Apple TV Plus’ ‘Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special’ Gets Dec. 4 Launch Date

Apple TV+ Nov. 18 announced that the upcoming “Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special” will debut Dec. 4 on the SVOD platform. The exclusive will launch with a companion soundtrack and new single, “Oh Santa!”

Guest superstars appearing on the special include Tiffany Haddish, Billy Eichner, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Snoop Dogg, Jermaine Dupri, Misty Copeland and Mykal-Michelle Harris. Extra special appearances are also made by Carey’s twins, Moroccan and Monroe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special” is executive produced by Carey, as well as Ian Stewart, Raj Kapoor and Ashley Edens for Done + Dusted. BAFTA Award winner Hamish Hamilton and Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner Roman Coppola direct, and also serve as executive producers, and the special is written by Caroline Fox.

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The soundtrack single and new music video for “Oh Santa!,” co-written by and featuring Carey performing with Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson, will be will be distributed by Sony Music and released on Apple Music and other streaming platforms Dec. 4. The companion soundtrack to the special is full of brand new interpretations, and will also include Snoop Dogg and Jermaine Dupri as additional musical guests, in addition to a new version of “Sleigh Ride.” The soundtrack will be available Dec. 4 exclusively on Apple Music, and all other platforms on Dec. 11.

Apple Music will release the Apple TV+ special in an exclusive interview with flagship anchor Zane Lowe on Dec. 7, where Carey runs through her personally curated playlist of favorite holiday songs, and talks about her new music and recent memoir, “The Meaning of Mariah Carey.” Then on Dec. 25, Carey will also appear on Apple Music Hits, Apple Music’s new radio station, for a six-hour Holiday Hits special, featuring the biggest festive songs, including “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” and telling fans about her own holiday memories, with additional artists and hosts sharing their own Christmas messages.

The holiday event will premiere globally on Apple TV+, which claims to have set records as the only new streaming service to launch globally in over 100 countries, and to have been honored with 122 awards nominations and 39 wins and accolades in its first year.

 

‘Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special’ to Bow on Apple TV+ for Holidays

Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special, an exclusive holiday program from multi-platinum, multi-Grammy award-winning artist Mariah Carey, will debut globally on Apple TV+ this holiday season.

The special — combining music, dancing and animation driven by a “heartwarming” story, according to Apple — is set to premiere on the heels of the 25th anniversary of Carey’s No. 1 holiday anthem “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” and will feature Carey and a lineup of guest stars.

Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices, as well as at tv.apple.com, for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. The Apple TV app will be available on Sony and Vizio smart TVs later this year. For a limited time, customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch can get one year of Apple TV+ free. The offer is good for three months after the first activation of the eligible device. For more information, visit apple.com/tvpr.

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The Star

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street 2/20/18;
Sony Pictures;
Animated;
$30.99 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘PG’ for some thematic elements.
Voices of Steven Yeun, Gina Rodriguez, Zachary Levi, Keegan-Michael Key, Kelly Clarkson, Patricia Heaton, Kristin Chenoweth, Tracy Morgan, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Aidy Bryant, Anthony Anderson, Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Plummer, Ving Rhames, Gabriel Iglesias, Mariah Carey, Phil Morris, Roger Craig Smith.

This fluffy faith-based animated adventure frames the tale of the Nativity from the point of view of a group of animals whose lives intersect with the coming of the Messiah.

The Star follows a little donkey (Steven Yeun of “The Walking Dead”) with big dreams who befriends the pregnant Mary (Gina Rodriguez of “Jane the Virgin,” playing another woman pregnant by unusual means here) before she leaves for Bethlehem, then sets off with his animal friends to protect her after learning King Herod (Christopher Plummer) has sent hunters after her in his attempt to prevent the birth of the King of the Jews. The camels (Tracy Morgan, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey) of the Three Wise Men also seek out the impending birth of Jesus to protect him.

Lest anyone worry about the film straying too far from scripture with its talking animals, one of its best running gags involves the fact that the animals can communicate freely with each other, but just sound like animals to the humans around them.

It’s a testament to the earnestness of The Star, and a sign of how it expects its audience to approach the film, that an early scene involves Mary returning home to her husband, Joseph, after being away for an extended period of time. Visibly pregnant, she explains it’s the Son of God and that it’s his duty to help her bring the child into the world, and he embraces the calling. Were this not a faith-based movie aimed at children, I suspect most men being told that story by their wife might have a different reaction.

The film’s screenplay was originally intended for a live-action production of the Jim Henson Company, which reportedly would have employed a style similar to Babe, using visual effects to make the animals appear to talk. When that didn’t pan out, the project was revived at Sony Pictures Animation by DeVon Franklin, a prominent Christian preacher and motivational speaker who has produced a number of notable faith-based films, such as Heaven Is for Real.

The end result is a cute adventure that, despite some broad Looney Tunes-type humor, remains grounded in its piety. While not a musical, the film relies heavily on a soundtrack consisting of modern renderings of some classic Christmas songs.

The songs are the subject of a good portion of the Blu-ray’s bonus materials, which include several “lyric videos,” two sing-alongs and a dance-along video.

The Blu-ray also offers some typical behind-the-scenes featurettes, such as the 13-minute “An All Star Cast” and the two-minute “Creating the World of 9 Months B.C.” There’s also a commentary with executive producer Franklin and director Tim Reckart.

But the Blu-ray also has ambitions to serve as a faith-based teaching tool, and to that end it includes the 10-minute “Faith All Year Round With DeVon Franklin,” in which the producer discusses the film’s message with a group of children. For those who prefer something more interactive, there are three arts-and-crafts videos.

Finally, the Blu-ray offers a bit of background art for special occasions in the form of an animated Nativity scene that runs on a 21-hour loop.