The John Lewis Christmas campaign has become a symbol of the start of the British festive season. Adam & Eve DDB worked with Blinkink and Hornet to create The Bear & the Hare.
The initial idea was to tell the story of a hare who longs to find a way to bring Christmas to his friend the bear who is always in hibernation during the festive season. The ad is an innovative combination of 2D stop motion drawings shot on a 3D set.
Character drawings for the animation were created by hand.
Directors Elliot Dear and Yves Geleyn aimed at capturing almost everything in camera. 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. The whole film was first created in Blinkink Studios as a 3D previsualisation animation with all the sets and characters built to scale. This allowed everything to be developed and planned alongside the model makers and animators.
The process started with 2D stop motion drawings and were eventually shot on a 3D set.
The set was hand built by production designer John Lee and his team at Shepperton Studios.
The 2D-animation frames were printed onto mounted paper and cut with a laser.
Each frame (nearly 4,000 in total) was then individually hand-labelled before going on set.
Using a DSLR camera, each frame was painstakingly captured and then effects were applied in post-production.
The stop motion photography was processed through Dragonframe software which allowed animators to easily align each frame as they were captured.
The film took 6 weeks for stop-frame animators to bring the characters to life. The 2 minute commercial was featured during an entire commercial break of the X Factor. It was the first John Lewis campaign to embrace the emotive power of animation.
John Lewis - The Bear & The Hare
Making of Video
Elliot DearDirectors (BlinkInk)
Yves Geleyn Directors (Hornet)
Aaron Blaise and Dominic Carola 2D Animation Supervisors (Premise Entertainment)
Ben PriestExecutive Creative Director (Adam & Eve DDB)
Aidan McClure and Laurent SimonCreative Directors (Adam & Eve DDB)