San Francisco-based (COLOSSAL) PICTURES has created a hand-drawn 2D :30animated spot for Old Navy Tie-dye shirts that is done in a retro-style.George Evelyn directed "Pool Party," which features a pastiche of early1930s rubber-hose style animation, and is especially reminiscent of UbIwerks and color Van Beuren shorts. The spot opens with a black and whitescene of children and animals moping around a deflated backyard pool, andbegins to change to color when two kids arrive wearing Old Navy Tie-dye
Los Angeles-based Class-Key Chew-Po Commercials has created a series of"Agent M" spots for McDonald's. Directed by Walter Santucci (EVIL CAT), the2D animated spots feature two characters, Agent M and his partner Sidecat.Their goal is to find and acquaint the public with the great food bargainsat McDonald's. Agent M, voiced by Adam West (BATMAN), is a detective withthe cool confidence of James Bond, but with the clumsiness of InspectorClouseau. Sidecat, voiced by Taurean Blacque (HILL ST. BLUES), saves theday when his boss screws up.
Will Vinton Studios has produced two 3 Musketeers candy bar spots forM&M/Mars Inc. The spots, "Trailer" and "Corruption," each with :15 and:30 versions, feature 3D stop-motion animation of the Three Musketeercharacters scaling castle walls and fighting off evil guards. The spotswere directed by Matthew Brunner, produced by Sara Mullock, and animatedby Mike Johnson, Tony Merrithew, and Jean Poulot for agency UniworldGroup Inc.
Frank Gladstone, Head of Artist Development at DreamWorks, and Clifford Cohen, founder and president of AnimAction, have joined forces as members of UNICEF's International Animation Consortium for Child's Rights to create an animated PSA that addresses the Right to a Name and a Nationality. The PSA will be screened on June 4 at the Annecy Film Festival in Annecy, France. Also at the Festival, Mr. Cohen will speak about "How Animation Can Change People's Thinking."
TOPIX/Mad Dog has completed the animation for "Stick People," a :30 spot,with a :15 lift. The colorful, playful spot, which promotes Crayola ColorWipeoffs, removable water-based magic markers, for TBWA/Chiat Day (Toronto,ON) and Binney & Smith Canada (Markham, ON), rolled out throughout CanadaMarch 15th and will continue to air through the end of the year. In it, aboy's stick figure drawings come to life. "With Photoshop I drew thefigures, frame by frame, so that it's a bit like cel animation, but not
Tricky Pictures has created "One and Only," a promo for the new Noggin TVnetwork. Noggin is an educational channel that is a joint venture betweenNickelodeon and Children's Television Workshop, and is currently subscribedto by nearly two million homes. The spot uses mixed-media and incorporatesfaces of real children with painted bodies in an outer space scene wherethe Noggin logo doubles as a planet being explored. The kids plant a flagon the planet, which doubles as a face. Ann Marie Fleming designed and
The adventures of Toucan Sam continue in a 30 second spot made by SimExDigital Studios for Leo Burnett/Chicago. The spot, entitled "Frog/Idol,"promotes Kellogg's Marshmallow Blasted Froot Loops.
"Frog/Idol" is a continuation of last summer's "Marshmallow Temple/ExtremeAdventure." In it, Toucan Sam falls through a temple floor into anunderwater cavern. There he discovers an enormous frog idol, and swims intoits mouth. Once he surfaces, a multitude of frog marshmallows jump towardshim.
A team from HELIUM PRODUCTIONS, INC. and TWO HEADED MONSTER has created a new computer animated spot for Starburst which immerses the viewer in a simulated water environment designed for absolute believability. The animators used SGI Octanes, Side Effects' Prisms, and Pixar's Photorealistic Renderman software to create the realistic physics of water splashing and swirling. At Helium Productions, John Scheafer was creative director. At Two Headed Monster Christopher Willoughby was creative director and Ruth Schiller produced.
