Diaz hopes 'Shrek' becomes ABC tradition

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NEW YORK -- Shrek, star of three animated blockbusters, now has his own Christmas special, "Shrek the Halls," which debuts Wednesday on ABC-TV.

Cameron Diaz, who reprises her voice role as Princess Fiona, hopes the story of the grumpy-yet-lovable green ogre's first Christmas with family and friends will become a holiday tradition.

"It's just wonderful to see how they celebrate their Christmas and what it means to them," the 35-year-old actress told The Associated Press in a recent phone interview. "And the humor is there and the beauty is there and the message is there."

"He's grown so much ... it's kinda great to see where he's at now that he has a family and he's experiencing life with other people for the first time -- you know, investing in them," Diaz said.

"Shrek the Halls" follows Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) as he tries to achieve Yuletide perfection for Fiona and their children. Things fall apart when unwanted guests arrive at his doorstep on Christmas Eve. The party crashers include Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), who disrupt Shrek's by-the-book plans, causing him to react in Scrooge-like fashion.

But in the vein of Scrooge and the Grinch, Shrek learns the true meaning of Christmas, which is clear to everyone but him, of course.

"The whole family's together -- and that's something that you sort of count on," Diaz said of her own holiday celebration. "But there are people who don't have that and sort of have to ... make up their own version of Christmas."

Like Shrek and the gang.
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