Faux Toon Trailer to Fool Auds

New York City-based animation studio Curious Pictures has been tapped by retail giant Best Buy to produce a gag trailer for a 2D-animated feature for exhibition in theaters. Part of AMC Theatres’ "Silence is Golden" campaign, the bogus movie ad will appear to promote a classic Disney-style toon titled Soar, Princess of the Sky, before encouraging guests to turn off their mobile phones before the show begins.

Preceded by four live-action entries, this is the first animated trailer in the Best Buy campaign. "Given the success of the Silence is Golden campaign, the audience has now come to expect one of our clever mock trailers before the movie begins," says Bill Nordin, group creative director at Best Buy Advertising. "Introducing an animated trailer to the campaign will add an element of surprise for moviegoers. Our goal is to capture the audience’s attention with the compelling storyline and to convince them that they’re watching a trailer for the next big animated family blockbuster."

Soar, Princess of the Sky is presented as the story of a strong-willed bird princess who dreams of a life of adventure away from her over-protective father, who is eventually captured by an evil vulture. As Soar sets out to rescue her father with the help of her trusty feathered sidekick, Quill, she finds her plan thwarted by a moviegoer’s phone ringing in the theatre.

Curious directors Saul Andrew Blinkoff and Elliot M. Bour were selected for the project because of their extensive experience in traditional 2D cel animation. Collectively, the two have spent more than 10 years at Walt Disney Pictures working on such features as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Lion King, Mulan, Tarzan and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

"Because CG has become the industry standard, the prospect of re-creating a traditional 2D feature was incredibly exciting for us," Blinkoff comments. "We wanted to go back to the rich heritage of animation by hand-drawing everything, because it was extremely important for us to stay true to what is quickly becoming a lost art. In order to capture the classic feel of 2D features, we paid careful attention to each aspect of the trailer, from animation to sound to storyline."

Curious Pictures’ animation credits include Cartoon Network’s hit series Codename: Kids Next Door and Sheep in the Big City, as well as HBO’s A Little Curious. The company also provides brand strategy and creative solutions for companies such as ABC Sports, AOL, Mattel and Burger King.

The minute-long Soar, Princess of the Sky trailer will premiere on more than 3,500 AMC screens across the country for three months starting in early September.