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Calabash Animation Creates 'More Than a Freezer'

Calabash Animation teamed with Lightspeed Group to create “More Than A Freezer” for Thermo Scientific.

Press Release from Calabash Animation:

CHICAGO, IL – Call it love in the time of e-coli. Calabash Animation, the studio led by Creative Director Wayne Brejcha and Executive Producer Sean Henry, teamed with Lightspeed Group, Villanova, PA, to create “More Than A Freezer” – a hilarious, three-minute animated romantic comedy/viral short starring two e-coli lovebirds separated by cryo vials set to the rock classic “More Than A Feeling” by Boston for new Thermo Scientific ultra-low temperature freezers. 

While it may seem strange for company like Thermo Fisher Scientific to do something as irreverent as “More Than A Freezer,” Andrew Dunn, the company’s Cold Storage Marketing Manager notes they were looking to do something out of the ordinary with the marketing of its new line of ultra low temperature freezers.

“Many in the science industry are very web savvy and visit video websites like YouTube a lot,” Dunn says. “We wanted to create something that would cut through the clutter, but also stayed on message about what the product does and why it’s a breakthrough for our industry. Calabash helped breathe a lot of life into this project, and are a big reason why we’ve gotten so many hits on YouTube.”

Dunn initially came to Michele Casale, President/Executive Producer at Lightspeed Group, Villanova, PA, with just the licensed track of “More Than A Feeling” and a goal to create something that would make an impact. Casale’s team came up with the concept of a music video approach, and turned to Calabash Animation, a company she had worked with previously, to explore the concept of a shattered romance between a guitar-strumming e-coli and his beautiful bacteria girlfriend.

“Calabash understood what we were trying to do,” Casale says. “Wayne always seemed to be two steps ahead of us. No matter what we asked or suggested he seemed to know where we were going, and had a great idea on how to get there. From a production standpoint, it was a fun project and wonderful experience.”

Henry notes that Calabash had been looking for something web-based they could sink their teeth into when Casale called with this intriguing concept.

“We tried to avoid any style queue or be overly ‘retro,’” Henry says. “Rather it’s a contemporary, approachable look very much in-line with what you see in pop culture today. It was quirky story, which was a lot of fun for us as storytellers. Michele gave us basic outline of the story and let us have some fun with it -- adding details and comedic flourishes that made the piece more entertaining.”

Henry adds they also paid close attention to the e-coli characters and making them memorable. So much so that Thermo Scientific has incorporated the main characters – affectionately known as Bacteria Boy and Marianne – into their website and marketing materials.

“We focused on giving the e-coli their own personalities and brand these characters in a way that they could have a life beyond the short, whether on merchandise or marketing, etc. We’ve worked with so many established brand icons over the years, but we’ve always wanted to create a brand icon from scratch, and this project gave us the chance to do that.”

About Calabash Animation

Led by Creative Director Wayne Brejcha and Executive Producer Sean Henry, Calabash Animation, Inc. ( is the Chicago, IL-based animation production studio, known for its award-winning cel, 3D and stop-motion animation for the advertising and entertainment industries. Calabash Animation is perhaps best known for their creative development of some of America’s most beloved brand icons. In addition to working on some of today’s top advertising the company has also produced several acclaimed short films. It’s 2002 short ‘’Stubble Trouble’’ was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002. Its most recent “Botnik” hit the festival circuit in Fall 2008.


Client: Thermo Scientific

Project: “More Than A Freezer” viral short

Production: Lightspeed GroupPresident/Executive Producer: Michele Casale

Animation: Calabash AnimationCreative Director: Wayne BrejchaExecutive Producer: Sean Henry

Music: “More Than A Feeling” by Boston (licensed track)