Paddington the bear wearing a red rain hat and blue coat

Paddington and the Christmas Visitor

Framestore proudly introduces ‘Paddington & The Christmas Visitor’ for M&S, a glittering festive tale crafted alongside director Daniel Kleinman at Rattling Stick and creative agency Grey London.

Paddington's premier Christmas campaign aired in 2017, in a 360° launch under the hashtag #LoveTheBear. Alas, this would not be the bear's only engagement of the week: the highly-anticipated Paddington 2, also starring headline VFX and hand animation by Framestore, marking the week a pinnacle of multi-platform collaboration.

Visual Effects Supervisor
cg animated paddington bear holding onto its hat

‘Paddington and The Christmas Visitor’ was a true labour of love for Framestore, and a triumph of creative collaboration. Supported throughout both shoot and production by director Daniel Kleinman and the team at Rattling Stick, with whom the company has frequently partnered to turn out stellar advertising creative, Paddington’s commercial foray proved a fine opportunity to showcase the talent of Framestore’s many skilled Integrated Advertising VFX artists.

For the company overall, the work demonstrated the versatility of two divisions in amplifying the impact of one much-loved property; bringing a bear with serious heritage to television audiences and cinema-goers alike.

We set out to create a short piece of work that does justice to the wonderful heritage of Paddington, while telling an M&S story with charm, wit and a Christmas feel.
Daniel Kleinman
Director, Rattling Stick
animated paddington bear coming out of a window on a snowy roof

Doing so via a credible living character created entirely in CG is where Framestore excels. Rattling Stick's partnership with Framestore, Grey, M&S and the Paddington film team was a pleasure and a privilege.
Daniel Kleinman
Director, Rattling Stick
cg animated paddington bear holding onto its hat

From Film to Advertising

Framestore and Paddington are, of course, old friends - Framestore’s Film division having worked extensively on the bear’s first picture in 2014. Translating Michael Bond’s character to a 90-second advertising setting, however, was something entirely new, and called on the talent of over 75 artists across the Integrated Advertising division to land the campaign narrative.

The VFX team was acutely aware of the weight of responsibility in working with a character so imbued with emotion, tightly tied as he is to childhood memory. Eager to pay dues to Kleinman’s vision and have the campaign sit seamlessly between Paddington’s two movies, Framestore’s Advertising team worked hand-in-hand with the Film division, as well as previsualisation partners The Third Floor, to fulfil its brief. The result would be the ultimate demonstration of the company’s vast lateral creative scope.

cg animated paddington bear giving a sandwich to a person

Star of the show

The Paddington asset - our bear himself - was baton-passed from Film to Advertising at a near-finalised stage. Framestore’s Geraint Wright led the team in hand animating the many nuances of his star performance, with input from Film Animation Director Pablo Grillo.

Practised in crafting creatures with emotional nous, Framestore’s artists were well-equipped to uphold this bear’s reputation as a bit of a heartbreaker. The film’s dramatic turn - and the most technically intricate shot of the piece - in which the foiled ‘Father Christmas’ embraces Paddington, saw the team perfect a seamless digi-double to matchmove the burglar, in order to painstakingly dramatise the emotional pull of this iconic character.

cg animated paddington bear hugging someone as they hold on to a sandwich

All in the details

Framestore’s Effects artists were key in adding sparkle to M&S’s Christmas story: responsible for the many festive CG assets which decorate the ad’s shots, and the array of difficult interactions between furry creature and snowy scenes. Down to the types of snow created, and the ‘behaviour’ of each snowflake in such effects, every element of Framestore’s VFX contributed to an overarching love for magical narrative.

Significant environment work also fell under Framestore’s spell, with many of the film’s 45 shots extended; digital matte paintings helping to place the action in a suitably festive location that would best serve the story. Of that total too, only two shots remained fully live action, demonstrating the incredible weight of the VFX produced by Framestore’s Integrated Advertising artists in only twelve weeks of production.

cg animated paddington bear putting a christmas present addressed 'to alice' under a christmas tree

It's been wonderful to experience such seamless integration between Film and Advertising, as we shared both pipeline and creative knowledge and techniques essential to maintaining consistency in this very special character across platforms.
Pablo Grillo
Animation Director, Framestore


Marks & Spencer
Grey London
Production Company
Rattling Stick
Daniel Kleinman
Creative Director
Henrik Ridderheim, Jonathan Marlow
Production Designer
John Ebden
Creative Director, VFX Supervisor (Framestore)
Ben Cronin
Creative Director
Jordi Bares Dominguez
Executive Creative Director
Vicky Maguire
Johnnie Frankel
Ben Smithard
Senior VFX Producer
Christopher Gray
Compositing Supervisor
Leonardo Costa
Lead Rigging
Greg Martin
Deniz Cinar, Luis Fos
Digital Matte Painters
Gerard Dunleavy, Lee Matthews
VFX Editor
Richard Gao
Agency Producer
Thea Evely
Costume Designer
Verity Hawkes
Ashley Reemul, Harry Smith, Joseph Henson, Joseph Kane, Steve Townrow
Ismael Rodriguez, Izaak Pardey, Tim Gregson
Leo Schreiber
Creature FX TDs
Abdelkader Nouar, Aleksandr Uusmees, Emma Thorpe, Hervé Siorat, Matteo Antona
Lighting TDs
Andrea Biferi, Henrique Campanha, Emily Yang, Erasmo Torallas, Jorge Sanchez Ramirez, Mathias Cadyck, Robert Stipp, Uzma Curtis, William Alexander, Yifan Hu
Flame Artists
Paul O'Brien, George Roper
Casting Director
Greg Kyle
Executive Producer
Helen Hughes
Animation Lead
Gez Wright
CG Supervisor
Charles Bayliss
Texture Artists
Aaron Hunwick, Aaron Smith, Judit Somogyvari, Xuan Prada Gomez
FX Lead
Rafael Rey Camacho
Lead Environments
Dave Early
Paint and Roto
Jonathan Williams, Reece McFarlane
Samantha Meisels, Heidi Dahle, Jack Fisher, Jacqui Lockley, Kane Herd, Matthew Thomas, Simon Stoney, Christian Baker
Steffan Perry
VFX Coordinator
Alexia Paterson
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