Press Release


Star-studded cast to be featured in first Build-A-Bear animated Christmas film based on best-selling holiday plush expanding the entertainment footprint for the company

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Build-A-Bear Entertainment, a subsidiary of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. (NYSE: BBW), along with Foundation Media Partners, today announces that five-time Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum selling singer/songwriter Julia Michaels, six-time Grammy-winning legend Dionne Warwick and actress Trinity Jo-Li Bliss have been cast in the animated Christmas feature GLISTEN AND THE MERRY MISSION. This anticipated film is the first animated feature for Build-A-Bear based on the company's multi-year best-selling holiday plush collection.

GLISTEN AND THE MERRY MISSION follows a young elfling Marzipan (voiced by Bliss) and her mother Cinnameg (voiced by Michaels) as Marzipan must believe in the magic of the season as she goes on the adventure of a lifetime to rediscover the enchanted snow deer named Glisten and save Christmas. The pursuit of their Merry Mission is aided by a colorful cadre of reindeer and elves, including the wise Sage Evergreen (voiced by Warwick).

Build-A-Bear President and Chief Executive Officer Sharon Price John will executive produce the film based on a story written by Ms. John, and Foundation Media Chief Executive Officer Patrick Hughes will produce the film. The screenplay was written by Temple Mathews ("Mariah's Once Upon a Christmas") and Ms. John and will be art-directed, designed and animated by Ontario, Canada based Big Jump Entertainment with Big Jump's Chief Creative Officer Cory Morrison directing. Michael Mariano and his frequent collaborator Tracy Mariano will voice direct.

Ms. John noted, "We are truly excited about this incredible opportunity to bring our beloved Glisten snow deer character to life in this beautifully animated interpretation of the Merry Mission story, especially with this dream cast. The journey of Santa and the reindeer along with our adorable emboldened elfling Marzipan, who finds a way to ensure all of the kids receive a toy made with heart on Christmas Eve, is sure to delight holiday fans."

Over the past few years, no songwriter has reshaped pop music more than 5x Grammy® Award-nominated and multiplatinum-selling artist Julia Michaels. In 2017, she embarked on a solo career with her 5x-platinum selling debut single "Issues." A year later, her peers recognized her stunning work with Grammy® Award nominations for "Best New Artist" and "Song of the Year." She released a series of critically acclaimed EPs, including 2017's fan-favorite Nervous System and 2019's critically acclaimed Inner Monologue Part 1 and Inner Monologue Part 2. She also embarked on The Inner Monologue Tour, which marked her first-ever U.S. headline tour following an enviable run touring with Maroon 5, Keith Urban, Shawn Mendes, Niall Horan, and P!NK. 2021 saw Julia release her highly anticipated full-length debut album, Not In Chronological Order, to critical acclaim. Her music continued to connect with songs like "What A Time" and "Heaven" going on to achieve Platinum status. To date, she has also notched 25 Billboard Hot 100 entries as a songwriter, including two number 1's for Justin Bieber's "Sorry" and Selena Gomez's "Lose You to Love Me," in addition to four top 10 hits. She received her third Grammy® Award nomination in the category of "Song Of The Year" for the hit song "If The World Was Ending," her fourth Grammy® Award nomination for her work on H.E.R.'s album Back of My Mind, and just received her fifth nomination as a songwriter for "Best Country Song" on Maren Morris' "Circle Around This Town." Her latest release, "Sorry To Me Too," kicks off the next chapter of her solo artistry with a larger project arriving early 2023. What's more, she has also been tapped to compose the original songs for Disney's upcoming film "Wish" starring Oscar winner Ariana DeBose, which will arrive Nov 2023, with additional collaborations to extend her incredible songwriting legacy. MERRY MISSION marks Michaels' feature film debut.

