John Lewis always have great Christmas adverts. This year's one - as well as being part of a £7 million advertising blitz campaign (including "television, social media, soft toys, in-store events and even a mini manmade forest on the banks of the Thames" - via The Guardian) - is a great little animated piece, with a little bit of Disney in it.
The Bear & The Hare is directed by Yves Geleyn and Elliot Dear, via Blinkink. Character design and animation supervision was done by Aaron Blaise (an animator on The Lion King, and co-director of Brother Bear). The advert features a cover of Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know" (featured in adverts for Disney's Winnie the Pooh a couple of years ago) by Lily Allen, which will be able to download from iTunes as of tomorrow. The charmingly hand-drawn advert (which cost £1 million) will officially launch this weekend, taking up a whole ad break during this Saturday's broadcast of The X Factor on ITV1.
The hand-drawn animation (done in Florida) was combined with filmed sets made in a London studio - a technique similar to the original Paddington Bear cartoons. Add to the animation a great story, and that makes this the second fantastic animated advert of the year. And a good start to the ever-earlier Christmas season.
Thanks to Teresa Watts for the tip off.