The decades-old Christmas songs of Frank Sinatra, Brenda Lee and more are getting the music video treatment.
In a new initiative to bring several of its classic holiday tunes into the modern era, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) — the catalog division of Universal Music Group (UMG) — is releasing brand-new animated videos to go with Sinatra’s “Jingle Bells,” 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 Things” and The Temptations’ “Silent Night,” with more on the horizon.
“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.”
The newly-created videos have been grouped into three categories — Classics, Motown and Rat Pack — each with their own animation style. Of the six clips so far, the Lee and Sinatra videos are now available to view on YouTube, with the others slated to roll out over the month of November.
“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 honored 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.”
“Frank Sinatra’s holiday recordings have been spreading joy and cheer to listeners for decades,” added Frank Sinatra Enterprises. “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.”
You can stream the Sinatra and Lee videos and check out a description of all eight below.
Brenda Lee, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”‘; Bobby Helms, “Jingle Bell Rock”
Created by Ingenuity Studios and directed by Alex Popkin and Even Bent, these three clips were inspired by vintage UPA character design style, with a merry trio of musicians spanning across all three videos. “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” includes hidden Easter eggs from classic holiday movies, “Jingle Bell Rock” pays homage to Hanna-Barbera’s Wacky Races cartoons and “Holly Jolly Christmas” uses holiday shopping as a theme.
Frank Sinatra, “Jingle Bells”
Created by LA-based animation studio Fantoons and directed by David Calcano and Renaldo Mendoza, the look of the Sinatra video were inspired by the “painterly style” of 1940s and ’50s Christmas cards and decorations.
The Supremes, “My Favorite Things”; The Temptations, “Silent Night”; Jackson 5, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”
Created by LA-based creative agency Ride or Cry and directed by Morgan Freed, the Motown clips were inspired by ’60s and ’70s animation including Fat Albert mixed with live-action.