McDonalds is promoting Happy Meals packaging with an advertising campaign featuring the tag line, “Joy is a gift. And this is the box it comes in”. Animated television commercials introduce us to Suzi Van Zoom, Spaceman Stu, Bebe and a family of birds living in an apple tree.
Apple Tree is an animated celebration of life, following the birth of an apple tree from seedling to stick to multi-branched adult sprouting leaves high off the ground. The tree, set in a hilly, pastoral land, grows strong enough to support a young family of birds, who build their nest and hatch a trio of youngsters as the leaves fly off, snow falls, and spring, eventually, arrives. Set to the jolly notes of “I’m gonna be like an apple tree…” an apple grows and falls into the nest, morphing into a collection of apple slices and a jug of yogurt. Mother bird lifts these off the ground, where the nest transforms into a Happy Meal and the youngsters flutter around her. Click on the image below to play the Apple Tree video in YouTube (HD)
Suzi Van Zoom is a faster-paced adventure, in which two parents are left to scramble after their adventurous daughter once they decide to strip the training wheels off her bike. As a catchy song bumps along in the background, the little one careens through a neighbor’s house and into a zoo, where she sets a pack of animals loose. The ragged collection of giraffes, cheetahs, elephants, gazelles and penguins can only hurdle along with her parents as the youngster flies across the terrain, finally stopping to sate her growing appetite with a McDonald’s Happy Meal. Click on the image below to play the Suzi Van Zoom video in YouTube (HD)
Spaceman Stu, released in 2010, is set in an illustrated universe of a child’s vivid imagination; a stylized and slightly disproportionate world in which fantastical stars hover around the characters and gravity works selectively. The spot stars a character that hovers impossibly over the globe and inside of a McDonald’s, smiling as he enjoys his Happy Meal. Click on the image below to play the Spaceman Stu video in YouTube (HD)
Bebe, released in 2010, stars a little girl who imagines a world of kooky animal companions. Set in a child’s playful version of a pastoral landscape of staggered rolling hills, the spot features a crafty, fabric look, with rich textures and a unique color palette. Click on the image below to play the Bebe video in YouTube (HD)
The Joy is a Gift campaign was developed at Leo Burnett, Chicago, by chief creative officer/executive creative director/copywriter Susan Credle, executive creative director/copywriter John Montgomery, art director Keith Hughes and agency producer Eric Faber.
Animation for Apple Tree and Suzi Van Zoom was produced at Kompost via Duck Studios, with executive producer Mark Medernach, production manager April Rudolph, director/art director Oliver Conrad, executive producer Gian Klainguti, VFX supervisor Kenneth Polonski, lead FX Christopher Soyer, Technical Director: Andrei Savu, Lead Animator: Laszlo Nyikos, Animator: Gabor Lendvai, Rigger: Boris Ignatovic, Compositor: Jan Glöckner, Dirk Becker, Modeler: Marko Todorovic, Adam Juhasz, Texturing: Joffrey Jans, Rebekka Keusch
Shader: Kay Poprawe, Chris Waner, dynamic: Nicklas Bühlmann, Christopher Soyer, Fur & Feather: Dax Lefleur, Giordano Canova, Intern Animator: Adrian Suter, Project Manager: Araya Bernhard.
Animation for Bebe was produced by Screen Novelties team Seamus Walsh, Chris Finnegan, Mark Caballero, via Duck Studios, Los Angeles, with director of photography Ralph Kaechele and executive producer Mark Medernach. Additional credits include production manager Terri Watanabe, assistant camera and lighting Carl Helder, animators Kelly Mazurowski, Musa Brooker, Max Winston, character designers Mark Caballero, Seamus Walsh, set designer Chris Fennegan, puppet fabrication team Lisa Davis, Margaret Meyer, Christopher Rabilwongse, Max Winston, set fabrication team Brian Capati, David Waddle, Alexandra Rougeau, Paula Lauterbach, art PA Brad Schaffer, compositors Brian Kokoszka and Kelly Mazurowski.
Animation for Spaceman Stu was done at Kompost via Duck Studios, Los Angeles, by executive producer Gian Klainguti, director Oliver Conrad, art director Trip Park, executive producer Mark Medernach, production manager Terri Watanabe, CG supervisor/lighting/renderer Kenneth Polonsky, lead animator Christian Semczuk, layout and additional animator Laszlo Nyikos, lead compositor Olio Vergine, nuke compositor David Francois, liquid simulations artist Christopher Soyer, particles and VFX artist Ernst Schwarz, rigger/modeler Boris Ignjatovic, with additional modeling by Adam Juhasz.
Music for “Apple Tree” is by Justin Roberts. Music for “Spaceman Stu” was composed by Pete Schmidt at Comma with executive producer Bonny Dolan. Music for Bebe is “Bebe Bao’s Birthday Wish” by Holly Palmer.