- Thursday, Aug. 26, 2010
All of Calabash Animation's creative skills are on full display in the new surreal and highly-imaginative new spot for General Mills' Trix cereal "Banana Boat," created by agency Saatchi & Saatchi, New York. Much like how Trix cereal blends colors and flavors, Calabash blended an array of animation techniques, everything from cell to 3D to stop motion, into one eye-popping spot unlike anything on TV.
"It's a very different kind of spot that is really trying to do something special. We wanted to create a world that a young boy might conjure in their imagination," Sean Henry, Calabash Executive Producer says. "The agency gave us such a great concept to work with, one that pulls you in to this fantasy world. It's an unusually abstract and whimsical story."
The spot, which seamlessly combines live action, 3D animation, cell animation and stop motion, begins with a shot of a boy on a boat apparently lost at sea eating his Trix and talking directly to the camera fondly remembering his first few bites of Trix.
From there the spot goes back in time as he recalls his first bite feeling as though he was taken another world. First we see him in a fruit filled park made up of Trix cereal pieces under a brilliant ''lemony-green'' swirled sun on a swing made of cereal and fruit, pushed by "Raspb'ornangey Orangehead" -- a stop motion character made of a cereal piece with striped straws for arms and legs.
For his second bite the boy is taken to a lemony-lime green swirled world where we see him riding a flying horse made of green and yellow cereal pieces that takes him to the final world -- "Berry Berry Blue Island." There he battles a stop motion pirate character made of Trix cereal who is defeated when the boy bites his sword, also made of cereal.
The spot ends with boy, back on the boat, finally being caught up with by the Trix rabbit on a rowboat, who's hoping for a taste of the boy's cereal. After the familiar line "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids," the boat suddenly sprouts an animated engine made of swirled Trix cereal and speeds away foiling the Trix rabbit yet again.
For Calabash Creative Director Wayne Brejcha the most challenging aspect centered on a workflow that didn't allow for a lot of 'work in progress' videos to show the client, which meant Saatchi and General Mills had to show a lot of faith in Calabash.
"The mixed media approach combined with a tight schedule meant that there wasn't a lot of rough video to show the clients,'' says Brejcha. ''The process was more formulative and experimental then our usual workflow, which usually includes frequent animation tests so they could see how things were progressing. They trusted us to make it look great."
And for Henry that trust, coupled with the agency and brand's desire to challenge Calabash with concepts that always out-do the previous one, remains the most rewarding aspect of the project.
"Saatchi and General Mills always want to go further creatively and never want to repeat themselves," Henry says. "They give us a lot of creative freedom to make the spots our own and allow our artists to really invest themselves in making them look truly unique and unlike anything else on TV."
Client: General Mills
Project: Trix "Banana Boat" (:30)
Manager, Promotions Marketing Doug Moore
Manager of Advertising Production Mufee Taggett
Assoc. Manager of Advertising Production Cheryl Broussard
VP, Marketing Director Carla Vernon
Marketing Manager Jacob Berning
Associate Marketing Manager Michael Rabinovitz
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, NY
SVP Creative Director: Pat Giles
SVP Creative Director: Manny Galan
Art Director: Brad Rodriguez
Copy Writer: Adam Kline
Producer: John Catalans
SVP, Group Account Director Sarah Beaumont
SVP, Managing Director Amanda Zolten
Account Supervisor Meredith Mogensen
Senior Account Executive Semhar Tesfay
Assistant Account Executive Jorge Rivadeneyra
VP, Director of Business Affairs Linda Benett
Business Manager Christina Mattson
Animation: Calabash Animation Chicago, IL
Executive Producer: Sean Henry
Creative Director: Wayne Brejcha
Editorial: Northern Lights, New York, NY
Editor: Dave Gioiella
Producer: Robin Hall
Production Company: Lost Highway Films, New York, NY
Director: Michael Patterson
Executive Producer: Marc Rosenberg
Producer: Cathy Cooper
About Calabash Animation
Led by Creative Director Wayne Brejcha and Executive Producer Sean Henry, Calabash Animation, Inc. (www.calabashanimation.com) is the Chicago, IL-based animation production studio, known for its award-winning cel, 3D and stop-motion animation for the advertising and entertainment industries. Calabash Animation is perhaps best known for their creative development of some of America's most beloved brand icons. In addition to working on some of today's top advertising the company has also produced several acclaimed short films. It's 2002 short ''Stubble Trouble'' was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002. Click here for more info about Calabash Animation: www.calabashanimation.com
Client: General Mills; Project: Trix "Banana Boat" (:30); Manager, Promotions Marketing, Doug Moore; Manager of Advertising Production, Mufee Taggett; Assoc. Manager of Advertising Production, Cheryl Broussard; VP, Marketing Director, Carla Vernon; Marketing Manager, Jacob Berning; Associate Marketing Manager, Michael Rabinovitz. Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, NY; SVP Creative Director: Pat Giles; SVP Creative Director: Manny Galan; Art Director: Brad Rodriguez; Copy Writer: Adam Kline; Producer: John Catalans; SVP, Group Account Director: Sarah Beaumont; SVP, Managing Director: Amanda Zolten; Account Supervisor: Meredith Mogensen; Senior Account Executive: Semhar Tesfay; Assistant Account Executive: Jorge Rivadeneyra; VP, Director of Business Affairs: Linda Benett; Business Manager: Christina Mattson. Animation: Calabash Animation Chicago, IL; Executive Producer: Sean Henry; Creative Director: Wayne Brejcha. Editorial: Northern Lights, New York, NY; Editor: Dave Gioiella; Producer: Robin Hall. Production Company: Lost Highway Films, New York, NY; Director: Michael Patterson; Executive Producer: Marc Rosenberg; Producer: Cathy Cooper