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Dec 1: Marzipan Reindeer (Tony Johnson & Holly and the Wolf)

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When I saw this for the first time last December I pretty much stopped everything and played it through three times straight. I may have watched it again in July as well. Perhaps this is because I love the lilting tones of the singer’s voice and the subversive lyrics which appeal to my slightly-cynical-yet-ultimately-hopeful personality. I’m sure Tony Johnson’s distinctive design sense and well-crafted animation only added to me falling head over heals for this piece. So I’m pulling it out of my Christmas closet with the decorations and wrapping paper ready to start the holiday season with a sigh and a smile.

Director/animator Tony Johnson gives us a little insight into the piece and his thoughts on Christmas.

Interesting moment, fact or point of inspiration from your production:
The fairy tale theme of the video came through discussions with Holly and the Wolf. The aim was to reflect the upbeat humour of the song, dodge as many Christmas clichés as possible and counterpoint it’s festive cheer by making it a little darker in places. It was an interesting exercise in tonality; there was a bloodier early edit that was hilarious but it didn’t quite hit the right tone. Hopefully we managed to get that balance right with the final edit.

People seem to really enjoy the drumming elf for some reason. This might be because he was the most fun to animate, to the point where I animated far more of the drum track than I needed to. You can watch him in his full glory here: https://vimeo.com/64407921

Most memorable Christmas moment:
Burning down the family Christmas tree… no comment.

At the top of the Christmas list:
A new computer would probably be top of my Christmas list this year. My trusty mac is seven years old and definitely on its last legs. That’s a big ask though, so a good bottle of bourbon will do nicely.

The film will be screening at the London Short Film Festival in January 2014 as part of the Rushes Soho Shorts programme. The EP from Holly and the Wolf is available on iTunes

#AdventAnimation is a daily showcase of holiday themed animation. If you are working on something with some holiday cheer that will be released sometime between 1 December and Christmas Eve, drop me a note and I will put it into consideration.

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