Appointment to View: behind the scenes of the John Lewis Christmas ad

We take a look at the making of "the bear & the hare", the first John Lewis Christmas campaign to combine both 2D and 3D animation.

The video above reveals the painstaking efforts of a whole team of talented animators, directors and designers coming together to create a truly magical ad, telling the story of one animal that has never seen Christmas.

Directors Elliot Dear and Yves Geleyn aimed to film almost everything in 2D, creating a hand-crafted piece with all sets and characters built to scale.

The 2D-animation frames were printed onto mounted paper and cut with a laser. Nearly 4,000 frames were then individually hand-labelled before going on set and brought to life using stop-frame animation.

The set was built by production designer John Lee ('Aliens', 'Fantastic Mr Fox', 'Frankenweenie') and his team at Shepperton Studios.

Lee said "We've used quite a lot of interesting bits and pieces to go into the making of the 'bear & the hare'. For instance, on the forest we used sort of children's snooker cues as the basis to make our tapered pine trees."

Post-production was done in-house in Blinkink’s animation studio, and the final grade was completed at Motion Picture Company.

Craig Inglis, marketing director, John Lewis Partnership, said "What's really important for us is that we keep our campaigns fresh and we keep raising the creative bar, and so animation's given us that opportunity this year.

"But also I think it harks back to those great animated movies that we all remember from our childhoods and which we particularly associate with Christmas. And I think that, combined with such unique techniques, is really what makes such a special advert."

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