FAMILY : Videos, Old and New, for the Holidays


From the Muppets to Kathie Lee, it seems as if everyone has a holiday video, old or new, to peddle this season. Here’s a sampling:

The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley: The Case of the Christmas Caper. Kidvision, $12.95. The ever-popular Olsen twins continue their musical mystery series by helping a trio of elves find Santa’s airplane and by nabbing the hacker who broke into Santa’s computer.

Enchanted Tales: The Christmas Elves. Sony Wonder, $14.98. An animated musical version of “The Shoemaker and the Elves,” with a holiday spin as elves, shoemaker and a greedy, vain king all learn a lesson in giving.

Jane Hissey’s Old Bear Stories: Christmas Presents. Sony Wonder, $12.98. Three delightful tales from the British series of charming stop-action films about adorable toys who come to life, led by Old Bear, the patriarch of the playroom: “The Winter Picnic,” “Jolly Snow” and “The Dolls’ House Christmas.”


Kathie Lee’s Rock ‘n Tots Cafe. Kidvision, $12.95. With her trademark upbeat energy, Kathie Lee leads puppet pals and kids in pop-style and traditional Christmas songs in a ‘50s coffee-shop setting. Also: live-action segments showing families celebrating the holidays and playing in the snow.

Muppet Family Christmas. Jim Henson Video/Buena Vista Home Video. $12.99. Everyone but everyone gets into the act when Fozzie Bear brings his pals from “The Muppet Show,” “Sesame Street” and “Fraggle Rock” home to Mom’s for Christmas.

Shelley Duvall’s Bedtime Stories: The Christmas Witch. MCA Universal Home Video, $12.98. Angela Lansbury narrates Steven Kellog’s animated tale about a good little witch who brings magic to warring factions on a distant planet.

Spot’s Magical Christmas. Walt Disney Home Video/Buena Vista Home Video, $12.99. Part of the sweet-natured “Spot” series based on the children’s book favorites by Eric Hill, Spot and his pals help a pair of reindeer find Santa’s sleigh.

Stories From the Jewish Tradition. Children’s Circle, $14.95, (800) KIDS-VID. Includes “In the Month of Kislev,” narrated by Theodore Bikel, an iconographic presentation of a tale about a merchant who takes a family to court for inhaling the aroma of his potato latkes, based on Nina Jaffe’s book illustrated by Louise August. Plus the award-winning short live-action film “Zlateh the Goat.”

Wee Sing: The Best Christmas Ever. Price/Stern/Sloan Video, $12.98. Too sugary and precious for adult tastes, the ever-popular Wee Sing series of musical video and audio recordings is an undisputed kid pleaser. Here, a family is recruited to Santa’s workshop to help the elves meet their deadline.

A few others that might make your list: “The Puzzle Place: Deck the Halls,” with musical guest Patti LaBelle, “Eureeka’s Castle: Christmas at Eureeka’s Castle” and “Doug: Christmas Story” from Sony Wonder/Nickelodeon Video; “Hello Kitty: Santa’s Missing Hat,” “Nick & Noel” and the classics “Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” from Family Home Entertainment.


Musical Note: The L.A. Philharmonic’s “Toyota Symphonies for Youth,” a concert series for ages 6 to 12, opens its 1995-96 season Saturday at 10:15 a.m. at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with “Do-It-Yourself Music” instrument-making and a concert of music by Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak and Stravinsky, followed by “Open House at the Music Center” at 11:30 a.m. for ages 3 to 5. Information: (213) 850-2000.