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‘The Jolliest Elf’: A New Holiday Tradition Coming to YouTube Thanksgiving Day

From Chad Eikhoff, director of ‘The Elf on the Shelf: An Elf's Story,’ with animation by Trick 3D, the new short/pilot features the North Pole’s creative inhabitants in a first-of-its-kind animated talent competition.

The Elf on the Shelf: An Elf's Story’s director, Chad Eikhoff, is launching a new elf-themed holiday short The Jolliest Elf bringing a new tradition to families this holiday season. The film’s animation was produced by TRICK 3D studio using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine and funded through an Epic Games MegaGrant.

Coming to YouTube on Thanksgiving Day, The Jolliest Elf is the pilot that will introduce viewers to the North Pole’s creative inhabitants for a first-of-its-kind animated talent competition. Viewers will meet the North Pole’s flashy host, Mr. Jingles, and the show’s charismatic judges: Glo, Frosty and Tiny. The star of this first short will be Lil’ Rey, an adorable and hugely talented young reindeer rapper, voiced and performed by Macyn McMillian aka “Mac Sauce,” an eight-year-old artist from Kansas City. The Lil’ Rey episode short is a mood-lifting clip to be shared with friends and serves as a preview to the full series to come.

Eikhoff and team have released a behind-the-scenes video which showcases the technologies being used.

“Christmas specials have always inspired me because they have the power to bring the entire family together to watch and share,” explained Eikhoff. “Today, reality competition shows have that same power to engage whole families, while laughing and memory-making. I am excited to be combining the two and bringing the action from The Jolliest Elf stage to families everywhere.”

The full competition will go into production in Q2 2021 with the aim of launching during the 2021 holiday season. Eikhoff and team are actively seeking broadcast and streaming partners for 2021. Eikhoff and TRICK 3D studio are developing the full line-up of episodes in partnership with Cookbook Media, the global IP agency led by industry executives Claudia Scott-Hansen and Rob Bencal. Cookbook Media will be working with the team to build The Jolliest Elf into a perennial holiday franchise through brand activation, content strategy, distribution, consumer products and more. The company will also be representing the project at upcoming 2021 market events with the goal of establishing strategic production and marketing partnerships. 

“It was a rollercoaster ride of emotions beginning production on The Jolliest Elf due to COVID-19, but the fact that we were able to keep moving forward and create awesome energy and happiness along the way is a testament both to the people on this project and the technologies that are making remote production successful and actually a ton of fun,” added Eikhoff.

Source: Trick 3D