Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
We cherish telling stories that make people happy. There are times when in creating these stories we have to capture a magical moment from the past, without using the certain elements that many fondly associate with the property. For our Rudolph the Red nosed reindeer video, we faced the challenge of competing with the beloved characters from Rankin/Bass.
These characters are ingrained into the very fabric of Christmas! To circumvent this limitation, we created a unique but familiar story, humbly distinguishing ourselves from the classic TV special.
The main character in our story is Rudy, the son of the most famous reindeer of all! The overwhelming fame of Santa’s lead reindeer is a lot to live up to. Rudy heroically discovers that anyone can find courage, and in his case, his father will always inspire his journey.”
Our story takes place in modern times, and Santa no longer uses the nose of a reindeer to guide his travels. Instead, he has a GPS-like device called N.O.S.E (Neurological, Observational, Sensor, Equipment). But what happens when this device explodes as a result of a lightning strike?! This is the chance for Rudy to take over and save Christmas! That was our main premise, and people loved it! Many even saying they preferred our version. Pretty incredible.”
It’s worth mentioning that before we finalized the idea that was universally loved at the label, we had some completely out-of-the-box pitches that we are still very proud of! At one point, the “red nose” was, well, a red mole!
See some of our initial stages of the idea below:
As we’ve mentioned before, this music video needed to be fresh, but also familiar. We embarked on a journey with 3D modeling and animation, from character designs onwards.
All backgrounds were hand-drawn in 2D, creating a superb contrasting effect to help the 3D characters stand out.
It was an incredibly complex video to complete within only six weeks, but we pulled it off. Complementing the 3D animation with 2D stickers greatly helped with both production time and the overall aesthetic appeal. The mixed media gave it an extra push visually, bringing familiarity for the current generation.
We animated the 3D characters as if it were stop motion, giving a timeless feel to the entire piece! Much of the 3D movement was first animated in 2D to achieve proper timing, and then mapped to the 3D characters.
For this sequence, our main inspiration was Dumbo, the moment where the main character realizes that he doesn’t know how to fly and the bullies make fun of him. An unfortunate, but relatable tale that can wisely be used to encourage overcoming obstacles.
When Rudy gets the courage to do what needs to be done…he releases his super power: Determination with pure heart.
Rudy keeps his cool with Santa, but in reality, is scared beyond belief! We used the stickers to express internal emotion.
Stickers made the video current and classic. We are very proud of our idea to combine 2D and 3D.
We kept combining 2D and 3D with great success, giving it a stand out look.