The Happy Holiday Hearth (2002)


Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Oh, own it.

Many moons ago, there were novelty VHS tapes that were either an aquarium or a fireplace. You know the ones that I'm talking about: pop it in and, wow, fish--swimming right on your TV screen! How soothing. For all I know somebody came out with an ant farm version. Now that novelty has come to the DVD format with this: a fireplace. Granted, it's not just a fireplace with a roaring fire--as the name suggests, it's got a holiday slant to it.

This is very amusing disc. Stick it in your player and you have three audio choices. You can either just have the fire along with the corresponding crackles and pops (for bargain basement romantics, I guess), or just happy holiday music (a series of standards like "White Christmas" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem"), or both. And that's all you get. But then again, with this disc, what more could you be expecting?

There's only one problem, though. There are twenty-three songs to choose from, but what if you come across one that you don't like? Maybe hearing "The Twelve Days of Christmas" brings back terrible holiday memories and you wish you could skip it? Well, you can't. Trying to advance the disc does nothing and even trying to fast forward does no good. You stick it in and you're stuck. This is a shame, since it seems to me you'd want to go a step further and have a "random play" option or something just so you wouldn't get sick of the first few tracks every time you heard it.

But then often would you be planning on using it? Maybe once a year. Nice novelty gift and inexpensively priced. Too funny not to buy.

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