Kells, HD Beauty, Holiday Discs Arrive

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Two animated Oscar contenders arrive on DVD and Blu-ray this week: one a Disney classic, the other an indie success story.

Up first is The Secret of Kells (New Video, $29.95 DVD, $39.95 Blu-ray). Directed by Tomm Moore and produced by Cartoon Saloon, it was a surprise nominee for the best animated feature Oscar last year and has been widely acclaimed by critics and fans. Both formats include about 75 minutes of extra features, including audio commentaries and behind-the-scenes featurettes. The Blu-ray release also includes a prequel graphic novel by Moore.

The classic release of the week is the Diamond Edition of Disney’s Beauty and The Beast (Disney, $39.99 Blu-ray/DVD combo pack). Released in 1991, this is one of the most-beloved features in the Disney canon and was nominated for a best picture Oscar long before the Academy created a separate category for the toons. The movie has been unavailable on DVD since 2003 and will be available only as a Blu-ray-DVD combo pack until Nov. 23, when a stand-alone DVD edition will be released.

As if that weren’t enough, the holiday shopping season is under way as Christmas-themed programs both old and new hit disc.

Among the holiday-themed releases out this week are the Peanuts Holiday Collection (Warner Bros., $42.93 Blu-ray), collecting for the first time in high-definition the specials A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, A Charlie Brown Christmas and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. The package includes several bonus episodes. Also out this week is Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales (Warner Bros., $14.97), a 2002 special featuring several vignettes starring different Peanuts characters.

Other holiday releases due out this week are: Olivia: Merry Christmas, Olivia (Paramount, $16.99), Dora the Explorer: Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure (Paramount, $19.99), Backyardigans: Christmas with the Backyardigans (Paramount, $16.99), HIT Favorites: Jolly Holiday (HIT Entertainment, $14.98), Phineas & Ferb: A Very Perry Christmas (Disney, $19.99), ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas (Warner Bros., $19.97), Veggie Tales: Christmas Sing-A-Long (Vivendi, $9.99) and Veggie Tales: It’s a Meaningful Life (Vivendi, $14.97).

Additional releases this week include Franklin: Franklin’s Soccer Adventure (Phase 4 Films, $9.99), The Garfield Show: Odie Oh! (Vivendi, $14.93), Ni Hao, Kai-Lan: Princess Kai-Lan (Paramount, $16.99), Ben 10 Alien Force: Season 1, Volume 9 (Warner Bros., $14.98) and Bratz: Pampered Petz (Lionsgate, $14.98).