Imagine Kids+Family and Warner Music Group have announced plans to co-produce and co-finance the upcoming holiday film Winter Wonderland. Created and written by Despicable Me filmmaker Cinco Paul, Winter Wonderland will be based on the classic Warner Chappell-owned holiday song “Winter Wonderland” and feature a combination of stop-motion and live-action animation. Paul will pen original songs for the film’s soundtrack.
Winter Wonderland is the first project to result from the partnership between Imagine Kids+Family and WMG that was first announced in June 2020. Under the multi-year agreement, the two companies will team up to co-produce and co-finance projects based on classic songs in the Warner Chappell Music publishing catalog. The idea of the new endeavor began as an internal conversation at Warner Chappell Music and later came to involve Imagine and Warner Music Entertainment, the company’s film/TV division, which came aboard to co-develop the idea.
Paul has a track record of co-writing, with Ken Daurio, family blockbusters with combined global box office of $4 billion, including all three Despicable Me films, Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and The Secret Life of Pets.
Composer Felix Bernard and lyricist Richard Bernhard Smith co-wrote “Winter Wonderland” in 1934. The song has proved to be a perennial hit for Warner Chappell Music, ascending the Billboard charts nearly every year around Christmastime. While the song is most famously associated with crooner Bing Crosby, it has been covered by countless other stars since, including Michael Bublé, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga and Jeff Goldblum.
The Winter Wonderland film adaptation will be produced by Imagine Entertainment chairmen Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, Imagine Kids+Family president Stephanie Sperber, Warner Music Entertainment president of TV & film Charlie Cohen, WMG consultant and producer Meredith Milton and Warner Chappell Music’s senior vp, theatrical and catalog Kurt Deutsch.
“This will be the first feature project from Imagine Kids+Family, and it couldn’t be more perfectly tailored. It takes a classic with a twist, and leverages animation with live action to create the next holiday classic for a new generation,” said Sperber in a statement.