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‘Sesame Street The Nutcracker’ Coming to Cartoonito

The brand-new animated holiday special starring Elmo and Tango debuts December 1 on HBO Max’s preschool programming block.

Get ready for a new holiday tradition with Sesame Street The Nutcracker-- the classic story retold Sesame Street-style! The animated special follows Elmo and his puppy Tango on a fantastical adventure filled with new music and friends, where Tango speaks for the very first time. The 30-minute festive show streams Thursday, December 1st on Cartoonito, the preschool block on HBO Max, with a run on PBS KIDS in 2023.

In the special, the holidays have arrived on Sesame Street, and Elmo is determined to make it the best Christmas ever for Tango. At Elmo’s family holiday party, everyone sings about how wonderful this holiday will be. The Count arrives bearing gifts for everyone, including a wind-up rocket ship for Elmo and a cute, nutcracker-shaped doggy toy for Tango. After a fun-filled night, Elmo and Tango fall asleep listening to Elmo’s dad, Louie, read them the story of “The Nutcracker.” Elmo drifts into a dream sequence where Tango can speak, and that’s when the adventure to magical lands begins.

Check out the trailer!

Sesame Street The Nutcracker features a brand new song, “Best Christmas Ever,” from TV and film composer Paul Buckley.

“When you take a classic holiday story, pair it with beloved characters, add festive new music and a dash of furry fun, you’ve created a perennial favorite,” said Olexa Hewryk, Vice President and Head of Animation, Sesame Workshop. “With its beautiful animation and engaging storytelling, it captures what makes the holidays so special; we’re sure kids and families will be looking forward to Sesame Street The Nutcracker year after year.”

Amy Friedman, Head of kids and family programming, Warner Bros. Discovery said, “This special has all the ingredients to be an instant holiday classic and it’s a perfect way to usher in our festive month-long celebration of all-new Cartoonito favorites. Sesame Street The Nutcracker serves as a beloved reminder of the power of imagination, friends, and family during this special time of the year.”

A Productions developed the animation and design look. Based in Bristol, UK, the studio has also animated Sesame Street specials, The Monster at the End of This Story, and Furry Friends Forever: Elmo Gets a Puppy, where Elmo first meets stray puppy Tango.

Two new books extend the laughter and learning from the special. In “Best Christmas Ever (Sesame Street) from Penguin Random House, it’s Tango’s first Christmas on Sesame Street, and Elmo makes sure his puppy gets to experience all the fun, from decorating the tree to eating yummy Christmas cookies, but best of all is spending time together. In “Sesame Street: The Nutcracker” from Studio Fun, it's Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, and when a mouse takes Tango’s new Nutcracker toy, she and Elmo go on an amazing adventure through magical lands to get it back.

Source: Sesame Workshop

Whitney Whitener's picture

Whitney is a freelance writer focusing on VFX-driven fantasy film & TV as well as preschool animation.