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Looking for some last-minute Valentine's Day shopping suggestions? Here are some books and a new TV show that you might want to consider

Jim Hill

Jim's musings on the history of and rumors about movies, TV shows, books and theme parks including Disneyland, Walt Disney World. Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.

Looking for some last-minute Valentine's Day shopping suggestions? Here are some books and a new TV show that you might want to consider

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If you listen carefully today, you can hear thousands of people around the country quietly cursing.

"And why are these people cursing?," you ask. Well, that's because these folks are just now realizing it's February 13th. Which means that  tomorrow is Valentine's Day. That day when you're supposed to prove to your significant other that you genuinely care about them by tossing a thoughtful gift their way. Which can be somewhat difficult if you haven't actually gotten around to doing your Valentine's Day shopping yet.

Not to worry, though. JHM is here to help. Given the folks who frequent this website, I'm going to assume that your significant other is a Disneyana enthusiast. So let me throw a few quick suggestions out there.

Copyright 2012 Theme Park Press. All rights reserved

If the person that you love is a fan of old films, then Disney historian Jim Korkis' "Who's Afraid of the Song of the South and Other Forbidden Disney Stories " (Theme Park Press, December 2012) could be a very thoughtful gift. Jim spends more than a third of this 276-page paperback discussing the history of this now-seldom-seen 1946 Walt Disney Productions release. And if you're familiar with Korkis' weekly column over at MousePlanet ... Well, then you already know that Jim has a gifted storyteller who really knows the ins & outs when it comes to Disney Company  history.

On the other hand, Jeff Heimbuch may not a name that you're all that familiar with. But trust me, folks, you will be. Given the terrific job that Jeff just did with shaping & molding Rolly Crump's memoir, "It's Kind of a Cute Story " (Bamboo Forest Publishing, November 2012), it's clear that Heimbuch's a guy to watch. Especially if you're interested in learning more about Disney theme park history. So if your Valentine is more of a park person, then presenting them with a copy of this handsome 192-page paperback would be a very smart & thoughtful thing to do.

Copyright Bamboo Forest Publishing
All rights reserved

Now if the person that you most care about is more interested in actually working for the Mouse someday as -- say -- an animator, then you really can't miss by gifting them a copy of "Walt Disney Animation Studios The Archive Series: Walt Disney's Nine Old Men: The Flipbooks " (Disney Editions, January 2013). You see, inside of this 6 inch-tall box are scenes that Pixar pioneer Pete Doctor personally selected which then showcase the artistry of such animation masters as Marc Davis, Eric Larson, Milt Kahl and Woolie Reitherman. And you flip back and forth between these drawings ... Well, it's almost like you're holding an animation master class right there in your hands. The things that you'll learn about the role that proper staging, strong poses and timing play in great character animation should prove to be invaluable.

Copyright 2013 Disney Editions. All rights reserved

What's that you say? The person who holds your heart is more of a TV fan? They love just those sort of intricately plotted programs which have lots of  mythology and backstory. Which is why your significant other has been feeling kind of lost since "Lost " went off the air in May of 2010.

Well, if that's really the case, then order in some Chinese food tomorrow evening and make sure you're sitting in front of a television starting at 8 p.m. ET / PT. Because that's when "Zero Hero" begins its thirteen week run on ABC.

Copyright American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
All rights reserved

Now I don't want to give too much away about this ABC Studios production. Because -- to be blunt -- half the fun of "Zero Hour" is its many secrets and the way that they unfold. But just the sheer size & sweep of this TV show impresses. Which just in the pilot episode takes you from Germany in 1938 to modern day Manhattan, where a robbery at an antique clock shop eventually leads us to the Canadian tundra. Which is where the publisher of Modern Skeptic magazine, Hank Galliston (Anthony Edwards) is shocked to discover ...

Nope. Not gonna do it. If you want to learn about Hank actually finds hidden there under the ice, then you & the one you love really need to get in on the ground floor when it comes to "Zero Hour." Which manages to combine the globe-trotting / puzzle-solving fun of Disney's "National Treasure " movies with those religious mystery & conspiracy theory-laden tales that Dan Brown has told in his best-selling books, "The Da Vinci Code" and "The Lost Symbol ."

Copyright American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

Anyway ... There are four suggestions for possible Valentine's Day gifts for the film fans, theme park enthusiasts, would-be animators and mystery lovers on your shopping list. My apologies for today's column being so short. But given that I forgot to pick something for Nancy earlier this week, I really need to head out to the store.

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