And that gets a big smile from me.
Buy Faerie Tale Theatre at Amazon.com
For People Like My Dad: The Pink Panther — The Ultimate Collection
First off, you're gonna need to lift this one with your knees. It's gigantic! And covered in pink fur, fittingly. Nine discs of cartoons, all of the movies except Return of the Pink Panther (due to copyright issues) and all of that uber-cool Henry Mancini music. More than any Clouseau fan could wish for. I can still hear my father howling at the Inspector-Cato brawls. And this Christmas, I fully expect to hear him again after we crack this bad boy open.
Buy The Pink Panther: The Ultimate Collection at Amazon.com
For People Like My Little Brother: The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection
Since the folks had my kid brother when I was graduating high school (Catholic surprise!), I got to enjoy the late-'80s cartoon scene through his eyes. And there was nothing he dug more than this Emmy-nominated animated off-shoot, which was right fine by me! Granted, it didn't have the voices of Aykroyd, Murray or the rest of the movie dudes, but if you listen closely, you'll hear Arsenio Hall and Dave Coulier more than making up for that as they chill with Slimer. And the Time-Life set, FYI, is stunning. You get gazillions of extras, including an unaired pilot, DVD-ROM goodies, and interviews with what seems like half the production staff. Some call it a cartoon, I call it an accomplishment.
Buy The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection now!
For Cineasts Like My Friend Mario: Paramount's Centennial Collection
Have you seen what they've done to some of their biggest back-titles? Their hi-def remasters of Sabrina, Sunset Boulevard and Roman Holiday are simply to-die-for, as are the bonus discs they've tossed in for good measure. Hell, between the featurettes on Audrey Hepburn's fashion savvy, Holiday writer Dalton Trumbo's blacklist-induced fall from grace, and Joseph Wambaugh's piece on the noir side of Sunset, ya might forget that there are fantastic movies to be screened, too!