A young boy in winter clothing reaches up as his papers fly away

The List

Framestore partners with Leo Burnett to celebrate moments of togetherness in McDonald’s festive campaign, directed by Academy Award winner Tom Hooper.

McDonalds The Gift

‘The Alternative Christmas List’ tells the story of a little boy named Alfie, who gets carried away with the excitement of writing a Christmas List, before realising that it’s the little shared moments that really matter. The film sets up the idea of the value of family time over the materialistic aspect of Christmas, reminding the UK what’s important during the festive season.

McDonalds The Gift
McDonalds The Gift

A central task for the Framestore team was to build and execute Alfie’s Christmas list in CG. “Some of the unique festive contributions to the project came from the children of crew members who designed their own Christmas lists which were used on parts of the practical/digital build which was a really beautiful way of getting that authenticity into the list design” explained Framestore’s VFX Supervisor Ross Wilkinson.

McDonalds The Gift
McDonalds The Gift

He added: “The project didn't stray too far from the traditional VFX workflows. Scanning in 40ft worth of paper front and back took some time, but once we had that, alongside the shoot material, we were in a strong position to deliver our assets and shots seamlessly”.

Framestore also used VFX to give the ad a festive feel throughout, by frosting up and replacing green trees, blowing leaves, and adding in an abundance of Christmas decorations.

McDonalds The Gift
McDonalds The Gift

Colourist Steffan Perry at Company3 graded the campaign, and the soundtrack, recorded by Becky Hill, is an enchanting, festive rendition of Yazoo’s iconic track, ‘Only You’.

Ross said: “It was a pleasure collaborating with Tom Hooper and of course the team at Leo Burnett to deliver a really beautiful body of work that we are all very proud of.”

‘The Alternative Christmas List’ marks another festive collaboration between Framestore and Leo Burnett for McDonalds, following the success of ‘Imaginary Iggy’ and ‘#ReindeerReady’.


McDonald's UK
Leo Burnett UK
Production Company
Tom Hooper
VFX Supervisor
Ross Wilkinson
2D Supervisors
Matt Thomas and Ollie Bersey
CG Supervisor
Henrique Campanha
Senior Producer
Alexia Paterson
Production Coordinator
Poppy Chadwick
Production Assistant
Conor Garnett
Company 3 Colourist
Steffan Perry
Darran Nicholson, Andrew Salter & Aadel Matooria
VFX Editor
Humberto Reynaga
Asset Lookdev/Modelling/Texturing
Adam Smith & Justine Lecat
Nathan Clark
Tracking & Layout
Paul Amiras & Oliver Cordwell
Robbie Brown & Sofia Llobregat
Patrik Hanti, Jack Hubbard, Philip Child & Florent Sanglard
Alessandro Mattielli
Chelsea Aston & Roger Gibbon
Mark Yfantidis, Julia Caram, Adriano Calafiore, Jack Pond, Cristina Recuero Esquina, Daniel Ravanelli & Sam Meisels
Paint & Roto
Basim Kadhim
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