There’s a few things we know about here at Needcoffee.com, especially when it comes to our readers. The first is that you’re busy people. You have lives. You are going ninety-to-nothing a lot. So you have a tendency to forget things…you know, like gifts for people in your life. It’s not that they’re not important to you, it’s that your brain is addled by modern life. (Even if that’s not the case, trust us, go with it–you’ll get sympathy instead of blame.) So it’s never too late to present you with a holiday guide. And the other thing we know is that our readers are, for the most part, big kids. So throwing out a bunch of Disney stuff is perfect for you mad caffeinated weasels. So here we go.
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First up is the very impressive Up DVD/Blu-Ray Combo Edition, which would be awesome just on its own. But we’re talking about the set that comes with a Collectible Luxo Jr. desk lamp as well as a base where you can stash your Disney Blu-Ray discs. Yes, the lamp lights up. Yes, it’s adjustable. So that’s nice. I’m a bit miffed that it only runs off of four AA batteries, but so be it. I assume the addition of an AC option would have made the set more pricey than it already is, but still, it would have been nice. And yes, I know this is mainly for decoration and gee-whiz rather than, you know, actual serious illumination. But still. The base’s space to display your Blu-Ray discs is adjustable so it will allow for just as many as you own. It looks like it will hold up to seven Blu-Ray discs, possibly eight. (Sorry, I didn’t feel like yanking out the Blu-Rays so I could experiment.) So that’s the limited edition collectible part of the equation and a true Pixar nut (like myself) will dig it.
[ad#longpost]The Blu-Ray/DVD is fairly formidable. Of course, there’s the film, which looks awesome in Blu-Ray and is probably still my favorite film of the year thus far. Going in reverse order with the four discs, number four is for the digital copy. The third disc is your DVD which comes with some features (which also show up on the Blu-Ray): both animated shorts–the “Partly Cloudy” that was the opening act for the feature film in cinemas, and “Dug’s Special Mission,” a new one; a commentary with scribes and directors Pete Docter and Bob Peterson; and two featurettes, one on the villain and one on the exotic South American locale featured in the film. Bonus bits on the Blu-Ray discs include, on disc two, a slew of featurettes covering set pieces and characters, as well as bonus promo bits. There’s also a game and trailers. The main Blu-Ray exclusive bit on the first disc is a bunch of picture-in-picture stuff that accompanies the audio commentary in this version.
The set is immense…is it completely Criterion Collection level worthy? No, but it’s damn fine nonetheless. You can buy the Luxo Jr. set from Amazon here, or if you just want the DVD/Blu-Ray Combo, you can snag that here.
And I’d like to point out that even if you don’t have Blu-Ray capability, I would go ahead and snag these. Because at some point in the future, you will own one. And you know how Disney likes to make stuff go out of print. Need I say more?
So I’m a sucker for archival/saved-for-posterity stuff when it comes to pop culture, especially stuff like animation. Because I can’t draw to save my misbegotten life, the whole notion of being able to is fascinating to me. Hell, I even got excited about animation backgrounds on more than one occasion. So the Walt Disney Animation Studios Archive Series is fantastic. In this second volume you get scads of artwork…everything from Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to Princess and the Frog. And Disney keeps just about freaking everything, so this is the tip of the iceberg. This is the pure artwork equivalent of the Walt Disney Treasures and for any animation nut (like me), they’ll freaking love this. You can buy this volume from Amazon and the first volume is also still in print.
I have to admit, of all the cool stuff I saw out at D23 this year, The Art of the Disney Princess is one thing I couldn’t stop talking about. Because I just love the concept: give a bunch of artists, inside Disney and outside both, license to take the idea of many of Disney’s princess characters and run with them. What you wind up with is a coffee table art book that has just a wealth of interpretations. You get every type of medium available: watercolor, digital media, photography, oil, pencils…you name it, it’s pretty much in here. And the interps are fantastic: everything from standard portaits to Snow White turned into a manga warrior. There’s gothic Snow Whites with apples and princess dolls photographed in real world locations. One of my favorites is a mashup between Snow White and the artwork of the Haunted Mansion. Is every piece in here amazing? No, not in the least. What’s amazing is that Disney allowed the book to happen. And I think that’s kinda cool. Any lover of the Disney princess line, teenager and up, will dig this book. Click here to buy it from Amazon.
We’re here with the Cars Ultimate Gift Pack, ultimate in that it contains the Blu-Ray/DVD combo plus two diecast cars, one of “Cruisin’ Lightning McQueen” and the other of “Rescue Squad Mater.” They are exclusive to this set and sport “custom Ransburg paint,” which I’m certain is impressive to you auto fans. To answer the next obvious question, no, Rescue Squad Mater’s ladder doesn’t move at all.
As for the two-disc set, a lot of people criticized this film as being one of Pixar’s least successful (i.e. the worst they’ve ever done is pretty good) but I was just impressed that they had gotten me to care about cars, something I don’t in the least, despite being an avid watcher of Top Gear. I even was excited about a NASCAR-esque race. Seriously. The DVD comes with three shorts, a featurette, and some deleted scenes. The Blu-Ray comes with all of that plus two commentaries that feature branching and picture-in-picture bits along with them, a lot of featurettes. This is perfect for the kid who digs cars or…do kids even play with Hot Wheels anymore? Anyway, that sort of kid. They’d greatly appreciate this. It’s available from Amazon here.