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High Five: The Visual Language of Animation


Keka Petrich, executive producer at Unsaid Studio, takes us inside the magical world of complex animations that brought our imaginations to life

High Five: The Visual Language of Animation

Animation has been a part of our lives since childhood. It may have been the first visual language we were introduced to, with its references to colours, icons, signals, speech and art. Cartoons helped us understand concepts about life, and some commercials are extremely successful at transforming knotty subjects that exist between paradoxes into simple messages through impactful mixes of fun, storytelling and art. Although I have always enjoyed and flirted with animation projects, it was at Unsaid Studio that I started delving deeper into this magical world. There's no school that could teach me what I learn every day from such amazing and inspiring artists. The creation process of an animation is extremely complex - even if the idea is smart and simple - which is why I fell in love with it. It's hard to choose all-time favourites, and I'm not afraid of sounding cliché, because if those ads, shorts or bite-sized contents got into our heads and hearts, it's because there was a hardworking team behind it, bringing imagination to life... - 'Panchita!'

Production & Post: Unsaid Studio
Director: Doug Bello

'Panchita!' is at the top of my list just because I am so honoured to be part of this project. What started as a 3D character to promote TECHO's work has become an award-winning short film, although the official world premiere is scheduled for later this year. It's amazing how animation can evoke emotions and convey important messages. 'Panchita!' is a great example of this, as it tells a heart-warming story while raising awareness about the important work being done by the NGO Techo, that so far, have built homes to over 131,000 families around the world. The design and animation in 'Panchita!' is powerful, and the dedication of the Unsaid Studio team behind it is truly inspiring.

John Lewis - 'The Bear & The Hare'

Agency: adam&eveDDB
Production & Post: Blinkink x Hornet
Director: Elliot Dear x Yves Geleyn

John Lewis’ Christmas ads have likely made you cry at least once (or every single year, like me). My personal favourite is 'The Bear & The Hare', which was the first to go viral before these sensory and nostalgic commercials practically became an institution. The mixed techniques used in the ad are impeccable and intriguing, adding up to a beautiful Christmas tale. Whenever you watch one of these commercials, you can truly feel the holiday season - and it’s all about that!

BBC Two - 'New Curve Idents Montage'

Agency: Superunion
Production: Aardman Animations x Buck x The Mill
Director: Various

It's clear that animation has a unique ability to capture our attention in a way that few other mediums can. The BBC's use of visually abstract 3D art to symbolise the number '2' shows that animation can also be a brave and innovative move for traditional brands.


Production: H5
Director: François Alaux x Hervé de Crécy x Ludovic Houplain

Although it’s not a commercial, it’s all about it. When I first saw this Oscar-winning film, I couldn't help feeling bittersweet. It was a satire on my own profession, after all. We are constantly surrounded by branding and commercials, and those of us who work in the industry struggle to find a balance between creating impact and mesmerising audiences while also making the brand look appealing.

Chipotle Cultivate Foundation - 'Back to the Start'

Agency: Creative Artists Agency
Production: Nexus Studios
Director: Johnny Kelly

The design is simple, but this stop-motion short is so powerful. This work for Chipotle is inspiring, and it completes a list that has one thing in common: animation is a language that allows important, serious topics to be discussed in a way that captures your attention and makes you more receptive to the message, motivating you to take action.

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Unsaid Studio, Wed, 03 May 2023 11:30:03 GMT