The Animation Lover’s 2022 Holiday Gift Guide

***This feature originally appeared in the December ’22 issue of Animation Magazine (No. 325)***

New delights for animation movie lovers, bookworms, collectors, artists and plain ol’ fans of many ages and tastes, sure to light up their winter holidays!

 

Art of PinocchioInside the Master’s Workshop. One of the season’s — not to mention the year’s and, arguably, the decade’s — most-anticipated animated projects is far from your typical holiday fare. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is a uniquely dark, emotionally complex take on the classic story brought to life with incredible stop-motion artistry, which fans and cinephiles can explore in this 220-plus page hardcover, which features a foreword from the Oscar winner. Exclusive cast and crew interviews, concept art and BTS images from the full production process turn another inspiring page in the tale of a character we all thought we knew. [Insight Editions | $60 | Dec. 13]

 

Turning Red Mug + Mei Panda Plush Slippers [shopDisney | $20, $14]
Soothe the beast within with a new, Pixar-themed a.m. ritual.

 

Aqua Teen Forever - Plantasm

Fast Food Heroes Reflux. Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro’s Adult Swim animation icons are back in their second feature adventure: Aqua Teen Forever: Plantasm! After the team falls out and goes their own way, global events conspire to reunite Frylock, Meatwad and Master Shake to fight crime once more (or at least sort of try) — namely, the greedy mega corporation “Amazin” and its tech mogul CEO (voiced by Peter Serafinowicz). The perfect gift for your friend still nostalgic for their early 2000s insomniac phase! [WB | $30 BD, $40 4K]

 

Jujutsu Kaisen Tamagotchi Nano [Crunchyroll Store | $25]
The latest anime smash hit meets a retro toy fad for otaku fun wherever your sorcerer’s quest takes you.

Copic Sketch Blending Basics [Copic | $50]
Nice intro kit for the cult favorite markers, with four super light colors, blender and 0.3 Multiliner pen for on the go sketching.

 

Ode to the Collector. For the kid at heart with just barely enough room left on their shelves, pick up a copy of the photo-packed, creatively pitched memoir My Life and Toys by writer/director/producer Brian Levant, whose film credits include The Flintstones (1994) and Scooby-Doo! (2009). The book spotlights his extensive collection of pop culture character toys (shot by Joe Pellegrini) with tales from his life and career. From the Addams to the Jetsons, Dino to Scooby, Levant’s hardcover exhibition “is more than just beautiful pictures and Brian’s unbelievable stories,” as TV writer/producer and Gallery 1988 owner Jensen Karp writes in his foreword, “… It’s evidence that you don’t really have to grow up to be an adult.” [G Editions | $85]

 

Pillow Pets Appa Plush [Pillow Pets | $32]
Yip yip! Avatar: The Last Airbender stans will squeal for this cuddly 16″ companion.

Revolution Beauty Collabs
Get cruelty-free glam with beloved characters like The Powerpuff Girls (pictured: Collector’s Set, $62), The Simpsons (Couch Bag, $9) & more from this London-based makeup brand. [revolutionbeauty.us]

 

Feudal Fandom. A scrappy orphan thief joins forces with a tragically cursed, incredibly adept warrior to reclaim the latter’s lost body parts and sensory abilities by destroying the demons that marked him in Dororo, a supernatural adventure through ancient Japan. Fans of this monster-slaying saga will be delighted to unwrap the Dororo Limited Edition Premium Box Set, featuring 24 episodes (600 min., English dub & sub) on Blu-ray plus extras, packaged in a collector’s box with a 40-page booklet, illustrated privacy screen and 12 double-sided art cards. [Sentai | $130]

 

Nix Mini 2 Colorimeter [Nix | $65]
Capture inspiration with this portable tech that scans any surface to match a digital color value.

Howl’s Moving Castle Calcifer Tee [BoxLunch | $30]
Burn bright in 2023 with this exclusive shirt’s confidence-boosting Ghibli mantra.

