Prep & Landing: Inside Santa's Journey
Disney's Prep and Landing is ABC's premiere TV special completely overseen by the iconic Walt Disney Animation Studios. Prep and Landing star Sarah Chalke gives SheKnows a call for an exclusive chat about her role in both the holiday film and Disney legacy as well as how this talented Canadian performer landed in Hollywood via an audition for a "new"
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Sarah savors the Lassiter legacy
Sarah Chalke: It's an honor to be part of a John Lassiter project too.
SheKnows: Oh, absolutely.
Sarah Chalke: His movies are my favorites. Up…just floored me. The way that he combines the funny and the heartwarming on Up, you're laughing and crying within the first 10 minutes. There's always something fun for the whole family and every single age group, too. He incorporated that into Prep and Landing as well. We grew up being obsessed with Disney movies. It was really cool to be a part of.
SheKnows: I know the voice acting element is a bit different having been there, done that. How did you find that challenge as opposed to live action like on Scrubs?
Sarah Chalke: Yeah, it's so different. It's really fun. You go in there, not with the other actors. It's just you.
Sarah Chalke: You're not doing a scene with them going back and forth. You go through your character line by line. It's kind of fun. Whereas when you're filming something you might have a few different takes to try different stuff. There's going to be a finite number of takes whereas with animation, it's just you and the writer and directors and the microphone. You can really take a line and go through it 20 different times. You're just doing fun thing with your voice. It's a really interesting, fun and different way to work. I also love the whole premise of the story.
SheKnows: Seriously, Santa Claus doesn't just take off and land without help!
Sarah Chalke: It's the untold story of these elves that go to the homes and establish things on a whole nether level before Santa even gets there. These elves make sure everything's going to be perfect for him.
SheKnows: Like the Secret Service advance team.
Sarah Chalke: Yeah, totally (laughs)!
SheKnows: When you first saw yourself in animated form, I don't know if you first saw a sketch before laying your tracks, what was it like when you saw yourself drawn?
Sarah sees herself in a new light
Sarah Chalke: One of my favorite parts of this character is that she's adorable. She has this homemade jingle bell jewelry, jingling around all the time. She's chugging egg nog lattes so they can be awake for these crazy shifts they have to work. She's such a perfectionist and so high strung. I thought she was the cutest thing when I saw the drawings. It's really fun because I had no idea what she was going to look like – then it was fun to see the drawings and then the storyboards, each time we would go in, they would let us take a peak at the next layer of animation that had been done. That was so cool to see the different stages that it goes through. It's an amazing process. The writers and directors are working on this for the past few years.
Sarah chalke's holiday traditions
SheKnows: Do you have any personal holiday traditions you could share with our readers? Maybe some you've have kept from your childhood…
Sarah Chalke: Yes! One, that I'm going to promise my kids that we have to carry on, is my favorite was my grandmother made this amazing thing, German soup, called Heinz Chocolate en Faxen. It was hot chocolate soup with whipping cream. You can imagine as a kid, that's Christmas morning breakfast.
Sarah Chalke: (Laughs) So, getting to sit down to a hot bowl of melted chocolate with whip cream on top at eight in the morning (laughs)…you're head will explode!
SheKnows: (Laughing) The kid in me cannot even wrap his head around it.
Sarah Chalke: I know, it's pretty nuts. I'm definitely going to carry on that. But, my favorite thing to make and eat in the world is pumpkin pie. That is something I've made in different incarnations throughout my life. I was a vegetarian for a while. I was a vegan for a while. There was a soy, maple syrup vegan version. And then there's the full-on, yummy, delicious one with pumpkin – that is a tradition that I will keep doing too. We also have a tradition in my family called Desentera. My mom grew up with them and we did as well. It's sort of like this little plate of…German deserts.
Sarah Chalke: But, they're all kind of…you kind excited as a kid because you get this plate of candy. We would never get candy. I grew up in a house with no-sugar cereal -- none of that. So, you get this plate of candy but everything is all Marzipan and all…(laughs).
We both laugh.
Sarah Chalke: (Laughing) It's a little anticlimactic. I think I need to carry that one on with my kids, too.
SheKnows: You've got too! Well, Sarah, happy holidays to you and thanks for visiting with SheKnows.
Sarah Chalke: Thanks for having me, Joel.
SheKnows goes behind the scenes of Prep and Landing