ABC unwraps Disney toon for X-Mas

Dave Foley voices elf in 2009 holiday special

ABC has picked up the holiday special “Prep and Landing,” the net’s first program from sister Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Half-hour animated event revolves around an elite elves unit — known as Prep and Landing — that makes sure homes are ready for Santa’s visit. Story centers on an elf (Dave Foley) who thinks he’s about to get a promotion — but instead is paired with a new recruit (Derek Richardson). The duo then go on their Christmas Eve mission, where they encounter unexpected challenges.

Sarah Chalke also provides a voice.

“It’s all the humor you’re used to seeing from the Disney animation and has great story appeal for adults,” said Vicki Dummer, co-head of alternative series, specials and latenight at ABC.

John Lasseter is the exec producer, while Dorothy McKim is producer and Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton are the directors.

“Prep and Landing” actually came out of an initiative Lasseter launched when he first took over Disney Animation Studios. Lasseter asked animators to come up with ideas for shorts.

Later, during a meet-and-greet, ABC development execs took a look at the shorts and liked what they saw in “Prep and Landing.”

“We were charmed by it and thought it was adorable,” Dummer said. “Probably about five or six months later, Lasseter came in and pitched it as a television Christmas special.”

“Bolt” director Chris Williams originally came up with the concept for “Prep and Landing” but then was too busy on that feature to take part in the TV special.

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