From TV's popular, stop-action animation preschooler series, three winter-themed episodes starring construction worker Bob and his pals Wendy, Scoop the backhoe, Travis the tractor, Farmer Pickles, his dog Snuffty, and bumbling Spud the Scarecrow. The charming sets and characters, the gentle messages of friendship and teamwork, and all those tools and trucks make a winning combination.
Barbie in the Nutcracker. Artisan Family Home Entertainment. 75 minutes. VHS and DVD: $20. Ages 4 to 12.
Not surprisingly, this elaborate, computer-animated version of the E.T.A. Hoffmann classic "Nutcracker" fantasy can be viewed as one long, lush commercial for all the Nutcracker-themed Barbies and related merchandise tie-ins that now line toy shelves. But the story, although departing considerably from the original, is candy-colored, plastic-coated fun, taking Barbie Clara and the enchanted Nutcracker into a fantasy landscape on a search for the Sugarplum Princess. The object: to undo the wicked Mouse King's evil magic.