Christmas will come early to the nation's top 25 markets as this Saturday, November 12, begins the "12 Days of Arthur Christmas," a nationwide schedule of family fun highlighted by two special kickoff-day celebrations in New York and Los Angeles. The 12 days of events nationwide lead to the release of Arthur Christmas, the new 3D CG-animated family comedy from Aardman for Sony Pictures Animation, in theaters November 23, 2011.
Ever wonder how Santa delivers two billion presents in one night? Arthur Christmas, the new 3D CG animated family comedy, in theaters November 23, answers the question, and Aardman and Sony Pictures Animation will help residents of the nation's top 25 markets find their holiday spirit.
In West Hollywood, California, in a prime location high above the Sunset Strip (at 8755 Sunset Blvd., Sunset and Sherbourne), a "living billboard" will become Santa Claus's Southern California base of operations away from the North Pole for the "12 Days of Arthur Christmas." Santa's son, Arthur, along with two elves, will be on the billboard from 7 AM - 10 PM daily, with Arthur answering select calls to Santa's toll-free hotline at 1-888-800-0010.
Anyone from across the US is invited to call the hotline, and throughout the 12 days, Arthur could be chatting from the billboard with anyone, whether it's radio DJs or someone with a message for Santa. Billboards featuring that number will also be placed in high-traffic areas in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Dallas.
As Arthur handles the calls, the elves on the billboard will be wrapping presents donated to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. Angelenos are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy or book to the billboard to donate to the program; the donated gifts will be hoisted up to the billboard, wrapped by the elves, and earmarked for a special child.
In addition, there will be a special snow-filled kickoff party at the base of the billboard on November 12, with activities for kids, including sledding, snow play, snowman building, writing letters to Santa, and making ornaments.
Meanwhile, in New York City, the Grand Central Shuttle Station becomes Christmas Party Central. With the support of partners New York MTA and Toys for Tots, the studio will give three subway shuttle train cars the full Christmas razzle-dazzle, wrapping them inside and out for Arthur Christmas. Next to the train cars, Santa will park his sleigh, where families can pose for pictures. There will also be an Arthur Christmas-themed mezzanine, where children can mail their letters to Santa and find a phone booth to call Santa's toll-free hotline to Arthur on the billboard in Los Angeles.
At the kickoff on November 12, Santa will lead a holiday-themed book reading. In addition, The UPS Store® and the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation will collect monetary donations to provide books for less fortunate children in the local community through the Toys for Tots Literacy Program.
"12 Days of Arthur Christmas" events, including screenings, snow days, ice skating parties, tree lighting ceremonies, and other festivities, will begin that same day in key cities around the country: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Washington DC, Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, Tampa, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Orlando, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Portland, Baltimore, San Diego, and Toronto. For more information about events planned in each market, please visit www.12daysofArthurChristmas.com. In addition, visitors are invited to post what they like most about the holidays on Twitter - while including the hashtag #ArthurChristmas. The cities that trend #ArthurChristmas on Twitter will be highlighted on the movie's Facebook and Twitter pages.
ARTHUR CHRISTMAS SYNOPSIS
The 3D, CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas, an Aardman production for Sony Pictures Animation, at last reveals the incredible, never-before-seen answer to every child's question: "So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?" The answer: Santa's exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole. But at the heart of the film is a story with the ingredients of a Christmas classic - a family in a state of comic dysfunction and an unlikely hero: Santa's youngest son, Arthur. When this amazing operation misses one child out of hundreds of millions, Arthur, the least capable Claus, embarks on a hilarious, exciting rogue mission against the clock with his politically incorrect grandfather Grandsanta and a giftwrapping-obsessed elf named Bryony, to deliver the last present before Christmas morning dawns. The film is directed by Sarah Smith, written by Peter Baynham & Sarah Smith, and produced by Peter Lord, David Sproxton, Carla Shelley, and Steve Pegram.