A new television special is set to captivate your family this holiday season. On Tuesday, Sesame Workshop announced the debut of its 30-minute animated feature Sesame Street: The Nutcracker, starring Elmo and his puppy, Tango.
The classic story of The Nutcracker is told with a Sesame Street-twist as Elmo and a talking Tango drift off into a dream sequence following the excitement of their holiday party. They go on a fantastical adventure to discover that the greatest gift of all is, well, friendship. The special will be available on HBO Max on Dec. 1, and come to PBS in 2023.
“We wanted to create a timeless Sesame Street holiday special, and we came up with the idea of using Tchaikovsky’s timeless Nutcracker themes and music as our inspiration, interpreting it with our cast of beloved Sesame Street characters in unexpected roles,” Olexa Hewryk, Vice President & Head of Animation, Sesame Workshop, tells Scary Mommy.
“Animation has always been part of our DNA at Sesame Street, and this is our third produced animated Sesame Street special, and the second one featuring Elmo and Tango,” Hewryk adds, mentioning 2021’s special Furry Friends Forever: Elmo Gets a Puppy, which introduced Tango to Elmo and the audience.
Utilizing animation vs. Sesame Street’s live-action puppets in this year’s festive feature, Hewryk says, “allowed us to bring to life an immersive, holiday world filled with fantastical lands featuring characters who could fly, skate, and dance with Elmo and Tango.
Sesame Street: The Nutcracker also features a brand new song, “Best Christmas Ever,” from TV and film composer Paul Buckley, which will premiere during a performance by the Sesame Street cast at the 2022 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“The special was written by Morgan Von Ancken and features songs with lyrics and arrangements by Paul Buckley, referencing original Tchaikovsky compositions,” Hewryk adds.
And, bonus, two new books extend the learning from Sesame Street The Nutcracker. In Best Christmas Ever (Sesame Street) from Penguin Random House, Elmo makes sure Tango gets to experience all the holiday fun for her first Christmas on Sesame Street — from decorating the tree to eating yummy Christmas cookies. And in Sesame Street: The Nutcracker from Studio Fun, it’s Christmas Eve on Sesame Street when a mouse takes Tango’s new Nutcracker toy, so she and Elmo go on an amazing adventure through magical lands to get it back.
As Hewryk promises, “With our beloved characters, memorable songs, and an engaging story, kids can realize that the most important part of the holidays is spending them with the friends and family you love.”
Sesame Street: The Nutcracker will be available to stream on HBO Max in December.
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