Coca-Cola and merchandisers have been appropriating Santa Claus for years. Now DreamWorks Animation hopes to put its stamp on the (SPOILER ALERT) myth by having Shrek introduce kids to St. Nick when they visit him at shopping malls featuring the studio’s DreamPlace location based experience. DWA just disclosed some details about the attraction to begin this holiday season — part of its effort to boost sales of character-related toys, clothing, and other licensed merchandise — which CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg unveiled last month at the industry’s Licensing Expo.
“DreamPlace reimagines one of the signature moments of childhood – meeting Santa Claus,” DWA says. It adds that the “state-of-the-art re-imagining of the holiday retail experience” will provide “an immersive, eye-popping journey with Shrek and his friends as they guide children and families to the North Pole. ”
A 2,000 square foot “holiday cottage” will be set up in seven locations owned by General Growth Properties and Forest City Enterprises including malls in or around New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta and Las Vegas. Families can use an app to schedule appointments with Kris Kringle which, DWA says, should eliminate “the familiar long lines for Santa.”
“DreamPlace turns the traditional mall holiday visit on its head with an immersive, interactive approach that draws on our signature brand of technology, storytelling and of course, humor,” DreamWorks Animation Chief Global Brand Officer Michael Francis says. “We are continually looking for new ways to bring our characters to life and DreamPlace will deliver an unparalleled experience which fans will absolutely love.”
Malls helping DWA to commercialize the Santa visits include GGP’s Glendale Galleria (Glendale, CA), The Parks at Arlington (Dallas/Fort Worth, TX), Fashion Show (Las Vegas, NV), North Point Mall (Alpharetta, GA), Oakbrook Center (Oak Brook , IL), as well as Forest City Enterprises’ Victoria Gardens (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) and Westchester’s Ridge Hill (Yonkers, NY).