Super Bowl XLV Commercials… Animated!

Well the Super Bowl has came and went. Congrats to the Green Bay Packers on their win! I would hate to be that dude from Seattle who is bitter towards Pittsburgh for a loss 5 years ago, but let’s face it, I’m little bitter! So I’m glad that Green Bay won. Anyway, the highlight for most people is not the game itself, but the commercials that companies spend millions upon millions of dollars on. And for this year’s crop of commercials, it was… meh.

I did notice however, that many of the commercials had some sort of animation to it. From CG Black Eyed Peas, to bugs in the forest, animation is pretty much everywhere. Here were my top 3 favorite animated Super Bowl XLV commercials:

Brisk Iced Tea

Kia Optima

Coca-Cola

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The GENIUS of PERFECT Appeal

Inspiration for animation can be from anywhere and my favorite places for inspiration are inside the squared circle of professional wrestling. Based on the last shot of my demo reel, I’m a big fan of old school wrestling. Today I’m going to relate the animation principal of “appeal” to these classic vignettes of the ol WWF-days…

Hit the jump for some more analysis of the GENIUS of this PERFECT Appeal…

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Set the VCR: The Death of Maes Hughes…

I’m going to start off this post with a passage from Bill Simmons’, aka the Sports Guy, (one of my favorite writers) column on the 13 Levels of Losing:

Level III: The Stomach Punch
Definition: Now we’ve moved into rarefied territory, any roller-coaster game that ends with A) an opponent making a pivotal (sometimes improbable) play, or B) one of your guys failing in the clutch … usually ends with fans filing out after the game in stunned disbelief, if they can even move at all … always haunting, sometimes scarring …

In my opinion, “The Stomach Punch” (and all levels of losing actually) can apply to more than sports, and can be a nice analogy for many of these things we go through in life. I think many of us can think of time  in life when we felt that “stomach punch” and yes, those times are “always haunting” and  “sometimes scarring.” So for this Set the VCR moment, I focus on a great “stomach punch” moment that led to one of the saddest sequences ever in an anime series.

Fullmetal Alchemist (anime)/ dir. Seiji Mizushima/ Episode 25 “Words of Farewell” / 2004

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Set the VCR: Little Mac vs. Mike Tyson

nes-punchoutAt the moment there are 2 stellar video games that feature the sweet science of pugilism or boxing. Fight Night Round 4 is one of those games and the other is the revival of the classic Nintendo series Punch-Out!! on Nintendo Wii.  I think I have already demonstrated once before how animation and boxing are related, and these new video games bring out both the great physics (Fight Night Round 4) and the great enterntainment (Punch-Out!!) of the sport of boxing.

Even though one is more geared toward simulation and real-life and the other toward exagerration and cartoon, they both have a common thread in terms history. They both harken back to this Set the VCR moment, from arguable the greatest boxing video game of all-time!

Hit the jump to read more about this Set The VCR moment: Continue reading

Punch-Out Documentary…

At first I thought this was a clever spoof, but I think this is officially Nintendo. If it’s official then it’s brilliant. If not, it’s still pretty funny! Oh and I am super stoked for the new Punch-Out thats coming out for the Wii.

Piston Hondo! LOL! Hey he’s just doing his jab…

EDIT: Just checked out the official punchout.com site, the dude’s name is ACTUALLY Piston Hondo!

Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao vs. Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton

Of course I was watching this highly anticipated boxing match between the Filipino People’s Champ, Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao and the proud Briton with a legion of UK fans, Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton. Manny is the pound-for-pound #1 pugilist in the world, while Ricky Hatton was the lineal Junior Welterweight Champ and was supposedly one of the toughest fighters out there. Notice the past tense and the  “supposedly” when describing Ricky Hatton, because that dude got destroyed by the Pride of the Filipino People, Manny Pacquaio to the tune of a 2nd round KO! Watch the fight here:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Manny Pacquiao vs Ricky Hatton on Vimeo“, posted with vodpod


I thought it would only be appropriate to use this as a film study to look at 2 basic principles of animation: Squash & Stretch, and Anticipation. Hit the jump to watch the breakdown… Continue reading

New Gatorade Focus/ Tiger Woods commercials

I am really digging the new animated Gatorade commericals. The animation looks nice and smooth. It has that Jungle Book feel, which I think Gatorade was going for. And the Baloo character is obviously Tiger’s dad, or his reincarnation. And is that Samuel L. Jackson and Scott Van Pelt doing some of the voices? Watch the new commericials here:

Good Job Gatorade! Does anyone know who did the animation on this?

Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage

Since I’m studying to be a character animator, I have begun to observe people and things in a new light. Take for example one of the greatest professional wrestling matches of all-time, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage at Wrestlemania 3. Even though the big match at Wrestlemania 3 that year was the Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant showdown, Steamboat vs. Savage stole the show. It is amazing to watch both The Dragon and Macho Man tell a compelling story with athletic skill and body language only. Watch the 2nd half of this great match here:

Now hit the jump to see my film study of this match…. Continue reading

Bootleg Classics: The Simpsons “Homer at the Bat”

Awww Yes… Players have reported to spring training and baseball season is about to begin. With Griffey Jr. returning to the Mariners, I thought it would be fitting to have this Bootleg Classic dedicated to one of Griffey’s greatest guest starring roles ever. Even though baseball is tainted at the moment, and because of the “steroid era” we’ll probably never feel the same about baseball ever again, this Bootleg Classic takes you back to a time when baseball seemed as genuine as Griffey’s smile on his Upper Deck rookie card.

The Simpsons “Homer at the Bat” 1992 (originally aired Feb. 20, 1992…17 years ago!)

homerathtebatBackground:

Do I really need to do a background on The Simpsons? It is one of the most influential animated programs in the history of cartoons. So influential that folks have written books on the Simpsons’ effect on society. So I am going to assume everyone knows about the misadventures of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson, as well as the other loveable townfolk of Springfield.

The Episode:

Homer and the other Power Plant workers sign up for their work’s softball team. Thanks to Homer’s homemade bat, the Power Plant goes undefeated and makes it to the championship game vs. the Shelbyville Nuclear Power Plant. Mr. Burns (owner of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant) makes a million dollar bet with the owner of the Shelbyville Power Plant that his team will win. In order to secure victory, Mr. Burns hires 9 Major League players: Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Ken Griffey, Jr., Steve Sax, Ozzie Smith, José Canseco, Don Mattingly, Darryl Strawberry and Mike Scioscia, so they can play for the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team.

Hilarity ensues…

(Hit the Jump to find out what makes this episode a Bootleg Classic)

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