Walt Disney Animation Studios’ holiday hit Prep & Landing is about to become a Christmas television franchise with not one but two follow-ups in the works. Full details can be read in this press release:
Betty White Stars As the Voice of Mrs. Claus in the 7-Minute Animated Short, “Operation: Secret Santa,” Coming This December
“Prep & Landing: Naughty Vs. Nice,” Premieres in 2011
“Prep & Landing” returns this season with an all new 7-Minute animated short, “Operation: Secret Santa,” airing on ABC in December, while the half-hour animated special, “Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice,” debuts in 2011. “Prep & Landing” became an instant favorite with viewers and emerged as TV’s number 1 holiday special in the 2009 season. It was also the highest kids rating (kids 2-11/ 7.5/23), for any primetime telecast on broadcast TV in 2009. The special went on to win four Emmy Awards.
“Operation: Secret Santa” was written and directed by Stevie Wermers-Skelton & Kevin Deters, produced by Dorothy McKim, and executive produced by John Lasseter. This “Prep & Landing” “stocking stuffer” short film follows the comic adventures of Santa’s stealthiest elves, Lanny and Wayne. With Christmas only a few short days away, Mrs. Claus, voiced by Betty White, and Magee, voiced by Sarah Chalke, enlist Wayne voiced by Dave Foley, and Lanny voiced by Derek Richardson on a secret mission to retrieve a mysterious item hidden deep within the office of Santa Claus! Can the intrepid duo acquire the target in time, or will they be discovered by the Big Guy voiced by Morgan Sheppard and doomed to placement on the Naughty List?
The yuletide adventures of Christmas elves Lanny and Wayne continue in a half-hour, holiday special for 2011 in “Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice.” With the Big 2-5 fast approaching, Wayne and Lanny must race to recover classified North Pole technology which has fallen into the hands of a computer-hacking Naughty Kid! Desperate to prevent Christmas from descending into chaos, Wayne seeks out the foremost Naughty Kid expert to aid in the mission: a bombastic member of the Coal Bucket Brigade who also happens to be his estranged brother, Noel.
Commenting on the announcement, Lasseter said, “We had so much fun making the first ‘Prep & Landing’ special, and the response from the audience and our colleagues in the industry was so terrific, that we wanted to bring these great characters back for more holiday fun. Kevin and Stevie have done an amazing job writing and directing these films, and everyone at Walt Disney Animation Studios has pitched in to make them truly extraordinary entertainment. Wayne, Lanny and the rest of our animated cast are funnier than ever in ‘Operation: Secret Santa’ and ‘Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice;’ we know they will become holiday favorites.”
Kevin Deters joined Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1996, and has worked in a variety of creative capacities during his 14-year tenure. He made his directing debut in 2007 on the hilarious animated Goofy short, “How to Hook Up Your Home Theater,” and went on to write and direct Walt Disney Animation Studios’ first-ever Christmas special for TV, “Prep & Landing.” In addition to “Operation: Secret Santa,” Deters (and his writing/directing partner Stevie Wermers-Skelton) shares writing and directing credits on the upcoming Disney animated short, “The Ballad of Nessie.” His previous Disney film credits include “Mulan,” “Tarzan,” Lilo & Stitch,” “Brother Bear,” and “Chicken Little.”
Stevie Wermers-Skelton began her association with Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1994, starting as a clean-up artist/in-betweener on “Pocahontas,” and continuing on to work as a story artist on “Fantasia/2000,” “Tarzan,” and “Brother Bear.” In 2007, she became one of the Studios first female directors with her work on the Goofy short, “How to Hook Up Your Home Theater. In collaboration with Kevin Deters, she wrote and directed the upcoming short, “The Ballad of Nessie.”
Dorothy McKim joined Disney in 1980, and currently serves as development producer for Walt Disney Animation Studios. In that role, she is responsible for working with all of the Studio’s directors in developing their films. She also oversees the development of all Disney Animation shorts. In 1984, McKim started a long association with Walt Disney Animation Studios with her first assignment on the 1988 feature, “Oliver & Company.” She went on to work in a variety of production roles (production manager, director of production, and co-producer) on such landmark films as “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” and “Tarzan.” McKim also served as producer on Disney’s 2007 computer-animated release, “Meet the Robinsons,” and the six-minute short “Tick Tock Tale”. McKim repeated that role on the 2009 ABC original animated holiday special, “Prep & Landing.”
Walt Disney Animation Studios brings imagination to life through a wide variety of animated films, building upon an unsurpassed legacy for humorous and heartfelt storytelling, unforgettable characters, incredible artistry, and cutting-edge innovation. The WDAS crew is filled with diverse talents from all around the globe, and their dedication and passion for telling great stories through the art of animation, and using the latest technological advances, has led to the creation of some of the industry’s most successful and exciting entertainment. The Studio’s latest animated feature, “Tangled,” raises the bar for CG character animation in terms of nuanced expression and performance, and brings a fun-filled new twist to a well-known tale.