The first spot, 'Framily Portrait,' introduces us to a rather peculiar family, from a hamster father voiced by Andrew Dice Clay, to a pants-less human son Chuck played by SNL cast member Kyle Mooney. These members of a disparate family are as eccentric as can be….. yet they are a big happy framily.
Among the framily is French speaking daughter Heidi. She is constantly surrounded by chirpy bird companions, and to achieve this The Mill team used low-key, creative animation. Lead 2D artist Keith Sullivan talks us through the process, "It was essential that the birds convey her whimsy, personality, and enhance her character. We used hand-drawn cell animation, reminiscent of Snow White. Small details in the way the birds are always looking at Heidi, attentive to her every movement, eye-line and singing, were added."
It was also up to the team to bring papa hamster, Tom Frobinson, to life. In the second spot, "Meet the Frobinsons," the framily is having a conversation with their hamster father. To get his mouth to match the dialogue, the 2D team used an old-school technique, time splicing the motions of the on-set hamster. Very crafty animal handlers fed the hamsters all sorts of delicious treats such as peanut butter to make the little guy's mouth move as if he was talking.
The Frobinson framily will star in an upcoming series of commercials featuring the peculiar characters, for Sprint's new Framily plans.