The San Francisco office of CURIOUS PICTURES has created a pool of fivespots for Round Table Pizza through Wieden & Kennedy (Portland, OR). Thereare four 15-second spots - "Steam Dance," "Rooster," "Full," and "Freedomof Speech" - along with a 30-second spot, "Tornado." The commercials weredirected by Michael Bade and designed by Seattle-based alternativecartoonist Peter Bagge (HATE), marking his first foray into both animationand television. Featuring various characters, the commercials guarantee the
THE INK TANK has produced "Hockey Monkey," a mixed-media music video forNickelodeon's KA-BLAM!, which will air this spring. The 1-minute, 30-secondpiece follows a group of live-action adults who are in search of a monkey.Unbeknownst to them, the animated monkey is in an ice hockey match with agroup of cut-out animated kids. For The Ink Tank, R.O. Blechman wascreative director; Brian O'Connell, executive producer/co-director; JesseGordon, live-action director/cameraman; Maciek Albrecht, cut-out
San Francisco-based RADIUM has animated more than a half-dozen 3Dcomputer-generated building block characters for "Toys," a nationaltelevision spot promoting Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Gum. Conceived by BBDO(Chicago, IL), the 30-second spot revolves around a group of toy figuresthat spring to life in pursuit of the sweet taste of Juicy Fruit. Thecommercial blends 3D animation, 2D effects, live-action and cel animation.Radium created the tiny plastic blok characters as 3D elements. Afterwards,
Marketing and communication company Pittard Sullivan (Culver City, CA)engaged SIMEX (Santa Monica, CA) to help create a new full-motion, computeranimated logo to accompany all of King World's programs. The animated logofeatures a star burst animated in Alias|Wavefront PowerAnimator. FromPittard Sullivan, Reid Thompson directed, and Jim Capp and Debra Kaufmanproduced. Nick Bates was the visual effects supervisor and George Mendozawas the executive producer at SimEx Digital Studios.
Hollywood-based CLASS-KEY CHEW-PO COMMERCIALS, in conjunction with Ogilvy & Mather, has created the newest Cocoa Pebbles cereal spot starring Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. The 30-second commercial, directed by Raul Garcia, features a traditionally-drawn Fred and Barney placed in a computer-generated 3D video game environment, and eventually jumping into a live-action setting. The video game environment and other characters were created in Maya NT software. The 2D and 3D live action were combined using both Flame and Toon Boom software.
San Francisco-based (COLOSSAL) PICTURES created a 30-second PSA for Partnership for a Drug-Free America called "Hombeez Bee-Ball Game." The spot, which will begin airing in May, features bee-like characters from, HANGIN' WITH THE HOMBEEZ, a series of books written by Dann Gershon and illustrated by David Robinson. Music and narration for the PSA are provided by the well-known New York hip hop and R&B producers Full Force. The message-driven piece pits a group of Drug Bugs against the clean and sober Hombeez in a game of basketball, and the results are obvious.
Chicago, Illinois-based TRICKY PICTURES has produced a 20-second main title animation sequence for Nickelodeon's I AM POEM series. In addition, Belgian director and animator Dirk van de Vondel, represented by Tricky Pictures, was selected from more than 200 candidates to create a visual adaptation of "I Used To Be," one of the 15 poems in the series. Produced by Nickelodeon's Creative Lab to serve as interstitial programming, I AM POEM is a new series of short-form films based on original kids' poetry.
Burbank, California-based RENEGADE ANIMATION has animated a three-spot McDonald's campaign, "My Hero," "Napkin," and "One," which will air in Singapore. The three commercials introduce Fast Fry and Steam Marinate, two muscle-packed superheros who protect the universe from...dried-out fried chicken. The spots, which combine animation with live-action, were created by Leo Burnett (Chicago) to introduce the new Chicken McCrispy sandwich being tested in the Singapore market.
New York-based SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION created a 10-second animated logo for design company Number 17 New York, which will be shown at the head of all future SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (SNL) theatrical releases. It will debut later this year with the release of SUPERSTAR which features the neurotic Catholic schoolgirl Mary Catherine Gallagher, who is portrayed by Molly Shannon on NBC's long-running sketch comedy series. The opening is a dreamy and abstract representation of nightime in New York City with lights of different speeds, scales and densities resolving through to the SNL Studios Logo.
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.