A number of classic holiday tunes by Frank Sinatra, Brenda Lee, Bobby Helms and Motown artists are receiving new animated music video treatments for the season.
As part of a new initiative to bring reimagine holiday classics for the modern era, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) – the catalog division of Universal Music Group (UMG) – is releasing a series of brand-new animated videos to go with Frank Sinatra’s ‘Jingle Bells’, Brenda Lee’s ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’, Bobby Helms’ ‘Jingle Bell Rock’, the Jackson 5’s ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’, the Supremes’ ‘My Favorite Thing’ and The Temptations’ ‘Silent Night’, with more videos slated for the coming holiday season.
“These songs were chosen for their enduring popularity year after year, and the new videos will allow us to deliver them to fans and new audiences alike across digital platforms,” said UMe president & CEO Bruce Resnikoff in a statement. “We are also planning to use the videos in marketing and advertising campaigns to achieve even greater engagement with fans.”
Of the six clips in the series, Lee and Sinatra’s videos went live today, with the others scheduled to roll out over the course of November. Each video falls under three separate categories with their own animation style: Classics, Rat Pack and Motown.
“When I recorded ‘Rockin’ in 1958 I never could have dreamt that it would become a Christmas standard that would be listened to year after year and loved by generation after generation,” said Lee in a statement.
“I always loved the song and knew it was great, and that was the main criteria for me and [producer] Owen [Bradley], but we never imagined it would become the quintessential Christmas song it has become. It’s been an amazing journey with this song. I thought Home Alone was a pretty darn good video, so I never brought up the idea… but I’m honoured that Universal has created ‘Rockin’s first-ever video. I’m aghast in a good way. I became very close to the writer Johnny Marks, who also wrote ‘Rudolph’ and ‘Holly Jolly Christmas;’ I’ll look up to the heavens and say a little nod to Johnny.”
The video for ‘Rockin’ was created by Ingenuity Studios and directed by Alex Popkin and Even Bent. The three clips for the ‘classics videos’ were inspired by vintage UPA character design style, with Sinatra, Lee and Helms imagined as “a merry trio of musicians” spanning across all three videos. ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’ also includes hidden Easter eggs from classic holiday movies, while ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ pays homage to Hanna-Barbera’s Wacky Races cartoons and ‘Holly Jolly Christmas’ uses holiday shopping as a theme
The Sinatra estate also shared their excitement over Frank’s music being reimagined for a new generation of listeners.
“We are happy that Frank’s recording of ‘Jingle Bells’ now has an official video and that this wonderful video is part of UMe’s holiday campaign,” added Frank Sinatra Enterprises.
The video for Sinatra’s iconic holiday tune was created by LA-based animation studio Fantoons and directed by David Calcano and Renaldo Mendoza. When it came to visualising the song, the team took inspiration from the “painterly style” of 1940s and ‘50s Christmas cards and decorations.