Friday, November 8, 2013

Aaron Blaise's new Ad for John Lewis - Hare and Bear

It's not often that I get multiple emails on a single day just because someone has recently broadcast a new animated TV ad. In this case, the ad is for John Lewis (A British department store) who have something of a reputation for well-crafted TV ads for the Christmas season. The commercial has been widely covered in the British press, and is titled Hare and Bear. As soon as I saw it, I thought the style looked familiar. It has the whiff of Brother Bear about it,  not in a derivative-kind-of-way but in a very-well-drawn-kind-of-way. As in: "these people know what they are doing".

I Googled it and nothing came up about the authors, but eventually I ferretted out the creative team behind it. And, it came as no surprise to learn that the work was done in Florida by an ex-Disney MGM Studios team of animators, led by Aaron Blaise. They must have jumped at the chance to do the work, especially after spending all that time at Disney figuring out bear anatomy - and who else would do a commercial like this half as well?

Well done on John Lewis too for crossing the Atlantic and seeking out the perfect talent for the job. Here's what Aaron had to say about working on the ad:

"I came so close to not taking the job because I was doing stuff for Paramount and Blue Sky Studios at the same time, along with having to coordinate a movie. I'm so glad I took it.  It was a great experience and I loved working on it. It was also something of an exercise in self-restraint also. More than once I got a note back to 'Pull it back...make it more British...we want smoke under the door, not the explosion.' In the end though, I think we did learn what it meant to make it "more British" and I really love the tone and the way it came out".

We're glad Aaron took it too!


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