Director Tobias Fouracre Brings Stop-Motion Whimsy To VanMoof's "Hard Times For Super Thieves" Spot


Robert Goldrich
Friday, Jan. 28, 2022


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Dutch e-bike brand VanMoof has collaborated with Isle of Dogs, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Corpse Bride animator Tobias Fouracre to create this spot in the “Hard Times For Super Thieves” campaign. The film takes the form of a series of mockumentary-style studio inerviews with some skilled e-bike burglars who speak candidly about their futile attempts to steal a VanMoof.

Our criminals are three finely detailed stop-motion puppets who are foiled when trying to steal a 3D-printed VanMoof S3 replica. The characters are a master lockpicker who’s repeatedly confused by the bike’s nifty keyless locking system, an international art thief who can’t outsmart the bike’s anti-theft tracking system. and a cyber security expert who struggles to crack its lock code. But despite their criminal tendencies, the “Super Thieves” are a highly likeable bunch, bringing a lighthearted touch to addressing the serious subject of bike theft and security.

Fouracre--who directed the spot via London-based production company Rowdy--is a veteran of the animation industry with an eye for detail. As a lead character animator, Fouracre has worked on Corpse Bride, Fantastic Mr Fox, Frankenweenie and was animation supervisor on Isle of Dogs. All four films received Oscar nominations for the best-animated feature. Tobias also directs children’s TV with series that include Club Penguin for Disney and Koala Brothers for the BBC. Advertising credits include work for everyone from Specsavers to Marmite.


Client VanMoof Colin Cornwell, creative director; Andrew Smith, chief marketing officer; Kim Buttery, producer. Production Company Rowdy, London Tobias Fouracre, director/animator; Daisy Garside, producer; Malcolm Hadley, DP; Mark Waring, Andy Biddle, animators; Rosie Tonkin, uppet maintenance/stand by art dept; Beth Jupe, Andy Bell, puppet design & fabrication; Amanda Thomas, Anthony Fallows, Beck Smith, Graeme Hall, Paul Davies, Mark Thompson, puppet fabrication; Hayley McKinney, props; Solomon Yossel Simpson-Little, set design & construction; Thomas Harnett O'Meara, animatics edit; Gustaf Lindstrom, rig removal & compositing. (Toolbox: After Effects, Premiere, Dragonframe, DaVinci Resolve) Digital Intermediate Escape Hatch Studio Nick Watson, colorist. Sound Design/Audio Post String & Tins, London Jim Stewart, sound designer/mixer. Music "Village Idiot" by Cavendish

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