13 Days Until Christmas
One of the challenges I’ve had writing about a Christmas song each day is finding a good video to go with it. A lot of the classic recordings on YouTube are fuzzy bootleg footage with wobbly audio – something someone caught on VHS in 1988. Imagine my surprise when a brand-new animated music video just appeared for Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas.”
Then, over in YouTube’s suggested videos, I spotted a couple more now-animated Christmas classics – Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” with a dedication to the armed forces and Ella Fitzgerald’s “Frosty the Snowman.”
All three songs are part of Universal Music Group and it turns out, the company started making these animated versions of back catalog classics in 2019. Here’s Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and The Supremes’ “My Favorite Things” – which isn’t technically a Christmas song, but add jingle bells, enjoy the jazzy arrangement, and don’t think too much about it.
I believe all these UMG Christmas videos are created and produced by Fantoons Animation Studios in Toluca Lake, CA, which has worked with everyone from Disney Channel to the Frank Zappa estate.
Back to Christmas songs – I’ve always enjoyed the jazzy arrangement of Frank Sinatra’s “Jingle Bells.” If you head out to Walt Disney World and Magic Kingdom, I bet you can hear the Dapper Dans barbershop quartet run through this arrangement today.
I’d also include the new video for Bing Crosby’s “Mele Kalikimaka,” but it seems to be exclusive to Facebook Watch. It’s a wacky holiday trifle of tiki psychedelia and worth seeking out.
There’s also the promise that an animated Nat King Cole will appear on Sunday to sing “The Christmas Song.” If and when that video pops up, I’ll come back here and add it.
SUNDAY EDIT – Here it is!