Live-action, stop-motion plasticine, hand-drawn and CGI, the new John Lewis Christmas ad has just dropped which, for the UK, is the official sign that Christmas season is upon us – that and being stuck in the Tesco Delivery Saver queue of course (one-and-a-half hours and counting). Rather than having the focus on a single act of gift-giving as in previous years, this year's ad is an ensemble act symbolising the act, moving from one to another, and switching filming and animation styles with each, accompanied by Brit Award-winning performer Celeste singing an original song, A Little Love.
There are nine separately animated scenes from eight different artists and animation houses, including stop-motion animator Chris Hopewell, who has made music videos for Radiohead, French Belleville animator Sylvain Chomet, Isle Of Dogs puppet maker and animator duo Andy Gent and Anthony Farquhar Smith, animator Anna Mantzaris, French directors collective MegaComputeur, Latvian illustrator Anete Melece and animation studio Shotopop as each character passes a heart on to the other.
"The unique approach was chosen in a spirit of kindness towards the creative industry, which has been hard hit by the pandemic," John Lewis & Partners explain. "Instead of a single production team, multiple artists were selected, giving employment to many people across the creative industry." John Lewis also says "we believe that the world would be a better place if we all gave a little more love. So this year we're celebrating kindness, whether large or small, showing how each and every act of love has a positive impact on the world around us, as we pass them on to others. Together with Waitrose & Partners we're hoping to raise £4m for our charities plus £1m for local charities. FareShare, helps those facing food poverty, and Home-Start, which works with parents who need support. The charities will use these donations to provide food, comfort, emotional support and advice to families who need support this Christmas."