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Which Santa do you want to see in the DreamWorks DreamHouse at your local mall this coming holiday season?

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Which Santa do you want to see in the DreamWorks DreamHouse at your local mall this coming holiday season?

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Well, it's July 1st. And you know what that means. Only 177 shopping days 'til Christmas.

Mind you, when you head out to the mall this coming holiday season, you may discover something entirely new. Which is the DreamWorks DreamHouse.

"And what is the DreamWorks DreamHouse?," you ask. Well, it's a whole line of business for that Glendale, CA-based animation studios. One that DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg talked up last month during his keynote address at the 2014 Licensing Expo.

Photo by Jim Hill

So what will shoppers find inside of the DreamHouse? A whole new spin on the sit-on-Santa's-lap experience. As Katzenberg explained, this project is ...

... the brainchild of Paul Kurzawa who joined the Company last year as the head of retail entertainment & development. Paul looked at the most important period in retail, which is November 1st through December 25th. And one central event of all the activities around that, which is parents & children lining up to meet & greet Santa Claus.

Paul realized that this is fundamentally no different now when this practice began at a Massachusetts department store in 1890. With all of the changes that have taken place in retail, Paul thought that Santa deserved some changes as well. So he came up with a complete overall of the Santa experience using all sort of hi-tech gadgetry & our storytelling toolbox. And we're calling it the DreamWorks DreamHouse.

In it, shoppers will be treated to a totally immersive story that will appeal to parents as well as kids. It will be hosted by our characters and feature a thrilling four minute-long flight on Santa's sleigh to visit the big guy in his home at the North Pole. It should be quite the upgrade from the 1890 experience.

We have finalized a number of agreements to bring the DreamWorks DreamHouse to malls throughout the US for the coming holiday season. And we expect to roll it out internationally in the coming year.

Jeffrey then went on to say that " ...This is just one demonstration of how we at DreamWorks believe in retail." But me personally? I couldn't help but wonder which Santa this animation studio is going to have greeting shoppers this coming holiday season?

Photo by Jim Hill

To explain: Back in July of 2012, DreamWorks Animation bought Classic Media, which was this company which served as custodian for a library of movie & TV series. And among the properties that DWA acquired as part of this $155 million was Rankin-Bass' 1970 holiday special, "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town."

Copyright DreamWorks Animation. All rights reserved

But let's not forget that -- back in 2007 -- DreamWorks Animation produced a holiday special of its own, "Shrek the Hall." And this Gary-Trousdale-directed program featured a version of Santa who was more green than red and wasn't exactly holly jolly.

Copyright DreamWorks Animation. All rights reserved

And then there's North, the Siberian Santa Claus from DreamWorks Animation's criminally under-appreciated 2012 release, "Rise of The Guardians." Who -- as you may recall -- had a pretty awesome sleigh.

Copyright DreamWorks Animation. All rights reserved

But then again -- there's that super-cool sleigh that Alex, Marty & Melman & Gloria flew in their 2009 holiday special, "Merry Madagascar."

Copyright DreamWorks Animation. All rights reserved

And come to think of it, that directed-by-David-Soren show also featured another version of Santa. One that was voiced by television legend Carl Reiner.

So given that the DreamWorks DreamHouse is supposed to featured a " ... thrilling four minute-long flight on Santa's sleigh to visit the big guy in his home at the North Pole" which will then be hosted by some classic DreamWorks Animation characters, I have to ask: Which version of Santa's sleigh would you prefer to ride in? And -- once you get to the North Pole -- which version of Santa would you prefer to meet?

Copyright DreamWorks Animation. All rights reserved

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  • So Katzenberg's animation pics are failing right and left. In fact, he's made the statement that "movies are no longer a growth industry". Which is right in line with a desperate lunge into the marketing sphere. Frankly, the guy's Christmas cartoons were not that popular mainly because they had no heart and didn't understand Christmas. I predict this effort will be a bomb as well.

  • There's also He-Man dressed as Santa.

  • If they want him to seem real to kids, a live-action, generic Santa is the way to go.

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