Portland, Oregon-based WILL VINTON STUDIOS (WVS) has completed a CG-spot for Griffin Bacal's client, Just Born, featuring "Marshmallow Peeps." The 15-second spot, "Peeps Choir," which began airing on March 8, is the first-ever television commercial for the 76-year-old company headquartered in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The commercial features marshmallow chicks and bunnies performing in a musical revue to a reworked version of "Rockin' Robin." "The challenge was...to give each Peep its very own, special personality..." commented Jill Bazos, Griffin Bacal group account director.
Helium Productions has produced a complete graphics package for Fox Network in collaboration with design company Big Media Group. Helium produced 19 minutes of 3D animation which is shown in IDs for "Just One Fox," menu beds and on-air promo material including opens, closes and backgrounds for all talent IDs.
M&M/Mars in conjunction with San Francisco-based Protozoa introduced their new M&M's Crispy Chocolate Candies and character, Crispy, to a live broadcast audience using Protozoa's real-time performance animation software, ALIVE. The character has appeared on Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, E! News Daily and numerous other television shows. Protozoa executive producer Jana White said, "This is a great opportunity for Protozoa to showcase its talents to a live national audience. Crispy is one of the first living, breathing, 3D characters to appear on live television."
Blue Sky | VIFX's Jan Carlée directed and designed a cinematic bug's-eye-view of the natural world for a series of three 30-second computer animated spots for Nature's Resource herbal products: "Echinacea," "Ginko Balboa" and "St. John Wort." All three ads, which feature a ladybug searching out the choicest flowers and herbal ingredients, "bring the camera down to the ladybug's level and stage the scenes so that we see the world from her point of view," explains Carlée.
"The Ren and Stimpy Show" creator John Kricfalusi and his company, Spümco, have completed a second set of retro-styled commercials for clothing retailer Old Navy - "Boys Big Hood Fleece" and "Girls Curly Fleece." The two 30-second spots, which started airing in December, promote Old Navy's Performance Fleece line complete with characters like a Curly Fleece Poodle and a walrus. Both were produced through (Colossal) Pictures and directed/produced by John Kricfalusi. Executive producers were Kevin Kolde (Spumco) and Jana Canellos (Colossal).
Atlanta-based Crawford Communications designed and produced a 45-second computer animated identification sequence for Odyssey Productions, producers of the popular Minds Eye video series now distributed by Sony Music Video. The sequence was designed by Robert Taylor of Crawford Digital and Jason Ett of DESIGNefx with an original soundtrack by Randy Garmon and Reid Hall of m&e (music & effects). Created in Alias|Wavefront Maya and composited in Flame, the spot is a visual representation of The Minds Eye concept.
San Francisco-based Radium contributed a combination of 3D animation, morph and compositing techniques to a 30-second spot for Lawson Software produced by Complete Pandemonium. The spot features a fast-talking businessman delivering a sales pitch to a prospective client as he slowly turns into a 3D snake, modeled by Radium computer animator William Opdyke. The visual effects were executive produced by Dana Townsend.
San Francisco-based The Attik has produced and designed 5 seconds of live-action and graphics for the theatrical trailer end card for "Idle Hands," an upcoming Columbia Pictures film. The segment involves a live-action human hand clutching and clawing at the screen. The Attik team blended the live-action with an illustrated graphic of a hand, animated using a technique similar to stop-motion, to give the piece an organic feel while maintaining a scratchy, hand-crafted texture. Simon Dixon was the Creative Director/Director and Monica Perez was Senior Art Director.
(Colossal) Pictures completed two 10-second Christmas IDs for Nickelodeon. The stop-motion Yummy Winter Wonderland features gingerbread people frolicking in a set made entirely of food with white frosting substituting as snow. A Weenie New Year is a brief New Years extravaganza hosted by a live-action puppet band leader Lawrence Weenie and his swingin Big Band of Weenies. Jim Matison was the director/creative director for these holiday spots.
New York-based J.J. Sedelmaier Productions produced a series of four 30-second ink-and-paint cel style spots for Hallmark Greeting Cards through the Leo Burnett agency: The Fight, Birthday, Rowdy Party, and Romance. This project is animation in its purest sense, giving life to inanimate objects - the alphabet, says director J.J. Sedelmaier, whose animators worked only with the signature typographical treatment of the Hallmark name and the famous crown. The campaign debuted in September.
J.J. Sedelmaier recently completed a simple 30-second spot, Filenes Turkey, promoting Filenes Basement annual charity Giant Turkey Giveaway. The spot used a stark black-ink-against-white-background style to feature a spokes-turkey who grows fatter and fatter each time the cash register rings until it fills up the entire screen. Director J.J. Sedelmaier commented about the ad, Filenes Turkey is a simple spot thats stylistically reminiscent of old black-and-white cartoons where personality carries the day over artistry.
San Francisco-based (Colossal) Pictures created a new animated Nickelodeon theatrical open, which premiered with Paramounts The Rugrats Movie, and stars Slap D. Pooch, a blue-balloon-nosed dog who was featured in his own short film as part of Nickelodeons Oh Yeah! Cartoons! series. The 16-second open, Slaps Fleck, was directed by Colossals Charlie Canfield, creative directed by George Evelyn, and animated by Chuck Gammage Animation based on a character created by Bill Burnett and designed by Vincent Waller.
