ABC plans 'Shrek' holiday special from DWA

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ABC is going for a green Christmas with "Shrek the Halls," a half-hour original animated special from DreamWorks Animation SKG based on the company's hit animated feature franchise.

The network has greenlighted production on the special -- to be voiced by the "Shrek" features' original cast of Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas -- which is slated to premiere in December 2007. Sources said the pact is for 15 years, with ABC set to rerun the special around the holidays every year.

"Family classics are a cornerstone of our brand, and 'Shrek the Halls' will provide warm memories year after year and be a great addition to our library of holiday favorites such as 'Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town' and 'A Charlie Brown Christmas,' " ABC Entertainment president Stephen McPherson said.

"Shrek the Halls" stems from a conversation McPherson had with DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, in which the ABC Entertainment president told Katzenberg he was looking for a Christmas special that feels unique.

Katzenberg and his team came up with the idea to get their "Shrek" characters in the Christmas spirit.

"The time has come to celebrate the joys of the holiday season with Shrek and his family and see how Christmas would play out in his world," Katzenberg said. "Having this special on broadcast television is another really important piece of how we're trying to build this franchise."

Katzenberg said the TV special will be "very much in keeping with the style and sensibility of the movies."

It will pick up where DreamWorks' upcoming "Shrek the Third" leaves off, on the first Christmas after the events in the feature, which is set to bow in May.

Gary Trousdale ("Beauty and the Beast") will direct the special, which will have Shrek (Myers), Fiona (Diaz), Donkey (Murphy), Puss in Boots (Banderas) and all their fairy tale buddies put their own twist on holiday traditions. Teresa Cheng ("Madagascar") and Gina Shay ("The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie") are producing.

ABC's library of holiday specials include "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town," "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown," as well as the annual Walt Disney Christmas Day Parade, Tournament of Roses Parade and "New Year's Rockin' Eve."
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