Amazon will give a mouse a Christmas cookie this year, with a collection of new kids seasonal special.
The shows, which feature everyone from Laurence Fishburne and Regina King to Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Angela Bassett and Boyz II Men, will arrive at the end of November, just in time for the festive holidays.
The Amazon Original Specials include If You Give a Mouse a Christmas Cookie, Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day, and An American Girl Story—Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas, as well as existing holiday episodes from Creative Galaxy and Tumble Leaf.
“We are so excited to bring our customers our first-ever holiday line-up of specials this season, with If You Give a Mouse a Christmas Cookie and The Snowy Day based on beloved children’s books that highlight strong bonds between friends and families. It’s what the holidays are all about,” says Tara Sorensen, Head of Kids Programming at Amazon Studios. “The American Girl Maryellen special is an inspiring feel-good story that will surely become a holiday family favorite for our customers.”
All of them will be released on Amazon Prime Video in the UK and US on Friday 25th November, along with some cunningly timed songs to promote the e-commerce giant’s new music streaming service, Amazon Music. Here’s a rundown of what you can unwrap:
If You Give a Mouse a Christmas Cookie
If You Give a Mouse a Christmas Cookie is an animated holiday special based on the classic If You Give a Mouse a Cookie book series written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond. In this special, it’s holiday time and in Mouse’s house, that means Christmas cookies (including a special one for Santa, of course), carolling with friends… and one nearly-destroyed holiday pageant. Can Mouse and his animal friends save the show, without getting utterly distracted along the way?
The special is written and produced by Ken Scarborough (Doug, Curious George, Martha Speaks, Arthur, and Saturday Night Live) and stars Mason Mahay (voice of Oliver), Roger Craig Smith (Avengers Assemble and Wreck-It Ralph), Jessica DiCiccio (Over the Hedge), Jeff Bennett (Futurama), and Lara Jill Miller (The Loud House, Henry Hugglemonster, and Doc McStuffins). The special also features an original song “Christmas Cookie Song” by Lisa Loeb, available exclusively on Amazon Music to download and stream on the same day. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie was part of Amazon’s 2015 fall pilot season rated 4.7 stars by customers with 82 per cent 5-star reviews; Season 1 will premiere on Amazon Prime Video next year.
Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day
The Snowy Day is an animated holiday special, based on the award-winning book by Ezra Jack Keats. The book is known as one of the first picture books to feature an African-American protagonist, and has won many awards, including the Caldecott medal, and was included in the Library of Congress’ list of Books that Shaped America. The special follows Peter, a young boy in a red snowsuit, as his mother sends him on an adventure to Nana’s house to retrieve their traditional Christmas mac and cheese dinner. Enjoying the snowy day along the way, Peter encounters friends from the neighborhood, including storekeepers and bakers to the older boys he admires – and a group of a capella singers voiced by Boyz II Men. After arriving at Nana’s and retrieving the mac and cheese – and his most coveted gift, a red sled – Nana helps Peter team up with the older boys for an epic snowball fight, resulting in the destruction of the special holiday dinner and his sled.
When the neighborhood comes together to celebrate new traditions with Peter and his family, Peter realizes that the true meaning of the holiday is who you spend it with. Narrated by Laurence Fishburne (Black-ish, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and The Matrix) and featuring voice talent by Regina King (American Crime and The Leftovers), Jamie-Lynn Sigler (The Sopranos), and Angela Bassett (American Horror Story and BoJack Horseman), The Snowy Day again features an original song “Snowy Day” by Boyz II Men, available exclusively on Amazon Music on 25th November.
An American Girl Story – Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas
This is the second collaboration between American Girl and Amazon and is based on American Girl’s previously launched BeForever character, Maryellen Larkin. The special is set during Christmas in 1955 in Daytona Beach, Florida, where middle child Maryellen (Alyvia Alyn Lind) longs to stand out amidst the hustle and bustle of her big, busy family. A boisterous and artistic girl, Maryellen’s adventurous spirit is sometimes at odds with the era she’s living in: when conformity was valued above individuality. When Benji (Samuel Faraci), a family friend afflicted with polio comes to stay with them and visit Daytona Beach’s hospital for care, Maryellen is inspired to help the polio patients have the best Christmas ever. But her first attempts fall flat, followed by a fight with her best friend Davy (Maxwell Acee Donovan). With guidance and advice from Maryellen’s wise and sympathetic mother (Mary McCormack), Maryellen learns the key to helping others is through listening.
Executive produced by Jane Startz (Ella Enchanted). An American Girl Story—Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas features – you guessed it – an original song “Christmas and Everyday” by Best Coast, available exclusively on Amazon Music on the same day.