This Christmas, Life Is Good has teamed up with Dr Seuss to launch The Grinch's new range of holiday t-shirts on his very own TikTok channel.
We were invited to reimagine a new version of the iconic Grinch character and create a series of animations for the holiday season. We took inspiration from current TikTok trends mixed with traditional frame-by-frame animation to get a modern twist on a classic Christmas character.
The animations take reference from popular TikTok trends, making a funny contrast with the cartoonish and silly Grinch character and his serious, fashionista poses. We wanted to express the Grinch's sassiness and exaggerate his iconic personality in animation.
Much of the Grinch’s character and humour is brought out in the animation which references in part the 1966 cartoon show: tropes from the classical character animation are interesting to bring into our more modern 3D look. For example exaggerated postures and delayed movements bring our Grinch to life and make the animations extra special.
We see the combination of traditional animation and modern social media trends as a surprisingly natural fit; lots of the camera tricks and fast transitions used in TikTok trends actually create effects similar to classical character animation.
Key to this project was our interpretation of The Grinch. We worked closely with the team at Dr Seuss on reimagining this iconic character within a new 3D style.
Our Grinch is tactile and toy-like, he's pleasing to the eye and it feels like you could pick him up off the screen. We achieve this with skin texture and details in his face and features.
To bring the t-shirt designs alive and include more characters, like Cindy-Lou Who, we introduced 2D animation within some of the t-shirts. These are incorporated into the 3D cloth simulation, with the Grinch showing off the designs to the camera as they magically come to life.
The detail around his facial features is key to the Grinch's personality, but his body shape and posture also convey a lot about our Grinch’s character. This is something we wanted to bring into the animation even more, with references from the original 1966 animation to guide us as we bring him into the modern world of TikTok.
This look to traditional animation styles was something we were aware of when rigging the character; to have a large range of movement that allows for exaggerated body positions and facial expressions.
We love the Grinch's cheeky, devilish smile and finding the key elements to bring to life in 3D. With the main body shape working well we moved onto detail, imagining how to represent this iconic character in a new way in 3D, remaining faithful to the original drawings but with a modern twist.
Once we had our 3D Grinch rigged and storyboards set for each of the animations, we filmed video references for the Grinch's movements, actions and TikTok style dances. These helped the animation team recreate the moves, animating frame by frame, before adding the t-shirt simulation and additional accessories.
Direction & Production
Cabeza Patata - Katie Menzies & Abel Reverter
Original Music & Sound
Dance / Live Action References
Tamara Robellat Perez
Life Is Good + Dr Seuss