For their latest film, director duo Rick & Mario have worked with Truant London to create a colourful and heartfelt commercial for Miral, creators of immersive destinations and experiences based in Abu Dhabi. This exciting animated project is a celebration of their hyper-modern, leading-edge developments that are boosting the emirates economy, and giant-leisure attractions which make them one of the biggest contributors to the fastest-growing theme park market in the world.
The film is made up of two parts bridged by a magical transition. In the first, we see a CG family in a mundane world, clearly fatigued by the monotony of every-day life: they’re low mood, glued to their phones, frowning. As they trudge through a brutalist-inspired city, the young boy sees a butterfly of glowing colours, and chases it, leading his family to a mystical portal. The characters are then sucked into a shimmering prism that transports them into the glimmering ‘Miral World!’
This leads us to the second part of the film, where the family emerge mid-air, amongst weird and wonderful creatures. There are no more phones in hand, they are fascinated by the new world and finally connecting with one another. This world is brimming with saturated colours and amongst the fantastical buildings, there are visual nods to the physical attractions, theme parks and experiences. Our family, now exhilarated and renewed, landon a dragon and ride further into the dreamscape, as we overlook the magical landscape.
Rick & Mario were inspired by stop-motion when creating the first part of the commercial, which shows the family in a monochromatic and angular world. This was animated at a slightly slower rate every two frames to mimic the stiff movements of claymation characters and emphasise the freedom and joy brought by the World, a place in which their movements become loose and smooth. The colour palette distinction between the first and final parts of the film were also designed to emphasise the general mood of its environment.
The patterns of the butterfly-vortex the characters travel through were heavily influenced by Islamic geometric patterns to honour the rich history and to highlight the energy of the World, Rick & Mario also modelled altered versions of the characters to be used in the second part, giving them longer, fluid limbs and more expressive faces.
Truant commissioned multi-instrumentalist producer, composer and songwriter, Tokio Myers And award-winning film and television music composer, Guy Farley to write a bespoke track for the film. The piece elevates and heightens emotions in keeping with Miral’s vision of being creators of the immersive. The music is a multi-textured work that borrows from multiple genres – it is both simultaneously delicate and epic and brings to life the joyful escapism that is so beautifully animated.
Rick & Mario Partizan Studio directors, “It is when we are sharing moments together and living the unpredictable that we realise how colourless and isolating our regimented digitally-fuelled lives really are. What better way to depict that contrast and rearranging of realities than to shift most aspects of the animation style itself! We worked in a very collaborative way with Truant, where all new ideas were welcomed, meaning we could push these story concepts, art direction and animation choices to the highest of levels usually seen only in creatively-led short films and features, what a dream! Plus we love Tokio Myers.”
Charlie Lindsay and George Bartlett, associate creative directors @ Truant London, “It’s easy to get stuck in a routine, get lost in our phones, do the same thing over and over. And over. We Wanted to show people a world where all of that fades away. A world exploding with colour. That’s the world Miral wants to create.”
Taghrid Alsaeed, executive director group communications and destination marketing, Miral, “This is our first ever brand campaign, so it had to be special. As a group we strive to create experiences that guests never want to leave, making memories that will last a lifetime. It’s all about the emotion our guests feel when they visit one of our attractions or destinations. That’s exactly what we wanted the creative to convey, and the final film delivers this and more.”