Wielka Historia Małej Choineczki - McDonald's

Motion Graphics
After Effects

Who wouldn't like a good challenge ahead of Christmas! While our friends were trying to find the first snow
this season for TV ads, we came up with a different plan. We simply drew it!
All this effort was put together to tell the Great Story of a Small Christmas Tree.

concept development                                                         interactive children's book                                                                       animation

The main character – a cute little Christmas tree – is rejected by other inhabitants of the forest, simply because it isn't tall enough.
This already sounds like the modern version of The Ugly Duckling story, have you noticed? Moreover, the Client came up with the idea of telling it simultaneously through three different media: a TV ad, an interactive book, and a 3-minute animation.

For the book, we designed beautiful winter illustrations, but also short pieces of animation!
The idea is simple: first, you download the app, then you put your phone into the book,
and suddenly the Christmas tree comes to life! Literally!

"The Great History of the Little Christmas Tree" consists of 10 fascinating chapters,
and each one contains a short animation about the main Christmas tree character. How cool is that? We can't even!

OK, we have to admit it: the deadline was chasing us. In this case, we couldn't move it, and we all know why. If that wasn't enough,
both the book and the animation had to be produced simultaneously. And, ho, ho, ho, we made it!

But first, it took us a long time to find a universal script for both. The format of the book allowed us to create a slightly broader perspective. We experimented with time linearity, and to be honest – we loved it. But at the same time, animation without the VO layer is not that easy to play with. Both the script and the editing had to be quite simple, as we had to make sure it gets to the main target group: children! Fortunately, most of the time, we also think and behave like children, so…

Now, a few words about the techniques. We used cel animation for some of the scenes with characters, and added cutout elements where the action required it. Then we started to play with animated textures, grain, and a lowered frame rate. Oh, and we love to play! This way, we unified the animation style, as it was the work of many animators. Last but not the least, we've added some parallaxes
and differential plans division, although it hadn't been planned initially.

The biggest surprise was the fast jump from black and white animatic to the first colorful version of the animation.
As it turned out, with colors, the story flies faster in your mind. Magic! But the truth is that a large number of colorful elements infringed upon the viewer's attention on the main character. As a result, all the work had to be redone.
But at that time, the snow had already started falling outside our windows, so it felt somehow easier!

Client: McDonald’s Polska | Project title "Mcdonald’s Xmas 2019 , Wielka Historia Małej Choineczki" | Agency: DDB    
Creative director Zuzanna Duchniewska-Sobczak | Creative team: Mateusz Gaca, Pablo Dominguez Agregan, Zuzanna Duchniewska Sobczak
Agency producer: Ania Mogilnicka | Director: Sławek Wydra | Executive producer: Sławek Jurasz | Line producer: Gosia Kucharska    
Production manager: Martyna Orlik | Production coordinator: Anna Pietkun | Post-production company: Pigeon (animation), Juice Sound (sound)    Sound design: Michał Jaroszewicz, Kuba Pietrzak | Song: "One Little Christmas Tree” by Stevie Wonder, lyrics: Ronald N. Miller, music: Bryan Wells        
Produced by Studio Pigeon

Book & Application
Art Director: Sławek Wydra | Producer: Martyna Orlik | Key illustration: Gosia Jeniec
Illustrations: Gosia Jeniec, Hania Oloś, Ewa Ciałowicz, Aleksandra Szpunar-Bućko
Covers: Ewa Ciałowicz, Gosia Jeniec | Animatic artist: Ewa Drzewicka
2D Animation: Anna Tumanów  
Application development & engine: Happy Endians (Gutenberg Agency Poland)
Creative Project Manager: Urszula Buziewicz 
Graphic Designer: Justyna Sokołowska 
Art Director: Sławek Wydra | Producer: Martyna Orlik | Key illustration: Gosia Jeniec
Illustrations: Gosia Jeniec, Hania Oloś, Ewa Ciałowicz, Sveta Sytsko, Sławek Wydra, Ewa Skowron 
 Stilomatic artist: Sławek Wydra | Animatic artist: Ewa Drzewicka
2D Animation: Sławek Wydra, Mateusz Jędrzejewski, Rafał Blecharz, Kaja Krzysiek, Maja Krajewska     
Cel animation: Kaja Krzysiek, Sławek Wydra, Edward Kurchevsky, Maja Krajewska, Kamil Helbin    
FX animation: Sławek Wydra | Editing & compositing: Sławek Wydra  
Wielka Historia Małej Choineczki - McDonald's