WESTFIELD, NJ — Will and Aaron Eisenberg, two brothers who grew up in Westfield, have written “Albert: The Little Tree with Big Dreams,” Nickelodeon’s first animated Christmas movie for TV. They’ve also written an accompanying book of the same title, published by Random House.
The Eisenberg brothers both graduated from Westfield High School, Aaron in 2007 and Will in 2008. After attending different colleges, they moved to Los Angeles and have been writing together for about six years.
“We feel really lucky to have each other as collaborators,” Will Eisenberg said. “Our skill sets complement each other. Plus, with our comfort level, we don't really need to filter our opinions or avoid creative conflict for the sake of politeness. We know that, at the end of the day, we're still going to be having Thanksgiving dinner together.”
“Albert: The Little Tree with Big Dreams” tells the story of Albert, a two-foot Douglas fir tree, who is obsessed with Christmas but has never been picked to be a family Christmas tree. When he hears that the search is on for the famous New York City Christmas tree, he sets out to accomplish the ultimate dream with the help of his two friends.
“One thing that we've always tried to be very conscious of when writing was not to think of our stories as just for kids,” Will Eisenberg said. “When we watched TV and films growing up, we never liked feeling as if we were being talked down to. In that spirit, we wrote with what we hope is a tone that all ages can enjoy-one that mixes irreverence and edginess with a big-hearted message.”
The Eisenberg brothers wrote “Albert” a few years ago and originally pitched it as a feature film. After finishing their first TV movie at Nickelodeon, “The Massively Mixed Up Middle School Mystery,” they mentioned it to their producers and the rest fell into place.
“The network ordered ‘Albert’ as a TV feature and a book, simultaneously,” Will Eisenberg said. “We couldn't say no. Nickelodeon was a perfect fit and TV, as it turns out, a perfect outlet for a holiday movie. “
The movie is set to air on Nickelodeon on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. EST. It stars Bobby Moynihan as Albert, Sasheer Zamata as Maisie the palm tree, Judah Friedlander as Gene weed and Rob Riggle as Cactus Pete.
“We think it will air repeatedly throughout the holiday season,” Will Eisenberg said, “so check your local listings.”