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Disney's delightful 1973 film Robin Hood – its animal characters deftly voiced by such standout actors as Peter Ustinov, Andy Devine, and Terry Thomas – has been cleaned up before and offered on DVD. This "Most Wanted Edition" has even greater audio and video definition, some instructional background on the art – and a compelling (though not necessarily better) alternative ending in storyboard form.
To jump-start some gift ideas, try www.gifts.com. It lets you plug in the gender, age, and character type of your giftee (proud parent? domestic diva? achiever?) and makes suggestions – some practical (a multiple gadget charging station) and some wacky (a toaster that burns Hello Kitty into bread slices). Just try to leave empty-handed.
A little help from his friends
Neil Young's Rolodex reads like a Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame inductee list. For years, he has invited the likes of Pearl Jam, R.E.M., Sarah McLachlan, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and James Taylor to play the annual Bridge School Concert for physically challenged children. Over 70 highlights – such as Thom Yorke singing "After the Gold Rush" – are on iTunes.
As seasonal gifts begin to trickle in, some "regifting" is sure to ensue. The credit counselors at Money Management International have created a site – regiftable.com – for the discussion of the phenomenon. More than 400 stories have already been posted in a contest (deadline: Dec. 31) with prizes ranging from DVDs to a Seinfeld labelmaker (inside joke).
Mr. Christmas, a modest independent film (only an hour long) about how two little girls and their poor parents celebrate Christmas during the early 1940s, has a quiet charm, far removed from what passes for TV holiday fare. It airs on PBS later this month; the DVD is on sale at: http://www.luminousfilms.net/.