In this new campaign for Halifax, iconic childhood favourite Top Cat makes his first appearance on TV since his retirement in the 1980s. The 60-second ad sees Top Cat and sidekick Benny visiting their local Halifax branch to get help and advice in finding a new home after being evicted from their alley by arch-rival Officer Dibble.
The Mill VFX team carried out extensive research into the original Top Cat design, studying every detail of the animation, including poses and gestures that make up this classic character to achieve an authentic re-creation.
Combining traditional methods with more modern techniques, the team were able to mimic the hand-drawn style of the time-honoured series by drawing the characters in each individual frame by hand, whilst ensuring Top Cat and the gang appeared to seamlessly inhabit and interact with the modern world around them.
Head of Animation, Jorge Montiel explains; 'The animation process started with us understanding the essence of the original cartoons. After building a library of old episodes, which we studied in detail, we were then able to start mimicking Top Cat's body language, colours and lines.'
Executive Creative Director, Neil Davies comments; ‘This was great fun for everyone to work on, and a dream job for our animators, who were able to bring the characters to life that inspired them to start drawing so many years ago.We took great care to get every detail just right to make sure Top Cat and the gang looked and behaved just like season 1, from the bleeding of colours around edges, to textures through to expressions and animation style.
The end sequence where we return to full cartoon world was also hand drawn and animated from scratch and then given an aged look in Nuke which coupled with the iconic Top Cat theme tune takes you right back to being a kid. It’s been a real pleasure working with dom&nic and adam&eve again on this one.'