DVD Box Sets to Watch on New Year’s Day
The best family entertainment for this lazy, lazy day
Presenting Bunchland’s Guide to New Year’s Day. You ready? Got a pen? Okay, here it is:
1. Sleep in.
2. When you eventually wake up, with the help of no alarms whatsoever, make pancakes.
3. Eat the pancakes.
4. Do not, repeat, do not change out of your pajamas.
5. Watch DVDs. For the rest of the day.
New Year’s Day is the perfect time tear into a TV show or movie box set for a marathon session in front of the tube. A box set is a beautiful thing: no commercials, no planning your life around a TV schedule, and best of all, you can watch as many episodes as you want in one sitting.
Here are some titles you should buy or rent now so that they’re all ready to go once your bellies are full and you’re ready for a days’ worth of sloth-like living.
Just trust us when we say the Pee-Wee box set is money well spent. This show has been repeatedly kid-tested and kid-approved. And spending the first day of the year with your friends Cowboy Curtis, Miss Yvonne, Jambi, Globey and the King of Cartoons would be an excellent start to 2011.
When Sesame Street: Old School was first released on DVD, there was much hysteria over the warning labels they came slapped with. Apparently, the beloved TV program from our collective childhoods wasn’t intended to be shared with our kids, who may or may not fit the description of the show’s original intended audience, a late ’70s “inner-city black youngster.”
We hope you all had the good sense to ignore that overly cautious message and expose your kids to the show that once defined kids’ programming. We know of at least one toddler who will sit and happily watch vintage Sesame clips on YouTube, even requesting her favourite segments over and over again (she’s particularly fond of this one and this one). Sure, the gritty sets may be at odds with the shininess of Dora, but this show’s a classic, gosh darn it, and your kids deserve to see it. At the very least, it might spark conversation.
You family may be feeling pretty fuzzy-headed in the week between Christmas and New Year’s. You’re all recovering from the holiday hoopla and gearing up for another big bash. Which is to say, maybe what you need is an extended period of watching something that doesn’t require a whole lot of thinking.
Enter the Three Stooges. There’s minimal talking and maximum silliness. The Stooges may have slapped each other around a fair bit, but this type of violence pales in comparison to what you can see in the latest Hollywood hits. The worst that will probably happen is your kids will laugh themselves stupid at a bunch of episodes, then spend the next week “nyuk-nyuk-nyuk”-ing it up.
The special effects may look cheap compared to the slick CGI stuff your kids are used to, but the characters and storylines of each film in the Back to the Future trilogy still hold up after all these years. There’s plenty of laughs for little people, what with crazy Doc Brown and that bully Biff, and though there is some cussing and punching (all tame stuff, mind you), the Back to the Future movies are billed as “family films.” Our only recommendation might be to skip the third title, since everyone knows it wasn’t as good as the first two.
If your kids have demonstrated even a passing interest in nature programs, they will be delighted by either one of these BBC series box sets. Each one features gorgeous cinematography capturing animals, birds and insects from around the world in their natural habitats. Watch a pack of lions take down an elephant, a bird of paradise do a mating dance and emperor penguins huddle together for warmth in Antarctica. David Attenborough’s pleasant, warm narration makes snuggling up with these series extra soothing. (Make sure you opt for the UK version of Life, otherwise you’ll be forced to endure narration by Oprah. Yikes!)
What is your family going to do on New Year’s Day? Let us know in the comments!
Photo by theloushe via Flickr.