Loewe's strange Christmas tale mixes stop-motion, art and fantasy

Work is inspired by English ceramicist William De Morgan.

An otter, a wading bird, a dragonfly and a dodo appear in Spanish fashion brand Loewe’s surreal Christmas ad.

Both the film and the capsule collection that it promotes are inspired by ceramicist William De Morgan, a prominent artist in the Arts and Crafts movement known for his technical skills and fantastical designs. The spot, called "An otter’s tale", merges live action and stop-motion animation to bring these elements to life. 

It opens on a model holding a bag from the collection crossing an ornate Moroccan room. Then an animated otter emerges from a pool in the centre of the tiled floor and leaps through a tapestry, leading viewers into an alternate universe.

The following bizarre scenes feature a wading bird in a grove, another live-action model wearing a frog suit, an animated dodo and a host of half-human, half-fantasy creatures. In the end, the otter guides the action back to reality by popping out of a ceramic pot and being caught, only to be worn as a purse by a woman. 

It was directed by Nina Gantz through Blinkink. The soundtrack is a piece of choral music composed by Terence Dunn and recorded with the Brighton Festival Chorus, comprising 120 singers. 

Loewe’s De Morgan-inspired collection will launch on 15 November and the campaign will run across cinemas, out-of-home, online and social media. 

Jonathan Anderson, creative director at Loewe, said: "This campaign defies all Christmas clichés. The English potter William De Morgan was the main inspiration for the new collection and his work lent itself very well as a starting point for a darkly strange and fun film which epitomises the collection."

Gantz added: "The brief from Loewe was to create a film that brings the world of William De Morgan to life. It was an amazing world to dive into. We were also very happy to have a real puppet genius, Josie Corben, who worked on films such as Isle of Dogs and Frankenweenie, join us in this beautiful endeavour."

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