Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"The Bear & The Hare" - A Christmas Fairy Tale

I don't know what it is about this year but so many Christmas marketing campaigns are more fairy tale-like than not and are very much working to help me see the magical side of the season (which, usually, to be honest, is rather a struggle). This isn't strictly a fairy tale in the sense we usually talk about here, but it qualifies with regard to how many were told and eventually, written down.

Indulge me and let me tell you this story (you won't regret it, I promise):
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.
It's another ad, but it could be a children's short. Apart from being pretty much spot-on charming and magical in an animal fairy tale way, it's unusual in that most of the elements of the scene are real - as in they were created as miniatures - including the drawings which were done in a very different form of stop motion.

For the John Lewis Christmas advert Hornet/Blinkink directors Elliot Dear and Yves Geleyn took the two most traditional and time-honored animation processes – stop-motion and traditional hand-drawn 2D animation – and combined them to create something innovative and unique. 
Their aim was to do almost everything in camera, using real lighting, lens and film craft to build a world where the audience can see and feel the painstaking work behind it. The 2D animation’s physical interaction with the set and the human imperfections inherent in the process create a hand-crafted piece full of heart and integrity.
I'm including the making-of video here because it's almost more beautiful than the ad itself, and shows magic-under-construction of a different kind. Although it's unlikely production was as harmonious and smooth as this video makes it appear, it's clear everyone is delighted to be part of the project and believes it to be something very special. Magic. It's real. It's just generally a lot of work...
(Hm - I detect a theme for the season emerging in my posts!)
My son loves this - especially "the making of" - and wants the set to play with at home. That sounds perfect to me. In the meantime, we'll grab some cardboard boxes and make our own magic. ;)


  1. I've noticed they've ramped up the fairy tales too - have you seen the Morrisson's advert? The visuals aren't too special but they've reworded 'Be Our Guest' from Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast'. I suppose more will follow suit...

  2. How lucky I am to find this! Thanks for sharing this. I currently finding some related stuffs related to this.