White Christmas

Back in June I had another one of those out-of-the-blue, who-would-have-thought, stranger-than-fiction work opportunities come up.

I had already storyboarded a Frank Sinatra music video earlier in the year for the Fantoons studio. They liked what I drew for them, so when they were given the opportunity to animate a music video set to a recording of Irving Berlin’s song White Christmas as sung by the incomparable Bing Crosby, they called on me once again to board for them.




David Calcano wrote a script that set the song around the military at the time of the holidays that had some real storytelling in it. It begins in the late ’60s with the Vietnam War, and later comes to our modern era. It had nostalgia, love of family, tragedy, and full circle resolution – a whole lot of the human experience packed into three minutes.


Dad playing with his daughter in the late ’60s.
Dad now in the Army with a military haircut writing home as Bing sings through the radio.
Bing shows up as a mailman.


I love doing caricatures, but just like in the Sinatra video, I was asked to NOT caricature Bing in my boards. The studio was coming up with their design for Bing, which was going through approvals with whomever had to approve. If I drew him my own way, that could have complicated things. So, a generic character in a hat is what I drew (though I did get away with half-lidded eyes and big ears).


Here’s the comes the mail magically flying to the little girl and her mother.
When you see the finished video, you’ll see that an older mother doesn’t appear in it as I had imagined. With a young portrait of mom on the wall in the video, I think time ultimately wasn’t kind to her.


So, I had a very busy week boarding the piece. 217 panels later, it was finished and sent off. The drawings above are just a few individual panels of those efforts that the team at Fantoons used as a blueprint for their music video.

And here’s the finished product! Merry Christmas everyone. Hope you get to enjoy a white one!