Disney's most iconic characters join together in a handmade cardboard world, for this series of stopframe TV idents for the Toon Disney Channel.
This epic project was produced for the Toon Disney Channel, Scandinavia. They asked us to create a series of 10 idents. Our brief was focused on the popularity of craft activities amongst Scandinavian children. So with that in mind, we came up with the idea of creating a 'Toon City'. Here we would relocate a selection of the most iconic animated characters who appear on the channel. Sets were constructed entirely from paper, cardboard, wood and a little bit of stitched detailing.
With the handcrafted style presented and approved, our first task was to create 10 different narratives. We did this by watching hours of cartoon footage featuring iconic characters who star in the channel's shows. Then shortlisting the moments which could be easily rotoscoped (cut out frame by frame) and combined to create new narratives. Many hours later, this huge collection of clips had inspired the comedic narratives for 10 different stories.
Storyboarding & Model Making
Based on our narrative edits, the next stop was to design and build cardboard settings. Ready for the rotoscoped characters to be composited into. This technique would bring together animated characters who would normally never meet. Taking them out of their familiar settings and placing them into a common world.
Unsurprisingly considering the scale of sets, we quickly outgrew our little studio. So we moved to Clapham Road Studios in time to finish building the models for the first two stories. Due to the tight schedule, we shot on two different stages simultaneously. With the build continuing for the next idents as we shot.
Toon Disney Idents Stopframe Shoot
Our stopframe animator added movement to the models, bringing the cardboard sets to life. They weren't the most solid material to work with... But luckily it's a requirement of stopframe animators to have a steady hand!
A couple of motion control shots added to the high production values of the animations. Combined with beautiful lighting and photography to show off these epic sets in their finest light.
As the stopframe footage was completed, it was sent back to the studio where editing and compositing began. Using a detailed storyboard as a guide, the rotoscoped cartoon characters were added to their new cardboard worlds. Matching colours and adding shadows to ground every character seamlessly into their setting.
Each ident had its own bespoke music track. Our talented composer used a similar musical hook for all of the idents to link them musically. Then tailored each track to fit the tone of each narrative. Finally, the addition of creative sound effects enhanced the movement and character performances. Creating the finishing touches to this truly epic handmade production.