Rugby Champs Become Gentle Giants in Touching Animated O2 Spot

Real Players Acted Out Scenes for Animation by Blinkink's Elliot Dear

By Alexandra Jardine. Published on Sep 09, 2015

Editor's Pick

England rugby players become gentle giants in this beautifully animated -- and surprisingly touching -- spot for mobile brand O2, marking its official sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup.

The spot, by VCCP, features expressive animation by Elliot Dear of Blinkink (who worked on John Lewis Christmas ad The Bear and the Hare in 2013) and a rousing score (by Theo Vidgen, who composed music for "The Hobbit") that might even bring a tear to your eye.

The story features England rugby players including captain Chris Robshaw literally becoming giants. The bewildered animated characters have some trouble going about their normal lives -- travelling by Underground, saying goodnight to their wives and kids -- until they realise their enormous form is there for a purpose when they spot a little boy with an England rugby poster in his bedroom. The tagline is "Make Them Giants."

According to a statement by Bllinkink, Mr. Dear wanted the characters to feel authentic, from their design to their body language. In order to get this right, Blinkink worked with the Rugby Football Union and VCCP to bring some of the players from the England team to the studio. The animation team were able to take photographs and video footage for reference, even getting players to act out their scenes.

The two-minute spot breaks this Friday during the season premier of Channel 4's "Googlebox," with cut-down versions running thereafter. New segments will also be added to reflect breaking tournament news.

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Sep 09, 2015
Production Company:
Elliot Dear
Production Company:
Executive Producer:
James Stevenson Bretton
Executive Producer:
Bart Yates
Benjamin Lole
Production Manager & Editor:
Hugo Donkin
Digital & Print Assets Producer:
Emily Lay
Supervising Animator & Storyboard Artist:
Michael Schlingmann
Additional Storyboarding:
Simon Cartwright
Character Design:
Chase Standley
Character Design:
Cécile Le Carre
Additional Design, Artworking & CG Layouts:
Stephen McNally
Lead Background Designer & Concept Artist:
Julien De Man
Background Artist:
Nicolas Loudot
Background Artist:
Michael Shorten
Background Artist:
Rafael Martin Coronel
Key Animator:
Slaven Reese
Key Animator:
Aya Suzuki
Key Animator:
Freya Hotson
Key Animator:
Philip Vallentin
Clean Up & Inbetweening:
Premise Entertainment
Head of Production:
Dominic Carola
Head of Clean Up:
Janelle Bell-Martin
Lead CG and Layout Artist:
Johannes Sambs
Houmam at ETC
Music Supervisor:
Major Tom
Score Composer:
Theo Vidgen
Sound Company:
Creative Director:
Johnny Parker
Creative Director:
Chris Birch
Tom Houser
Christopher Keatinge
Agency Producer:
Ben Honour

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