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Dr. Dreidel: Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah Extravaganza

Adam Sandler gives cartoons a whirl in his animated musical, Eight Crazy Nights

Adam Sandler has always been an animated character, but for once, everyone else in his movie will be, too. In agambit only the Waterboy might be able to comprehend, the Punch-Drunk Love star’s second offering in less than two months is acartoon musical about Hanukkah, titled Eight Crazy Nights (opening November 27). But at a time when you’re trying to convincethe world you’re a serious thespian, why go the Hanna-Barbera route? “Because this way Adam can look really muscular and handsome,”jokes cowriter Allen Covert, a Sandler associate since Airheads. “Also, we can have characters who look like our relatives.”

Aside from satirizing family members, the Crazy Nights team wanted to create a Hanukkah/Christmas flick with the feel of theholiday specials they’d grown up watching ad infinitum on television–“something with a strong message and some shelf life,” saysdirector Seth Kearsley. “Something that could air on TV every season.” Of course, the final product has been Sandlerized–rated PG-13for poop jokes, heavy drinking, and prodigious belching. In the heartwarming tale, Sandler is the voice of Davey Stone, a hard-boozingtroublemaker who’s been a no-goodnik ever since his parents died when he was a kid. When Davey accidentally destroys his hometown’sice sculptures in a drunken snowmobile accident, he is put in the care of kindhearted, doddering senior citizen Whitey Duvall(also played by Sandler) and his half-sister Eleanore (Sandler yet again), and it’s up to the elderly pair to teach him the truemeaning of Judaism’s greatest gift-giving bonanza.

With a supporting cast that features Saturday Night Live alums Jon Lovitz, Rob Schneider, and Kevin Nealon and a soundtrackthat includes six original numbers and a rejiggered version of Sandler’s seasonal standard “The Hanukkah Song,” all involved areexpecting a payoff sweeter than a bottle of Manischewitz. “This is going to be the biggest Hanukkah movie in history,” vowsCovert. “With no competition from anybody ever.”