Animation

Ad of the Day: From the Star Wars Universe, a New Tale of Betrayal and Heartbreak

With most Star Wars trailers, the challenge is to build excitement without spoiling too much of the story. But a bigger challenge is creating a trailer that tells an entire story unto itself.

19 Mind-Bending Videos From Advertising’s Stop-Motion Master

Short film maestro PES has just signed with BlinkInk, a sensible arrangement that positions the guy who made Honda's Emmy-nominated "Paper" under the same roof as the Layzell Bros (of Harvey Nichols' "Shoplifters") and Greg Barth (whose Hello Play! 360-degree video has the kind of dreamworld weirdness that Michel Gondry pines for). To celebrate—because we'll take any excuse to celebrate—we've compiled this handy retrospective of ads PES has directed over the years. 

How the Pillsbury Doughboy Has Stayed Fresh (Hoo Hoo!) for 50 Years

Rudolph Perz first saw the dough boy in his own kitchen. It was 1965.

French Copywriter’s Ad Wins a Top Award Just Days After His Death in the Paris Attacks

BERLIN, Germany—A Renault ad by Publicis Conseil won gold in the Epica Awards on Tuesday, and only after voting were the judges told it had been written by copywriter Fabrice Dubois, who died in the terrorist attacks on Paris last Friday.

We Interviewed the Guy Who Made the Creepy Credits Sequence for American Horror Story: Freak Show

Who loves clowns? Anyone? Anyone? Well, the guys at American Horror Story: Freak Show, which premiered last night, are super into them, as evidenced by the amazing mostly stop-motion opening sequence from the show.

Kia’s Hamsters Are Back, and Getting Lucky With Sexy Lady-Hamster Girlfriends

Kia's oddly endearing and enduring hamsters have returned, this time dabbling in experiments that make Weird Science look scientifically responsible by comparison. The new ad from David&Goliath for the plug-in 2015 Kia Soul EV takes us into a laboratory, where everyone's favorite human-size hamsters are performing tests on the electric vehicle—and, inadvertently, their normal-size pet hamster. The results change the researchers' priorities faster than you can say "hamster balls." Check it out below, and know that any feelings of discomfort are totally normal. But also know that life can be lonely for terrifyingly huge man-rodents, and they need love, too. Credits below. Hat tip to our friends at Unruly Media.

The Creators of Robot Chicken Love to Play With Toys

When conjuring names for their new stop motion adult animated series, Stoopid Buddy Stoodios co-founders Matt Senreich, John "Harv" Harvatine IV, Seth Green and Eric Towner submitted 80 different titles to

Don’t Play League of Legends? You’ll Still Enjoy This Epic 6-Minute Trailer

I'm not one of the 27 million people playing League of Legends each day, but this amazingly action-packed video kind of makes me wish I were.  "A New Dawn" is the free-to-play game's newest cinematic trailer, clocking in at a sprawling six minutes and enjoyable right to the end.  The game pits a hodgepodge assortment of heroes, monsters and mythical creatures against each other in a sort of battle arena. You might think that would make for a chaotic free-for-all with no real narrative, but with subtle storytelling cues and a nonstop tempo of visually stunning combat, this mini-movie ends up being far more compelling than you'd expect. Cinematic trailers for video games have plenty of detractors, who rightly point out that in-game animation has advanced to the point that it almost seems deceptive to create CGI videos out of whole cloth. But the reality of League of Legends is that watching gameplay can make the game seem baffling and inaccessible for non-players.  But if it means running around a forest chasing armored ninjas and anchor-swinging robots, I'm game. To see how this epic battle was storyboarded and brought to life, check out the behind-the-scenes clip below.

Ad of the Day: Samsung’s Sci-Fi Soccer Epic Reaches Its Final Chapter

Samsung Mobile's epic sci-fi soccer battle, which has been playing out in big-budget videos since last November, has finally reached its conclusion.

Toshiba Creates Futurama-esque Ad Mocking Its Own Industry

Toshiba skewers a certain hype-driven West Coast tech-topia in the brand's new animated spot, "Sillycon Valley." Packed with fun visual gags, the spot from goodness Mfg. takes us to a highly caffeinated zone of hyperactive technophilia that boasts computer goggles for canines (doggles!), WirelessWater (the bottles are WiFi hotspots), Asimo-type robots on public-works details and 5-D printers that inadvertently summon slimy tentacled monsters. A java-drone flying Starbucks colors soars above the local wind farm—and almost everyone's eyeballs are glued to their smartphones, if they're not hip enough to have Google Glass.  "Animation is a great way to deliver over-the-top humor," goodness Mfg. ecd Tom Adams tells AdFreak. "It immediately transports the audience into another world where they don’t take things too seriously." Of course, tech excesses have been parodied to death—in HBO's Silicon Valley and just about everywhere else—so Toshiba's not doing anything especially innovative. Plus, this is a commercial, ultimately promoting the Encore 2 tablet for the back-to-school season, so the satire can't bite too deep, lest it risk being branded as hypocritical. All that said, the spot hits just the right tone. It's snarky, but not too mean-spirited, with a look that fits the tech biz to a T—busy yet sleek, over-bright and self-consciously befuddling. The commercial feels kind of like a spoofy segment on The Simpsons or Family Guy, which makes sense, as Friends Night, the studio that produces Fox's Animation Domination HD programming, worked on the project. "Because they come from a TV background, they were able to move quickly, which was very important to us," Adams says. "We were able to complete the project from concept to the final approved version in about six weeks." Overall, the effort seeks to position Toshiba as "providing products and services that offer solutions, not empty promises," Adams says. (That's also the thrust of "Unleash Yourself," a live-action spot with a cartoon-y feel that shows Satellite Pro laptops magically morph into useful or fun items in various situations. You can watch that one below as well.) "Today’s savvy consumers are constantly questioning the practicality of new technology," Adams says. "We decided to have fun with this shift in attitude [emphasizing that Toshiba makes devices to] meet the real-world needs of today's consumer." Laptops and tablets are great, but I'll take a pair of those "smart-scissors" revealed during the animated extravaganza's crazed climax. It looks as if they'd cut through the clutter—and just about anything else.