Sia is in the holiday spirit since releasing her new album, Everyday Is Christmas, last month and now Freeform is getting in on the fun by releasing three music videos during its annual 25 Days of Christmas programming event. The first of which, for “Candy Cane Lane,” was released Friday (Dec. 1).
Videos for Sia’s “Ho Ho Ho” and “Underneath the Mistletoe” will be released via Freeform on Dec. 7 and 14, respectively, at 8 p.m. EST. The classic-style claymation videos were all directed by Lior Molcho of Neon Cat and act as a Christmas trilogy to tell a single story story.
“The music was incredibly inspiring, as I listened to the songs vintage Christmas movies like Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer kept popping in my head, so I thought why not do a stop motion video but with a Sia twist?” Molcho tells Billboard.
The videos will run on-air during commercial breaks in 30-second snippets and then in full on the Freeform website, where they will premiere exclusively for the first hour. The Disney-owned network has previously run similar promotion with music videos such as the John Legend and Ariana Grande‘s “Beauty and the Beast” video for the live-action film of the same name, but this is the first partnership with a non-Disney entity — something Freeform’s director of music production Tricia Holloway hopes can be the first of many for the channel formerly known as ABC Family.
“The signature sort of sound of Freeform is ever evolving as our programming is evolving, so we’re really looking to do a lot more things like this in this realm,” Holloway tells Billboard. “We’re always looking for new opportunities and partnerships across the board.”
For Sia, specifically, Holloway said pairing her new Christmas album with their 25 Days of Christmas stunt was a “perfect union,” praising the singer’s resonance across varying age groups and their wide-spanning holiday audience.
“Sia’s music videos are always really unique and creative,” she continued. “Given the originality of the music and the visuals specifically with a Christmas theme, we thought it couldn’t be a more perfectly aligned pairing between Sia and her fans and our fans and Christmas and it’s just like a big bundle of joy.”
As for creating the visual element to that “big bundle of joy,” Molcho had his work cut out for him. But having worked on some of Sia’s past lyric videos, including “Cheap Thrills” and “Alive,” he knew what important elements to focus on when telling the singer’s own holiday story.
“When it became a trilogy we suddenly had only three months to produce 10 minutes of animation and also design and sculpt the characters, build the sets and, of course, animating, which took 45 days,” he says. “The magic snow monster was very challenging, he had to go through different forms and still stay a character which the little girl can become friends with.”
As for the Sia character herself, Molcho said she had to be just right — from the hair to her pooch.
“We worked with Sia’s hair dresser to make sure that the curls we sculpt on the little girl matches Sia’s famous wig,” he continued, “and even though we didn’t do a video to ‘Puppies Are Forever’ from the album, the song inspired me to give the girl a Christmas dog as a companion.”
Watch Sia’s “Candy Cane Lane” video here: