12 DAYS OF ARTHUR CHRISTMAS Kicks Off With Special Events Beg. 11/12

12 DAYS OF ARTHUR CHRISTMAS Kicks Off With Special Events Beg. 11/12

Christmas will come early to the nation's top 25 markets as this Saturday, November 12, begins the "12 Days of Arthur Christmas," a nationwide schedule of family fun highlighted by two special kickoff-day celebrations in New York and Los Angeles. The 12 days of events nationwide lead to the release of Arthur Christmas, the new 3D CG-animated family comedy from Aardman for Sony Pictures Animation, in theaters November 23, 2011.

Ever wonder how Santa delivers two billion presents in one night? Arthur Christmas, the new 3D CG animated family comedy, in theaters November 23, answers the question, and Aardman and Sony Pictures Animation will help residents of the nation's top 25 markets find their holiday spirit.
In West Hollywood, California, in a prime location high above the Sunset Strip (at 8755 Sunset Blvd., Sunset and Sherbourne), a "living billboard" will become Santa Claus's Southern California base of operations away from the North Pole for the "12 Days of Arthur Christmas." Santa's son, Arthur, along with two elves, will be on the billboard from 7 AM - 10 PM daily, with Arthur answering select calls to Santa's toll-free hotline at 1-888-800-0010.

Anyone from across the US is invited to call the hotline, and throughout the 12 days, Arthur could be chatting from the billboard with anyone, whether it's radio DJs or someone with a message for Santa. Billboards featuring that number will also be placed in high-traffic areas in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Dallas.

As Arthur handles the calls, the elves on the billboard will be wrapping presents donated to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. Angelenos are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy or book to the billboard to donate to the program; the donated gifts will be hoisted up to the billboard, wrapped by the elves, and earmarked for a special child.

In addition, there will be a special snow-filled kickoff party at the base of the billboard on November 12, with activities for kids, including sledding, snow play, snowman building, writing letters to Santa, and making ornaments.

Meanwhile, in New York City, the Grand Central Shuttle Station becomes Christmas Party Central. With the support of partners New York MTA and Toys for Tots, the studio will give three subway shuttle train cars the full Christmas razzle-dazzle, wrapping them inside and out for Arthur Christmas. Next to the train cars, Santa will park his sleigh, where families can pose for pictures. There will also be an Arthur Christmas-themed mezzanine, where children can mail their letters to Santa and find a phone booth to call Santa's toll-free hotline to Arthur on the billboard in Los Angeles.

At the kickoff on November 12, Santa will lead a holiday-themed book reading. In addition, The UPS Store® and the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation will collect monetary donations to provide books for less fortunate children in the local community through the Toys for Tots Literacy Program.

"12 Days of Arthur Christmas" events, including screenings, snow days, ice skating parties, tree lighting ceremonies, and other festivities, will begin that same day in key cities around the country: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Washington DC, Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, Tampa, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Orlando, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Portland, Baltimore, San Diego, and Toronto. For more information about events planned in each market, please visit www.12daysofArthurChristmas.com. In addition, visitors are invited to post what they like most about the holidays on Twitter - while including the hashtag #ArthurChristmas. The cities that trend #ArthurChristmas on Twitter will be highlighted on the movie's Facebook and Twitter pages.

The 3D, CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas, an Aardman production for Sony Pictures Animation, at last reveals the incredible, never-before-seen answer to every child's question: "So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?" The answer: Santa's exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole. But at the heart of the film is a story with the ingredients of a Christmas classic - a family in a state of comic dysfunction and an unlikely hero: Santa's youngest son, Arthur. When this amazing operation misses one child out of hundreds of millions, Arthur, the least capable Claus, embarks on a hilarious, exciting rogue mission against the clock with his politically incorrect grandfather Grandsanta and a giftwrapping-obsessed elf named Bryony, to deliver the last present before Christmas morning dawns. The film is directed by Sarah Smith, written by Peter Baynham & Sarah Smith, and produced by Peter Lord, David Sproxton, Carla Shelley, and Steve Pegram.

Aardman, based in Bristol (UK), co-founded and run by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, is a world leader in animation. It produces feature films, television series and television commercials for both the domestic and international market. The studio has won over 400 international awards including 4 Oscars®.

Aardman's highly creative stop-motion style and creative sensibilities have proven popular with critics and audiences around the world. In 2000, Chicken Run, their debut feature, took in nearly $225 million worldwide; since then, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit grossed nearly $200 million and Flushed Away, their first CG feature, earned $176 million. All three films have achieved enormous critical acclaim, with the three films earning a total of 27 Annie Award nominations (the animation community's highest honor). In addition, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was honored with the Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature. http://www.aardman.com. In addition to the CG-animated Arthur Christmas, Aardman is also in production on the stop-motion The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated entertainment for audiences around the world. The studio is following its worldwide comedy hits, the 2011 hybrid live action/animated family blockbuster, The Smurfs (3D) and the 2009 mouth-watering Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (3D), with the family comedy Hotel Transylvania (3D) in Fall 2012. The division is also in production with Aardman Animations on two feature films, the CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas (3D) in theaters November 2011 and the stop-frame animated high-seas adventure, The Pirates! Band of Misfits (3D) in March 2012. Open Season 3, the third adventure in Sony Pictures Animation's successful Open Season franchise, was released on DVD and Blu-ray January 2011. In 2007, Surf's Up received an Academy Award®-nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. Sony Pictures Animation is an operating unit of Sony Pictures Digital Productions http://www.sonypicturesanimation.com/. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SONYPicturesAnimation Twitter: http://twitter.com/sonyanimation

ABOUT Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; worldwide television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of entertainment in more than 142 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com.

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a not for profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps and the Department of Defense to provide fundraising and other necessary support for the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Now in its 63rd year, Toys for Tots provides joy and a message of hope to less fortunate children through the gift of a new toy or book during the Christmas holiday season. Our gifts offer these children hope, recognition and a positive memory they will cherish for a lifetime. Many of the gifts we provide, such as books, games and sports equipment, make a significant contribution to the educational, social and recreational development of these children. In 2009, Marines distributed gifts to 7.4 million children in 691 communities nationwide. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation relies on individual donations from the American public as well as support from corporate sponsors. For more information, visit www.toysfortots.org.