Hong Kong-born animation director and illustrator Paul Chung completed a French bubblegum spot, "Rainforest," for Passion Pictures through Young and Rubicam (Paris, France). The ad takes place in a brightly colored South American jungle setting as Indian natives watch their jungle being destroyed by an army of loggers. To thwart the loggers, a native opens a pack of Malabar bubblegum and from the pack jumps the superhero Malabar Man who proceeds to block the bulldozers with gum. The 30-second spot which combines traditional 2D with computer animation, will air in France starting in 1999.
CLASS-KEY CHEW-PO COMMERCIALS, the newly expanded ad division of Klasky-Csupo, recently completed the first in a series of ads for Burger King Kids Club. The 30-second spot, "Sketchbook," which aired nationally in November on Spanish-speaking television networks features an artistic Latin boy, "Lingo," who is a member of the Burger King Kids Club. The spot was directed by Bonita Versh, executive produced by John Andrews and Liz Seidman and developed by San Antonio, Texas-based ad agency Bromley, Aguilar and Associates.
New York-based The Attik produced a pair of 30-second spots, "Save Chef," to promote the new Comedy Central "South Park" musical offering "Chef Aid: The South Park Album" on American Recordings (Los Angeles)/Columbia Records (New York). The CD, which was released on November 24, is an extension of the "Chef Aid" episode, where Chef gets sent to prison and the community sponsors a "Chef Aid" concert to raise money and bail him out.
San Francisco-based (Colossal) Pictures collaborated with Blockbuster Video to create two Christmas-themed spots promoting the new Holiday GiftCards at the national U.S. video chain. The 15- and 30-second spots update Santa Claus for the 21st century utilizing an "anime" style complete with a "super heroic" Santa, ultra-modern cybor-reindeer and a futuristic cityscape. The ad's talented crew consisted of creative director/designer Mike Smith, director George Evelyn, animation director Chuck Gammage, and was created by the Doner agency in Detroit.
Toronto-based TOPIX/MAD DOG produced a 30-second spot for Ford of Canada which added a twist on the classic 'Three Little Pigs' story utilizing live-action integrated with cel animation. While the CGI work was done at TOPIX/Mad Dog, Chuck Gammage of Chuck Gammage Animation directed the 2D animation. In the ad, the pigs find refuge from the wolf in a 1999 Ford Windstar.
RENEGADE ANIMATION animated "Fly the Friendly Skies," a 30-second commercial for General Mills Trix Yogurt featuring the Trix Rabbit introducing the snack to a couple of bored kids on a plane flight. The cel animated spot was directed by Renegade's Darrell Van Citters and produced through the Saatchi and Saatchi Agency in New York. The commercial's contemporary style incorporates sharp, angular features and quick fluid motion while combining black & white and color animation with live-action elements.
(COLOSSAL) PICTURES animated the Super Chunk package for Cartoon Network consisting of a 25-second show open and close and seven 10-second bumpers. The new material started airing on October 17, 1998 during the Super Chunk programming block which airs on Saturdays from 4:00 - 7:00 PM. Cartoon Networks design director Bee Murphy came up with the concept art for the spots which were directed at (Colossal) by Charlie Canfield. The CG animation for the package was done in 3D Studio Max.
New York-based J.J. SEDELMAIER PRODUCTIONS created two 15-second spots, Liberty and Airport, for Rothmans retail stores. The spots feature the powerful, heroic, Constructivist-leaning WPA mural style imagery of the Rothmans Man. The traditional ink-and-paint cel animated spots were based on the designs of illustrator Doug Fraser and were directed by J.J. Sedelmaier.
San Francisco-based WILD BRAIN, INC. has launched its first of a multi-spot animated campaign for Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurants. The Young & Rubicam campaign, which combines 2D and 3D animation with live-action, introduces The Colonel, KFCs new animated spokesperson, new KFC products and a new overall look for the fast food company.
CURIOUS PICTURES East and West coast offices teamed up with Cartoon Network to create Sound Hound, a two-minute animated interstitial featuring the classic Hanna-Barbara character, Huckleberry Hound.
PASSION PICTURES finished eight 3-second inserts for a new Adidas campaign featuring British World featherweight boxing champion Prince (Naz) Naseem and an overweight animated ex-boxer, the Cornerman. The spots were directed by Chris Hauge and animated by Chris Hauge, Chuck Gammage, Marco Piersma and Kevin Spruce through the Leagas Delaney agency.
San Francisco-based animation studio (Colossal) Pictures has signed two new directors to its roster: Jim Matison and Flavio (Kampah). Matison, based in San Francisco, has been a freelance director for the past five years, working with SGI, Mondo Media, Protozoa, Wild Brain and Nickelodeon. He previously worked with (Colossal) starting in 1989 as a staff production artist, and went on to direct Crazy Daisy Ed, a stop-motion segment on Liquid TV, as well as several music videos and commercials.