Rocket Fish Animates ‘Panda’ Bowl Spot

Rocket Fish, a new company formed by Animation Magazine founder Terry Thoren, was tapped by producers Geoff Callan and Daniel Grace of boutique advertising and branding agency Creative:Mint to co-produce a series of animated commercials for client Salesgenie.com. One of the spots, titled ‘Panda,’ is scheduled to air Sunday on FOX during the third quarter of the Super Bowl.

Promoting sales generation website www.salesgenie.com, the retro-styled spot has a chubby panda named Ling Ling in fear of going out of business because he has no sales. His shrew of a wife refuses to go back to the zoo, so she places an emergency call to the Panda Psychic, who reveals that there is only one answer’Salesgenie.com. Armed with 100 free sales leads, Ling Ling’s business prospers and he even gets to buy a brand new bamboo car.

‘Salesgenie gave us witty scripts and allowed us the freedom to create,’ says director/designer Mike Milo, who worked closely with art director Michael Bruza. ‘[They] wanted the spots to be retro and edgy, so I tried to give them the style of early UPA and Hanna-Barbera. It seemed to fit nicely.’

‘The commercial was animated entirely in Flash at the Rocket Fish studios using a combination of symbol-based animation and hand-drawn art animated on Cintiq Backgrounds,’ adds Thoren, who served as exec producer on the spot. ‘The images were textured to give them a painterly feel and rendered digitally. Character Designs, model sheets and props were done on a Tablet PC, making the entire spot ‘green.’ No trees were hurt making this film!’

Thoren was the only CEO of Klasky Csupo, where he built advertising unit Ka-Chew and oversaw the production of 400 hours of animation including the popular series Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys. His latest venture, Rocket Fish Studios is dedicated to bringing cost effective, creator-driven animated entertainment to the advertising industry from state-of-the art animation studios in Burbank and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. More information on the company can be found at www.rocketfishstudios.com.