The Mill Design Studio Presents: ‘The Very VERY First Christmas’

Christmas finds a way in the adorable festive film
Work December 15, 2022

We’re all familiar with the magical tales of flying reindeer and toy-making tiny elves, but you may be surprised to hear that the holiday spirit predates even Santa Claus. The Very VERY First Christmas is a classic Yuletide spectacular, a take on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, starring a bright-eyed pterodactyl named Star who hasn’t quite yet learned to fly. Written and directed by Brian O’Donnell for The Mill’s Design Studio, this Christmas short is a labor of love that spanned across our NY, LA, Chicago and London studios.

“'The Very VERY First Christmas' is a dazzling deep dive into classic holiday nostalgia and charm. Our core group of lead designers collaborated under only one rule: Imperfect is perfect. The result is an inspiring handmade approach to 3D modeling: blending modern tools with charming traditional cel animation and a whole lotta heart. We hope you enjoy.”
-Brian O'Donnell

Grab a cup of hot chocolate, sit back and unearth The Very VERY First Christmas.

Like what you see? Get in touch with The Mill Design Studio here.


The Mill Design Studio
Written and Directed by Brian O'Donnell:
Producer: Katharine Mulderry
Editor / Creative Development: Al Benoit
Creative Resource Manager: Taylor McDade
Lead Layout Design: Salmah Beydoun
Lead Character Design: Yuri Byun
Lead Look Development: Eddie Livingstone
Design: Salmah Beydoun, Yuri Byun, Morad Enayet, Devin Hayes, Yewon Kim, Eddie Livingstone, Brian O'Donnell, Amy Staropoli
Animation: Brian O'Donnell, Yuri Byun
Cloud Simulation: Akshay Tiwari
Cel Animation: Amy Staropoli
Matte Painting: Tara Holland, Kris Sharabinskaia
Title Design: Laura Nash
Composer: Manu Beker
Narrator: Manu Beker
Technical Director: Justin Sucara
Marketing Director: Brenden Hand
Sound Design: Echoic Audio