For the UK’s John Lewis Christmas ad, Hornet/Blinkink directors Elliot Dear and Yves Geleyn take the two most traditional and time-honored animation processes – stop-motion and traditional hand-drawn 2D animation – and combine them to create something innovative and unique.
The John Lewis Christmas campaign has become a symbol of the start of the British holiday season. This year, Blinkink and Hornet completed The Bear & the Hare, Elliot Dear and Yves Geleyn’s heartwarming animated film for John Lewis and Adam & Eve DDB.
There once was an animal who had never seen Christmas. As autumn winds turn to winter snow, the bear begins his annual retreat into hibernation to sleep his way through the best part of the year. The festive spirit is strong though, and his friend the hare is determined to give him a gift he has never received before – Christmas.
This is a classic Christmas tale in the John Lewis tradition, but the scale of the project and the innovative combination of animated techniques involved in creating it are unprecedented. The marriage of traditional hand-drawn 2D animation with stop-frame model animation creates a tangible world full of texture and detail that conveys the honesty behind the John Lewis Christmas message. The story has also been adapted into a beautifully illustrated interactive ebook, classic children’s book and iPad app.
Watch the animated short, and making of video, below: