NBC to Air New Monsters vs. Aliens & Madagascar Specials

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NBC has joined with DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. to air two all-new, family-friendly animated holiday television specials based on the studio’s blockbuster feature films, Monsters vs. Aliens and Madagascar, both featuring many of the characters as voiced by the original talent from the films.

The first of the 30-minute specials is titled, “Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space,” and is based on the 2009 smash hit, Monsters vs. Aliens. It features the voices of cast members Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Kiefer Sutherland and Rainn Wilson (NBC’s “The Office”). The special is set to air on Wednesday, October 28 (8-8:30 p.m. ET, repeating from 8:30-9 p.m. ET).

The second special, “Merry Madagascar,” is based on the hugely successful smash hits, Madagascar and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, which both featured the voices of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Cedric The Entertainer and Andy Richter. The special, which also features the voice of Carl Reiner, is scheduled to broadcast on Tuesday, November 17 (8-8:30 p.m. ET) and repeat on Saturday, November 28 (8-8:30 p.m. ET) just before the holiday season.

The announcement was made today by Angela Bromstad, President, Primetime Entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios.

“This is a major coup for NBC to join together with the esteemed artists at DreamWorks Animation as we bring to life new holiday stories based on these popular and lovable characters,” said Bromstad. “We are intent on providing original, family-friendly programs that reflect the quality that big-screen audiences have come to expect from these franchises.”

“We are thrilled to have two new DreamWorks Animation shows on NBC this holiday season,” said Ann Daly, Chief Operating Officer of DreamWorks Animation. “The creative teams from the hit feature films were reunited to make these new specials and we hope they will become annual holiday favorites for families.”

“Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space” is produced by Latifa Ouaou and directed by Peter Ramsey from a screenplay by Adam F. Goldberg. The story continues after the events of Monsters vs. Aliens, as Susan Murphy (Witherspoon) and the Monsters now work with the U.S. government as special operatives. When an alien presence is detected in Susan’s hometown of Modesto, California — right before Halloween — the team is dispatched to investigate. Everything appears normal, right down to the jack-o-lanterns peering out from every doorstep and windowsill. But when Halloween arrives, those innocent-looking carved pumpkins are revealed for what they really are — mutant aliens. The altered pumpkins then start to implement their fiendish plan to take over Earth. The Monsters are there to combat the mutant gourds and try to smash their wicked scheme.

“Merry Madagascar” was written by David Soren, Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath. The executive producer is Mireille Soria; Joe Aguilar is the producer and David Soren directs. The brand new holiday adventure stars everyone’s favorite Central Park “zoosters” from Madagascar and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. “Merry Madagascar” begins when Santa and his sleigh unexpectedly crash-land on the island, giving the jolly gentleman a case of amnesia. So it falls to Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria — along with the ever-inventive Penguins — to deliver the presents and save Christmas. And it doesn’t hurt that Santa’s Sleigh just might be able to make a little trip to New York City, so they can finally return to their beloved home. But during their appointed rounds, the four re-discover the magic of giving — and that it is ultimately more important than their own wish to return home. Also included is a long-lasting North Pole/South Pole rivalry between the Penguins and Santa’s reindeer, plus magic flying dust and a King Julien-based holiday called “Julienuary.”

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