Warwick is a Grammy-winning singer and songwriter who has been a cornerstone of American pop music and culture for over 50 years. She has earned more than sixty charted hit songs and sold over 100 million records, having her first hit in 1962 with "Don't Make Me Over." Less than a decade later, she had released more than 18 consecutive Top 100 singles, including her classic Bacharach/David recordings, "Walk on By," "Anyone Who Had a Heart," "Message to Michael," "Promises Promises," "A House is Not a Home," "Alfie," "Say a Little Prayer," "This Girl's in Love With You," "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," "Reach Out For Me," and the theme from "Valley of the Dolls." In 1985, she reunited with composer Burt Bacharach and longtime friends Gladys Knight, Elton John and Stevie Wonder to record the landmark song "That's What Friends Are For," which became a number one hit record around the world. Most recently, Warwick was inducted into the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles where a special 50th Anniversary exhibit was unveiled and an historic program and performance was held in the Clive Davis Theater, hosted by Clive Davis, Burt Bacharach and Grammy Museum Executive Director, Bob Santelli. Warwick also completed recording a new studio album commemorating her 50th Anniversary produced by Phil Ramone, featuring special new material written by her longtime friend and legendary composer Burt Bacharach.

Bliss is best known for her series regular roles in "Best Foot Forward" and "The Garcias". She will soon be seen as Tuktirey in James Cameron's Avatar: The Way of the Water in December 2022, and will be in Avatar 3 and Avatar 4.


Build-A-Bear Entertainment, a division of Build-A-Bear Workshop, the IP-based company best known for its memorable and unique 'build-your-own' retail concept, has been actively creating a variety of content while cultivating the right relationship for its big screen debut. In addition to the upcoming project with Hello Sunshine, the company has produced several feature-length films in conjunction with Foundation Media Partners, including Honey GirlsDeliver By Christmas and Christmas CEO. Separately, the highly anticipated documentary from award-winning director Taylor Morden, which chronicles the compelling journey of Build-A-Bear's rise from a 1997 retail-tainment start-up, to a successful multi-million dollar public company, to its current evolution and digital transformation into a multi-generational, diversified, omni-channel organization that posted its most profitable year in 2021, is currently in post-production.


Build-A-Bear is a multi-generational global brand focused on its mission to "add a little more heart to life" appealing to a wide array of consumer groups who enjoy the personal expression in making their own "furry friends" to celebrate and commemorate life moments. Nearly 500 interactive brick-and-mortar retail locations operated through a variety of formats provide guests of all ages a hands-on entertaining experience, which often fosters a lasting and emotional brand connection. The company also offers engaging e-commerce/digital purchasing experiences on including its online "Bear-Builder", the animated "Bear Builder 3D Workshop" and its age-gated adult-focused "Bear Cave". In addition, extending its brand power beyond retail, Build-A-Bear Entertainment, a subsidiary of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., is dedicated to creating engaging content for kids and adults that fulfills the company's mission, while the company also offers products at wholesale and in non-plush consumer categories via licensing agreements with leading manufacturers. Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. (NYSE: BBW) posted total revenue of $411.5 million in fiscal 2021. For more information, visit the Investor Relations section of


Foundation's clients and executive team have produced a number of commercially successful and award-winning films for major studios and independent financiers. Foundation's slate includes movies from some of the most prolific filmmakers in the world, cultivating some of today's most dynamic and cutting edge new voices. Recent titles include THE BAD GUYS, based on the best-selling book franchise by Aaron Blabey, which was released earlier this year by Dreamworks Animation and Universal Pictures; THELMA THE UNICORN, based on another best-selling book franchise by Blabey, is currently in PRODUCTION with director Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) for Netflix; DELIVER BY CHRISTMAS, which was Build-A-Bear Entertainment's first film with Hallmark released in Fall of 2020; and HONEY GIRLS, the first Build-A-Bear Entertainment feature film for Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions, based on Build-A-Bear Workshop's pop music trio and released in 2021.

Cision View original content to download multimedia:

SOURCE Build-A-Bear Workshop

Jaime Ludwig, Build-A-Bear,