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Disney Prep & Landing is a computer animated television special, based on an idea by Chris Williams at Walt Disney Animation Studios and developed by Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton into a half-hour Christmas special. It first aired December 8, 2009 on ABC.
The special was released on-line the next day, along with an original one minute short film Tiny's BIG Adventure. A sequel, Operation: Secret Santa, aired on December 7, 2010, reprising the original cast with the addition of Betty White as Mrs. Claus. The second half-hour Christmas TV special, Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice aired on December 5, 2011, on ABC, with another holiday special being planned for the future
PREP & LANDINGEditWayne, a Christmas elf, is part of an elite organization known as "Prep & Landing", whose job is to ready millions of homes around the world for Santa Claus's visit. After working with "Prep & Landing" for 227 years, Wayne looks forward to getting promoted. Instead, his former partner and trainee, Peterson, gets the promotion, and Wayne is introduced to Lanny, a rookie whom Wayne has to also train. Wayne is still bitter about the promotion, and decides to slack off during a mission. He permits Lanny to do all of the work, which is disastrous. Meanwhile, Santa is informed mid-flight of a massive snow storm and that Wayne and Lanny haven't fully prepared the house yet. He is told to cancel the landing, which has never happened before; they promise to make it up for Timmy, a boy living at the house. Wayne and Lanny discover that the re-routing was a final decision, but after hearing Timmy thank them in his sleep, Wayne decides to fix it. He calls up Santa, telling him that he must land at Timmy's house. Wayne and Lanny then work together to land Santa safely on Timmy's roof. On Christmas morning, Santa shows Wayne that Timmy had a merry Christmas. Santa offers a promotion to Wayne as the director of the nice list, but he turns it down so he can work with Lanny.
PREP & LANDING: NAUGHTY VS. NICEEditThe beginning of the special introduces the Coal Elf Brigade, a special unit of Christmas elves that is responsible for delivering lumps of coal to naughty children. While seeming cruel to some, the brigade adds small, encouraging notes to the lumps such as "Try Harder next year," in an attempt to steer the children back to the nice list.
With the Big 2-5 fast approaching, Wayne and Lanny must race to recover classified North Pole technology that has fallen into the hands of a hacker identified only as "jinglesmell1337." Desperate to prevent Christmas from descending into chaos, Wayne seeks out (at the insistence of Magee) the foremost Naughty Kid expert to aid in the mission, a bombastic member of the Coal Elf Brigade who also happens to be his estranged younger (but larger) brother, Noel. Reluctant to take the extroverted Noel along with him, Wayne relents, and Noel joins the Prep & Landing team on the mission. During the trip, Noel and Wayne reminisce about their childhood, when they worked together far better than they do now. As the trio arrives at the hacker's house, Wayne sets off a booby trap, imperiling the entire team; Wayne takes a particular beating while Noel is able to defend himself. Lanny, however, is able to infiltrate the hacker's room, only to be taken captive (he accidentally "sparkles" himself).
The hacker then reveals herself to be Grace Goodwin, whose sole mission is to get herself off the naughty list, believing that she had been set up by her toddler brother, who had destroyed her favorite toy and ruined her chances to ask Santa for a new one by his crying. After a somewhat intoxicated Lanny suggests using the "magic word" to get the password for the device that will get her off the list, she does just that: using the word "please" as the password, since genuinely naughty kids never say "please." At first, she appears successful in changing her status from naughty to nice, but the device malfunctions, threatening to place the entire planet on the naughty list unless she and the team can pull off a risky operation to fix the problem. Meanwhile, Wayne is particularly bitter at being "shown up" by his younger brother, prompting a fight in the street in front of Grace's house in which Wayne wishes he never had a brother. Shocked at his statement, Noel (who always idolized Wayne growing up) asks Wayne to say he didn't mean it, then throws what he had intended to give Wayne as a Christmas present at him. The gift—a toy sled that Wayne had wanted as a boy but was never able to get—prompts Wayne to reconcile with Noel and carry out the mission. Grace, watching the whole argument as it unfolds, learns a powerful lesson and a newfound appreciation for her younger brother.
The next morning, the scene at the Goodwin house shows Grace's toddler brother giving her her new Christmas present, a replacement toy for the one he had destroyed a year prior. Meanwhile, back at the North Pole, Wayne and Noel both win the title of "Elves of the Year" for their efforts and cooperation (although the headline of the local paper misprints Wayne's name as "Dwayne").
OPERATION SECRET SANTAEditWayne and Lanny, now partners, are called by Magee to meet with a secret contact – Mrs. Claus, who sends them on a new mission to retrieve a box from Santa’s secret workshop. Later they sneak into Santa’s office while he is asleep, using their high tech equipment from the previous film. Lanny’s expertise at dressing the tree enables them to enter the hidden workshop where they recover the box and escape just in time. Mrs Claus reveals the contents of the box to be the last part of the first toy that Santa ever made, and gives the complete toy back to him as his Christmas Present
TINY BIG ADVENTUREEdit
Tiny's Big Adventure is a two-minute computer animated short that debuted on Disney.com. The short features Magee's assistant, Tiny, trying to make a pot of coffee and in the process, accidentally ruins the elves' break room.
PREP & LANDING: MANSION IMPOSSIBLEEditOne Christmas Eve, Wayne and Lanny receive their annual assignments from Magee, sending them to a potentially dangerous site that even Thrasher is wary of: The Avengers Mansion.
While Lanny is impressed right upon arrival, they have a narrow "Creatures Stirring" close-call when a sleepy Hulk comes into the room to take a Christmas Cookie before going back to bed. After making sure everything is in order, they are seen as rats by Pest Control robots built by Tony Stark. They make an escape down the stairs using Captain America's shield as a sled and Lanny blasts them apart with the Iron Man glove that became stuck on his head in the commotion. They make their way back up the chimney and return home.
On Christmas morning, Hulk is happy that Santa brought him a new pair of stretchy pants, remarking that he always knows what Hulk needs while Jarvis investigates one of the totaled robots. At the North Pole, after finding how stressed the assignment made Wayne and Lanny, Magee decides to find somewhere that might be easier for them next Christmas: Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Children