A classic Hans Christian Andersen fable gets an animated, music-filled makeover when The Emperor's Newest Clothes, featuring songs by Falsettos Tony winner William Finn, debuts November 15 at 6 PM ET on HBO. Watch the opening credits for the children's special above.
Written and produced by Sheila Nevins, the 30-minute program features the voices of Alan Alda, Jeff Daniels, and Alison Pill. Simon Wilches-Castro directs the whimsical tale, which will also be seen on HBO Family beginning November 16 at 8:45 PM ET. The special will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand, and partners’ streaming platforms.
The Emperor’s Newest Clothes tells the story of a vain ruler who lives in a great kingdom where he decides everything and everyone agrees with him—at least in his company. Whether he tells villagers it’s sunny when it’s actually raining, or it’s raining when it’s actually sunny, the Emperor is the only arbiter who matters. Fearful of losing their jobs (or more), the Emperor’s closest confidantes, Syco the Jester and Phantic the Advisor, praise his decisions, however foolish.
The voice cast includes Alda as the narrator; Daniels as the Emperor; Pill as Thomasina; comedians John Early and Tim Heidecker as the Emperor’s advisers, Syco and Phantic; and Gabriel Sunday and Matt Hobby as the two tailors.
Songs are arranged by Danny Ursetti and Michael Starobin; Casey Rup is the art director.