The JibJab Blog

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Making of Winter Wonderland

JibJab’s rocking version of the Christmas classic, Winter Wonderland, is sure to get even Scrooge on his feet dancing. But figuring out how to imagine the penguin’s band and their stage was tough. We spoke with character and background designer, Justin, who gave us the inside scoop of how he picked these waddling rock stars to take center stage in this eCard.

How did you approach designing costumes for the penguins?

I spent some time exploring the funny shapes penguins tend to have. I took a goofy approach for our Starring You penguin since it would basically be a human in a bird costume. For the non Starring You characters I played with a round and squat shape in order to play up the cuteness we would need in order to make the short humorous when the little guys started to play rock music.

What was the inspiration for the look of the backgrounds?

For the background concepts, I wanted to play with lighting and color schemes for a snowy landscape we haven’t really seen depicted before. It’s really easy to just go with a generic look-like white snow and blue skies, so I wanted to do something different. I first looked at a lot of reference pics of arctic landscapes in the late evening and nighttime. These times of day helped transform the scene into something really enchanting. In twilight and moonlight the icebergs have an iridescent quality that I loved. I initially thought it would be really nice to play with the northern lights and make them our key light source as well.

This animatic was the starting point for all production and set Justin and the other artists off on their path of creativity.

Have you sent this card to anyone yet?

Yup! Sent it to my Mom starring the 2 of us. Mom loves JibJab!

Now that you’ve discovered the inspiration behind this new Starring You video, turn all your friends into punk rockin’ penguins this Holiday season!

10 responses to “Making of Winter Wonderland”

  1. I signed up for full membership last week ($1 per month)but I can’t send my cards. When the ecard is completed, it keeps saying to download for $4.99 and/or to join up!!! Please help as it’s almost Christmas and I need to get my chosen card sent off!!

  2. Hi, just had to say I loved your “Elf Yourself” videos so I made one, posted it to my Facebook and bought it so I’ll always have it available.

    However, it would be really good if you had an “Auld Lang Syne” version (possibly with some silly/comic content like the Elf Yourself ones) that could take 4 or 5 images so I could upload something of me and my mates for NYE and post it around…needless to say I would definitely also buy it so it would be more money in your coffers 🙂

    I realise I haven’t left you much time but you’re a very talented bunch and I’m sure you could easily adapt something to this before midnight next Saturday (the sooner the better).

    If it’s not feasible then thanks anyway 😀

  3. I thought your Rocking Around the Christmas Tree card was great! The best on-line card I have ever seen. It was sent to me by my son and I liked it so well, I sent it to several others. My intention was to sign up and use more of your cards, but was sadly disappointed to see the rest were not of the same quality. At least of the ones that I saw, and I spent some time looking over the site. What I like about “Rockin” was the upbeat clean fun, the personalization, and the length of the card. What I didn’t like about a lot of what I saw (besides the lack of the above) was the crudeness of the cards, while I realize some people like that stuff, it would be great to have just more fun, upbeat stuff like “Rockin”. I would gladly sign up if you did. thanks, Pam

  4. Impressed?….VERY. Value….FANTASTIC. Choice….INCREDIBLE. Frustration….HIGH.
    WHY?….Because, although I managed to make and permanently download several versions of the ELF and STAR WARS videos plus a couple of others, I was unable to make downloadable copies of FELIZ NAVIDAD or HOLIDAY DISCO and most of your other `Starring You` products seem unattainable. I have spent hours trying to find a way to succeed without doing so. I have never considered myself as `thick` but perhaps now I am 75 some of my marbles are slipping!
    This site and your products are the perfect way for me to keep in touch with my family and friends so if you can help I will be very grateful.(Not least by continuing to purchase any videos made for the members price of $ incredible price for a permanent memory!)

  5. I wanted to make a video and purchase it, but the only option was to join for $12. What happened to the option of a 1 time purchase.Probably by the time I get a response or a resolution, it will be to late for my sister in laws 50th birthday.

    • Hi Dave, At this time we do not have the option to do a single purchase. Our membership is $12 a year and gives you access to over 1,500 eCards, videos and pictures. Please email us at with any other questions. Thanks!

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