Dreamworks Animation Llc
The animated special "Shrek the Halls" airs at 7 p.m. on Ch. 4.

"Shrek the Halls" is certainly the best-looking new holiday special on TV this season — the computer-generated animation is the same kind of quality we've seen three times in theatrical films.

If the story is somewhat thin — and it is — it's only a half-hour special (tonight, 7 p.m., Ch. 4) so the visual charm carries the show far enough.

The premise is predictable. Set after the events of "Shrek 3," Shrek (voiced by Michael Myers) isn't interested in the forthcoming Christmas holiday.

"I don't care about any of this nonsense," he says to the predictably overenthusiastic Donkey (Eddie Murphy).

But then he finds out that his wife, Fiona (Cameron Diaz), is counting on celebrating a nice family holiday with Shrek and their three babies. And Shrek doesn't have a clue how Christmas is supposed to work.

"The tree goes inside the house?" he asks before buying the book "Christmas for Village Idiots."

But before long, not only is Donkey butting in, but so are Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), Gingerbread Man, the Three Pigs, the Three Blind Mice, Pinocchio and that whole crowd. Which, predictably, leaves Shrek acting out on his crankiness.

Along the way, we get different versions of the Christmas story — and by that, I mean, the 'Twas-the-night-before-Christmas story — from Donkey, Puss, the Gingerbread Man and Shrek himself. There are some sweet moments and some funny sight gags.

There are also, predictably, a few fart, belch and poop jokes.

And, while Shrek professes to want to learn what the holiday is all about, this is no "Charlie Brown Christmas" — there are no religious references whatsoever in the script by Gary Trousdale, Sean Bishop, Theresa Cullen and Bill Riling.

It's all pretty harmless, however. And great fun to look at.

ABC will repeat "Shrek the Halls" on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m.

E-MAIL: [email protected]