On December 8, 2019, “Christmas at Dollywood” premieres on the Hallmark Channel starring Danica McKellar, Niall Matter, and Dolly! “Christmas at Dollywood,” filmed at Dollywood, is the story of a New York City event planner (Danica McKellar) who returns to Tennessee to plan her Christmas celebration at Dollywood. Danica is paired with the head of operations (Niall Matter as Luke) who thinks he can handle the party just fine on his own. Watch as these two find a way to put on the biggest event of the season!
Watch “Christmas at Dollywood” on Sunday, December 8, at 8 PM EST/7 PM CST.
Prior to this film, Dolly and Danica have built and maintained a wonderful relationship stemming from their previous work together. Danica’s book, “Goodnight, Numbers,” is currently included in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. She also read her “Goodnight, Numbers” at the Library of Congress (LOC) as part of a special event hosted by the LOC and Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
Danica also narrated “The Library that Dolly Built.” This documentary explores the journey of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library from a local program to an international partnership that has now gifted over 124 million books.
You can watch these two extremely talented ladies in “Christmas at Dollywood” this December only on Hallmark.
Hallmark Channel announces Danica McKellar, is set as the lead of the World Premiere Original Movie, "Christmas At Dollywood," premiering in December as part of the network’s 10th Anniversary salute to its #1-rated COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS program event. Making a special appearance in the film is Dollywood’s beloved namesake, country music legend and American treasure, Dolly Parton. The film commences principal photography at the theme park in November.
In "Christmas At Dollywood," Rachel Lewis (McKellar) is a single mom and award-winning Broadway producer who learns investors have mismanaged her latest theatrical – a holiday extravaganza – into bankruptcy, forcing the show to close before it opens. Rachel is dismayed, but not for long, as her friend calls from Tennessee to let her know there is an opportunity for a seasoned pro to produce a show for the 20th anniversary of the award-winning Smoky Mountain Christmas festival at Dollywood. One caveat, Rachel learns this is a co-production with Luke Hakman, entertainment director for Dollywood.
Luke is a long-time Dollywood employee who sees the holiday show as key to him becoming the park’s next GM. With nine-year-old daughter Amy in tow, Rachel leaves New York City to return to her Appalachian mountain roots. Every night as Rachel tucks Amy into bed, she tells the child a new ADVENTURES OF AMY story, a collection of personal mother-daughter bedtime stories Rachel hopes to author someday. One night, Rachel tells Amy about a little girl following Santa Claus on his route. Using the stars as her guide, fantasy Amy travels with Santa to the Northern Lights. Rachel tells her child the lights are so magical and beautiful that Amy can always look to the night sky to find her way home. Is this an idea for the new Dollywood show? Rachel thinks so, though she will have to convince a skeptical Luke who has his own vision of success. As the pair meets in the middle to please the boss, little do Rachel and Luke realize love lurks in all the unexpected places because this isn’t the Great White Way. Or Hollywood. This is Dollywood!
“Dolly Parton is a bright light who is rich in spirit, kindness, and love. ‘Christmas At Dollywood’ features Danica McKellar in a story about finding love and new beginnings in the most familiar place -- home. A holiday movie set in a winter wonderland like Dollywood exemplifies the quality of the talent, storytelling, and filmmaking that has made COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS the #1 program event on television for ten years,” said Michelle Vicary, Executive Vice President, Programming & Publicity, Crown Media Family Networks.
Danica McKellar and Dolly Parton share a special connection to children’s literacy: both are successful authors and two of Danica’s books can be found in Dolly’s world-renowned Imagination Library.
"Christmas At Dollywood" is written by Nina Weinman. Executive Producers are Alan Ett and Bruce Hendricks.
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Dolly is pleased to announce that Danica McKellar will narrate the upcoming documentary, "The Library that Dolly Built." The documentary, directed by Nick Geidner and written by Abby Bower, explores the journey of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library from a local program to an international partnership that has now gifted over 115 million books. Dolly said,
“I was thrilled that Danica agreed to narrate our documentary. She is the perfect person to help us tell our story. She is very talented and she has such a giving heart.”
Danica is an actress, mathematics writer and education advocate. Her successful acting career includes her role as Winnie Cooper on "The Wonder Years," several notable voiceovers for animated movies and a number of well-received movies on the Hallmark Channel. Danica said,
“I've admired Dolly Parton since childhood, and even more so upon learning of her Imagination Library. I can't wait for the world to learn more about the Imagination Library through this beautiful documentary, and I couldn't be prouder to narrate it.”
In addition to her acting work, McKellar has written eight books, all encouraging children, especially young girls, to have confidence and success in mathematics. Her book, "Goodnight, Numbers," is currently included in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
Photo Credit: Nick Geidner
"The Library That Dolly Built" is a feature-length documentary, covering the history, impact and future of America’s largest non-governmental children’s literacy program. It features the music of Dolly Parton and includes original interviews with recipients of the books, parents, policy makers, authors, program organizers, and the legend herself, Dolly Parton. With this film, we hope to celebrate one of Tennessee’s greatest exports, the Imagination Library, shine a light on the importance of children’s literacy and put a human face on the many people who make DPIL happen.
"The Library That Dolly Built" is being produced by Land Grant Films, a documentary production program housed in the School of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee. Land Grant Film’s mission is to provide University of Tennessee students with real-world experience in documentary storytelling while providing local non-profit organizations with videos assets that can be used to raise awareness and funds. Land Grant Films’ documentaries have been aired on Knoxville’s NBC and PBS affiliates, screened in film festivals, and won numerous awards. All of our films are created by University of Tennessee students or involve students in key crew positions. The Library That Dolly Built was directed by journalism professor Nick Geidner, edited by video instructor Clinton Elmore, and crewed by 15 University of Tennessee students.