Holiday entertainment: Five favorite movies, TV episodes and albums
BY JENNIFER CHANCELLOR World Scene Writer
Friday, November 23, 2012
11/23/12 at 4:07 AM
The holiday season is nigh. Have no fear, as these movies, television shows and music selections will leave you Thankful for what you have, even if it's just extra time to fleeing your family to prowl Black Friday sales.
Check out this hybrid mix of funny and quirky family-friendly picks that will put a smile on everyone's face - even grandpa's.
Five family movies for time well spent
1. "Edward Scissorhands": (PG-13) In a story that teaches everyone about the power of kindness (and fear), this Tim Burton classic features a scissor-handed Johnny Depp, Vincent Price's last movie role and a town full of people who turn on the exceedingly gentle man during the holiday season. 1990. Rental, streaming, Blu-ray, DVD.
2. "Arthur Christmas": (PG) For everyone who's ever wondered how all those presents get delivered in just one night. Rental, streaming, Blu-ray, DVD. 2011.
3. "Alice's Restaurant": (Unrated, adult themes) Woody Guthrie's son, Arlo, tells his true-life tale of Thanksgiving, based on his hit folk song, "Alice's Restaurant Massacree." 1969. Streaming, DVD.
4. "Grumpy Old Men": (PG-13) Neighbors Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau really get to sparring once hot neighbor Ann-Margret moves in down the street. What follows is a high-stakes rivalry between seniors competing like teenagers. 1993. Rental, streaming, Blu-ray, DVD.
5. "Joyful Noise": (PG-13) Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah star in this music-centric comedy about sparring choir leaders as they head to a national competition. 2012. Rental, streaming.
Five television favorites
1. "Freaks and Geeks": Because school's out and adults tend to reminisce about the "good old days," this classic TV series will have enough laughs, pop-culture references and "real-life" teen angst situations to keep almost everyone laughing. Eighteen episodes of the short-lived but popular 1980s-era high school sitcom "Freaks and Geeks" are available to stream on Netflix. (Recommended: Episode 11, "Looks and Books.") Streaming, Blu-ray and DVD.
2. "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving": This 1973 television short takes off when Peppermint Patty invites herself - and her friends - over to Charlie Brown's home for Thanksgiving dinner. With help from Woodstock, Snoopy, Linus and others, the lovable round-head succeeds. Streaming, Blu-ray and DVD.
3. "Dreamworks Holiday Classics": Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer and Chris Rock star in these five tooled-toward-holiday film shorts, including "Merry Madagascar," "Donkey's Christmas Shrektacular," "Dragon's Gift of the Night Fury" and more. Streaming, Blu-ray and DVD.
4. "Fat Albert's Christmas Special": This 1977 TV classic features the voice and characters of Bill Cosby. When a family's car breaks down and they wander into a nearby junkyard looking for help, Fat Albert and the gang warmly welcome them into their clubhouse. Streaming, DVD.
5. "Jeff Dunham Very Special Christmas Special": This stand-up special originally aired in 2008 on Comedy Central and includes Q&A sessions with puppet Walter dressed as Santa, Achmed's holiday tips and more. Streaming and DVD.
Five retro-fantastic seasonal albums
1. "A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector": This one gets played every single year. Holiday classics are revved up with huge voices and Spector's magnificent "wall of sound" production. Singers include Darlene Love, The Ronettes, The Crystals and his classic Wrecking Crew studio band. Songs include "The Bells of St. Mary's," "Sleigh Ride," "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" and more. (1963)
2. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer": Folk singer Burl Ives created an album as classic as his character in the timeless Rankin-Bass stop-motion masterpiece of the same name. Tunes include "We're a Couple of Misfits," "A Holly Jolly Christmas," the title track and more. (1963)
3. "Ella Fitzgerald Wishes You a Swinging Christmas": The jazz singer joins a full orchestra for lush productions of "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!," "White Christmas," "Good Morning Blues" and more. (1960)
4. "James Brown's Funky Christmas": Funk-soul demigod James Brown presents songs including "Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto," "Christmas Is Love," "Tit For Tat (Ain't No Taking Back)" and more. (1970)
5. "A Charlie Brown Christmas": By Vince Guaraldi Trio. This jazz master has created colorful and fun versions of "O Tannenbaum," "What Child Is This?," "FÃ1/4r Elise" and more. (1965)
Bonus: "Soul Christmas," featuring original takes on classic tunes by Booker T. & The MG's, Otis Redding, The Drifters, Luther Vandross and more. (1991)
Original Print Headline: 5 for the holidays
Jennifer Chancellor 918-581-8346
"Arthur Christmas" is a good holiday movie the family can enjoy together, and it's out on DVD. Sony Pictures Animation/Courtesy
Johnny Depp stars as the title character in director Tim Burton's classic "Edward Scissorhands." Courtesy
Thanksgiving may be over, but the classic special, "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," is still worth finding all season long. United Feature Syndicate Inc./Courtesy