Aardman Animations: Change4Life


Aardman director Steve Harding-Hill mixed 3D and 2D animation with a great sense of comedic timing to nudge Britons off the couch and into the great outdoors—or at least to the nearest park.

Working with agency M&C Saatchi for UK’s Department of Health, “Change4Life” tells the story of makind’s epic journey to obesity with tongue lodged firmly in cheek, using laughter instead of lectures to educate and motivate viewers.

The hybrid animation style is as playful as the palette, and Harding-Hill did a great job casting the faceless stars of the spot as lovable little creations.

Like many “stop-motion” spots of late, “Change4Life” used CG to create the illusion of good ol’ analogue clay. It’s expertly done here, and I suspect we’ll only see more of it in the future.

Says Harding-Hill:

We wanted things to be stop motion like, not too slick and stylized. We ended up making photocopies of our drawings, sticking them to polyboard, and shooting them with still cameras. Our backgrounds were created like theater sets, flat and layered up.

The black lines were crucial to the overall graphic sensibility and also made it possible for us to do some 2D animation and mix things up a bit.

The companion website features the same characters and lists practical tips for living a healthier lifestyle.