Nissin Noodles with Prehistoric Animals
I really appreciate that my blog is so popular in many third world countries. So I decided to do an article on a series of ads that aired in the UK as well as Japan. These commercials are of course made to advertise the widely known noodle product Nissin’s Cup-O-Noodle. To liven the product up it’s theme is prehistoric animals and hungry cavemen. There are tons of depictions of cavemen in commercials. Including many using the Flintstones as a sponsor but I’ll do Flintstone commercials another time. For today I like to talk about these commercials, cause there’s something about them that makes them stand out more than the other cavemen related commercials I’ve seen so far. So let’s dig in to the topic on why these foreign commercials should be viewed to a wider audience.
The plot for these commercials are mostly the same, a mob of cavemen try to take out an animal in order to have meat for a buffet but the plan would backfire some how. The cavemen are always seen a tiny ant like beings that talk in gibberish. They attack these animals like they were Pikmin, where the object of that game is the more Pikmin you have the better chances you have in beating the giant beasts. The giant animals are stop motion puppets which makes them look like they belong in a Ray Harryhausen film. At first I thought these commercials were done by him, except with further research it turns out to be false. Tough he did do some commercials during the days when he was a special effects marker, but I’ll do those for a future article on and undefined day and year. The last batch of commercials of this series is different in appearance but follows the same concept. While it does still have hungry cavemen, the cavemen are portrayed by costumed actors instead. Instead of a hundred tiny cavemen there are only three in full size. While instead of hunting giant animals, they are going for safer approaches like fishing, fruit picking, and finding carcasses of meat. The only wild animal in these ads is the saber tooth tiger, who would often be seen chasing these cavemen around. While these ads looks like they belong in a separate article from the giant animal articles, I made up my mind to include them cause they are made by the same team of people.
These ads were made back in the early 90’s. While they only aired in the UK & Japan, the production took place at the Chiodo Brothers Studio in L.A. Like the Will Vinton Studios(Now LAIKA Studios) which did the California Raisin commercials. The Chiodo Bros. Studio is also a stop motion company which has been providing stop motion animation to various commercials, TV shows, and movies since 1982. They were the company that allowed Tim Burton to do his first short film Vincent as well as the stop motion effects of his first feature film “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”. The company also did the stop motion segments of certain episodes of the Simpsons such as the episode where Flanders and his sons watch an episode of Davey & Goliath where Davey was fed up with Goliath and the episode where Homer is watch a Christmas special with Johnny Carson reading a story to the misfit toys. Not to mention the company also did the stop motion effects for Killer Klowns From Space, the Stupids and Will Ferrel’s Elf. Yeah that’s right, they did the Stop Motion effects of that Tom Arnold movie that was so bad that it was good. The stop motion animals was animated by Kim Blanchette, and the ads were directed by Japanese directors. The cavemen were portrayed by live action actors with the speed and motion altered to make them look like they’re stop motion. While the number of cavemen used for the ads was just a handful of actors which with the magic of film, they film one set of actors performing their actions then film the same set of actors several more times and then splice the footage together to make it look like there is hundreds of them.
My closing thoughts on these ads, they are really good for top ramen commercials. This is also proof that America isn’t the only country that does interesting commercials. You should see the other ads that are made from Japan. I’ll totally do a Japanese commercial some point in time, cause I am a big fan of that country. Also this commercial was made some point before Jurassic Park was made which first introduced the world the breakthrough of using CGI as oppose to stop motion. I like CGI as much as stop motion, but this ad also reminds us of how dated stop motion animation is cause it’s time-consuming and requires a big team of people to put together. It may seem like a dead technique, however in recent years there has been a hand full of feature films that were done in stop motion proving to us that there are people out there who care for the genre. It also stands out more than the common CG films that have become more common since 2005. So in short when something becomes too commonly done by a lot of people, it leads to the decision of going back to something that hasn’t been done in a while. Which is one of the best things about ideas is recycling them into something we haven’t seen yet in the world. Anyways enjoy the commercials and be sure to check out my OnStar commercials with Batman.
Official Chdo Bros. Website – http://www.chiodobros.com/
Posted on August 23, 2012, in Advertise of the Week and tagged 1990s, cavemen, foreign advertisements, instant noodles, nissin, prehistoric animals, stone age, stop motion. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.