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Calabash Goes One-On-One with The Green Giant

Calabash Animation creates a new ad for General Mills’ Green Giant.

CHICAGO, IL – The Green Giant, the legendary brand icon behind Green Giant frozen vegetables, is back in a big way in “Pick-Up Game,” the new ad featuring animation from Calabash Animation, depicting a one-on-one basketball game between an over-matched father and a son who plays like a giant thanks to his love of Green Giant vegetables.

“As a character, the Green Giant has never really been seen this way before,” Sean Henry, Calabash Animation’s Executive Producer says. “Traditionally, he’s always been in the background at the end of the ads. Here, he’s more front and center and actually interacting with people, albeit a little too big to fit completely in the frame.”

In the spot we see a young boy at the family dinner table eating his vegetables while a voiceover intones, “With over 50 delicious choices of Green Giant vegetables, it’s easy to eat like a giant…” 

From there we cut to a backyard basketball game between a father and son. As dad goes up for a shot, he is soundly rejected by a gigantic green hand. Seconds later the animated giant hand slam-dunks the ball. Seen only from the perspective of his enormous green legs, dad struggles to sink a single basket. As the giant charges the lane, the shot cross-dissolves to the boy running toward his exhausted father, the voiceover continues “…and feel like a Green Giant.”

The spot ends with the boy in the traditional Green Giant, hand-on-hips pose uttering the famous “ho, ho, ho” catchphrase.

For Wayne Brejcha, Calabash Animation’s Creative Director, getting the perspective of the animated Green Giant playing the dad and perfectly blending the live action elements with their animation was paramount to the success of the spot.

“We had to create something realistic with the CG that felt physical and also accurately captured the way the muscles and skin move, while also keeping the character fanciful,” Brejcha says. “We had to strike a balance between physical accuracy and what looked good on screen. Blending with live action was challenging given the extensive lighting and the shadows, which communicate a lot to viewers.”

Source: Calabash Animation

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.