5 Animated Christmas Music Videos You Should Watch Right Now
Cartoon musical treats for the young and young at heart
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You don’t have to be paying that much attention to this newsletter recently to notice that I love all things Christmas-related—and especially Christmas music. I only have a couple more weeks to be sharing tips for a Yule that’s cool, so I’m going all-in for the next few issues. If you hate Christmas, at least you know when it will end! (also, please stop hating Christmas)
What To Watch
*Animated Christmas Music Video Edition*
You know what goes well with Christmas and Christmas music? Hot chocolate!
Yes, but also? Animation!
So this week I’m featuring a list of some festive animated music videos that will hopefully make your season even brighter. Grab a cup of your favorite chocolatey goodness and click below to enjoy a festive playlist for the ears and the eyes.
Sleigh Ride - Relient K
We’ll start things off with a light-and-breezy take on this classic carol. Aside from Relient K offering a unique cover of this song, the fun animated short that accompanies it plays a little bit like watching a modern teenage Bugs Bunny thwart Santa Claus to impress a girl bunny. I can’t believe I first saw this way back in 2008, but I guess the quality of the animation and the bunny’s sideburns and haircut give it away.
Nuttin’ for Christmas - Doug Compton
Here’s another one from the Fabulous ‘00s! In 2009, animator Doug Compton decided that his Christmas card would be a cartoon short that he animated completely on his own. I don’t know what you did for your Christmas card this year, but we took a photo and printed it.
Compton’s effort is nothing short of a masterpiece, as it brings to life Stan Freberg’s definitive 1955 version of the novelty song “Nuttin’ For Christmas” with visual gags and characters evoking classic animators like Tex Avery and Chuck Jones. I love watching this myself and I’m definitely showing it to my kids, who have recently become obsessed with this song. Don’t worry, they’ll be getting sumpin’ for Christmas.
Thank God It’s Christmas - Queen
And now for something completely different. I must confess that I was not familiar with this song or this music video until I started writing this list (and went down a bit of a Youtube Rabbit Hole™ on the subject), but I found the experience of watching this simple, screensaver-like animation along with the simple, soulful lyrics of the song to be a little hypnotic and cathartic as we thank God for this joyful season of celebration after the year we’ve all just experienced. Take it away, Freddie…
White Christmas - Bing Crosby
I just enjoyed my annual viewing of the wonderful feature film this weekend—and this music video is no replacement—but this sweetly tear-jerking little after-dinner mint of a cartoon short is set to Bing’s sweet pipes serenading you with his signature song. Plus you get an animated version of Der Bingle himself!
It turns out that the estates of many well-known Christmas crooners—Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald and more—recently consented to having the singers’ likenesses used in animated form for cartoon videos of some of their biggest Christmas hits. I watched them all so you would only have to watch the best ones, but several of them are interesting in their own way, and they all seem to feature extremely well-restored versions of the music, so they might be worth checking out on your biggest TV with your best speakers.
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Frank Sinatra
I saved the best for last. Of all the newly animated Christmas crooner videos that have been released in the past two years, this one is my favorite. It dispenses with the somewhat distracting cartoony versions of the singers themselves and is animated by Italian director Stefano Bertelli using stop motion and paper to construct all the scenes and characters. The “plot” is charming and the animation is just plain cool. The audio is also incredible. As a huge fan of Ol’ Blue Eyes, it’s astounding to hear a recording of him from 1950 that sounds as pure as the driven, um, snow. After you watch it, check out this brief behind the scenes video as well.
What to (tr)Eat
Triple Scoop’d Ice Cream | Park Ridge
This one is for local subscribers, but a new ice cream shop opened in the South Park neighborhood of Park Ridge, and you really need to check it out. Aside from supporting a local business with super-friendly owners, you will get some dang good ice cream as well as hot chocolate and espresso offerings. My family made our first of what I hope will be many pilgrimages there on opening day on an unseasonably warm evening last week, and I highly recommend the cake batter flavor.
It’s got to be an uneasy feeling to open a business in COVID times, but they’ve done it and it was worth it! Everything about the place is clean, safe and socially distanced, so treat yourself to some delicious frozen goodness or a steaming cup of joe.
They also tout a “coming soon” ice cream flight that sounds like a menu option out of my dreams and they already feature the ability to order a cup of hot chocolate alongside a scoop of ice cream for those who would like to experience the best of both worlds.
Despite my love for Christmas, this place has got me dreaming about hot July days without masks, just like the ones we used to know.
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