February 24, 2010 — Current reviews, and the return of the annual Animated Views Oscar Contest!

Far from being his universally known golden color, the Academy Award turns Blu this year for our annual Animated Views Oscar Contest, in which we’re ready to give away no less than seven Blu-ray Disc combo packs to the person who correctly predicts the most wins come Oscar night, showing on ABC on Sunday, March 7, 2010! And no need to worry if you haven’t upgraded to the magic of high-definition yet: all seven combo packs come loaded with regular DVDs too, and even better is that we’re also throwing in this year’s eventual Best Animated Feature winner!

Now, we know already from some talkback in the forums that some of the titles may not be premium grade Oscar hopefuls, but there’s still a lot of fun to be had in the line-up – worth well over $250! – including the Best Animated Feature nominee Cars Ultimate Gift Pack and the surprisingly fun family flick G-Force, which has gotten a worse reputation than it actually deserves. Spreading something around for all tastes and ages, there’s a dollop of tweenage Disney favorites (Hannah Montana and The Jonas Brothers movies), plus family films Bedtime Stories and Santa Buddies.

Best of the bunch will be the Best Animated Feature winner for 2009, so you’ll also be guaranteed one of these titles too: Coraline, Fantastic Mr Fox, The Princess And The Frog or Up. With The Secret Of Kells not yet available on disc, a $25 Amazon gift certificate will be substituted so that the winner can pick it up at a later date. Not bad, huh? So head over to the Oscar Contest page and “place your bets”…all entries must be received by Friday, March 5, at 11:59pm ET — and don’t forget to join James and myself for our always entertaining live chat, in the new Animated Views Forum, as the Oscars themselves are presented. It’s almost like being there! Almost.

We have a good deal more still to pop up online, but in the meantime, Rand and Rodney have been supplying their views on a host of recent titles:

Winnie the Pooh: A Valentine For You – Back on DVD, now as a Special Edition, with two other episodes from The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

Tom and Jerry’s Greatest Chases: Volume 4 – Animation’s most famous cat and mouse duo return with the fourth volume of their Greatest Chases. After two releases last year, Warner continues to repackage classic shorts in these family-friendly discs.

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown: Remastered Deluxe Edition – The animated adaptation of the musical that came from an album inspired by the comic strip. Despite the fourth-generation status, it still feels delightfully like Peanuts.

Stay tooned! — Ben.