 

Haunts for the Holidays. For your favorite spooky li’l weeb, you can’t go wrong with some Junji Ito — especially as fans prepare for the launch of the Netflix Anime anthology Maniac in January! The latest work by the three-time Eisner-winning writer and artist to be translated to English, Black Paradox is a twisted manga tale about four people intent on killing themselves who meet through a macabre website. On their quest to find the “perfect death,” they open a door to a bizarre destiny. (Hey, some folks can only take the holly-jolliness for so long!) [VIZ Books | $20]

 

Refreshed Classics. LAIKA fans will be delighted to snag new Limited Edition Steelbook sets of Henry Selicks’ Coraline and/or Sam Fell & Chris Butler’s ParaNorman (celebrating its 10th anniversary this year). These luxuriously hand-crafted and well-loved stop-motion hits come home with new 4K restorations and Dolby Atmos sound mixes, accompanied by behind-the-scenes featurettes, making-ofs, audio commentaries, deleted scenes and lovely little art & essay mini books. [Shout! | $35 each | Dec. 13]

 

Fabulous New Frontiers. For those looking for a gentler journey into the unknown, Disney has once again given its latest animated feature a charming picture book treatment for Strange World – Little Golden Book. These sweet little retellings are the perfect way to inspire preschoolers to read with the help of their favorite characters, both classic and thoroughly modern like the Clades! [Golden Books | $6]

 

 

Gnomon Workshop Subscription [The Gnomon Workshop | $49/mo., $490/yr.]
Knowledge is a gift — especially with access to hundreds of 3D creation lectures, pro training and videos.

Mickey Mouse Fuzzy Tote [shopDisney | $40]
A fresh way to rep a classic Disney icon in the hypebeast era.

Existential Romance. For the person looking for the next beautiful animated import to wow them, illustrator loundraw’s debut feature Summer Ghost is the perfect fit. Inspired by one of the artist’s original drawings, the poignant supernatural drama centers on three troubled teens who meet by chance when they all converge to summon a local legend, the “summer ghost,” leading one boy to become obsessed with the spirit’s mysterious purpose. The Blu-ray includes a documentary, feature animatic and interview with loundraw. [Shout!, $23 BD]

 

Gabby’s Dollhouse – Purrfect Dollhouse [Spin Master | $68]
Become a young fan’s favorite person ever by gifting this top-selling playset.

The Nightmare Before Christmas 13 Day Countdown Calendar [Funko | $35]
Collectible fun for any time of the year, with 13 quirky blacklight reactive Pop! figs.

 

All Hail the Elder Gods! No need to brush up on your R’lyehian for this gift pick: The Lovecraft mythos gets a colorful modern crossover in the new four-part comics mini-series Rick and Morty vs. Cthulhu. Reuniting the Eisner-nominated team from Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons and Dragons (Jim Zub, Troy Little, Leonardo Ito and Crank!), the story follows the Smith family through a Lovecraftian hellscape, fighting cosmic sentient color and racist fish-people. Part 1, The Whisperer in the Dorkness, is out December 7 with cover by Little, variants by Zub, Zander Cannon, Marc Ellerby, Julieta Colás and Ryan Lee. [Oni Press | $4]

 

Chainsaw Man – Pochita 1/1 Scale Vinyl Figure [Crunchyroll Store | $267]
Everything to love about a licensed art toy packed into 13 dangerously adorable inches.

Wacom Cintiq 16 15″ [Wacom | $650]
Named the best digital drawing tablet of the year, which is no surprise for the top-of-the-line art tech brand. For a budget-friendly option, the XP-Pen Deco 01 v2 (10″) gets high marks for a $60 price tag.

 

Laughter Is the Best Medicine. Bring home the first two of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s hit special events for Comedy Central in the new South Park: Post COVID & The Return of COVID set. The irreverent adventures follow pandemic survivors Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny on a quest to go back in time, stop the virus and save Kenny’s life — a seemingly simple solution, until they cross paths with the mysterious Victor Chaos. Do your part to stop the winter variant wave by staying in and rewatching! [Paramount | $14 DVD, $18 BD]

 

29 pc. Pro Sketching & Drawing Kit [Arrtx | $13]
Graphite, charcoal and paper pencils plus accessories, all wrapped up in a canvas pouch ready for when inspiration strikes.

Vince Guaraldi – A Charlie Brown Christmas Super Deluxe Edition [Craft Recordings | $100 CD/BD, $50 Digital]
The definitive remix of the evergreen soundtrack, including recording outtakes and hardcover book packaging.

 

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