It goes without saying that Becky and Joe, the directors who brought us Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, do unnerving humour very well. It was for this reason Wieden+Kennedy came to them for its first round of ads for Trolli, a series of surreal films wherein the wormy sweets go around transforming dark scenes into psychedelic wonderlands. Now back for more creepy craziness, the new idents see human characters unwittingly interact with their monsters. In one, a young panicked boy tries to shush a blissfully ignorant choir of Trolli worms threatening to give away his hiding place to a tentacled fiend. In another, a worm goes on a kamikaze mission to save a town of villagers, turning the giants stomps into happy skips.
Becky Sloan says that the aesthetic they were aiming for could only have been achieved through stop motion. “We knew that we wanted to explore the awkward and other worldly movement that stop motion allows you to create, as it helps add a creepiness to the films that you couldn’t achieve with puppetry,” she explains. The duo are big fans of Jan Švankmajer and Bruce Bickford, who provided much inspiration for the project as well as 50s and 60s B movie horror and Ray Harryhausen’s Creatures, specifically when designing the monsters. “We wanted to capture the essence of those films but with a more cartoony claymation aesthetic.”
Having honed their craft from previous experiences, this time, the duo went in with a clear idea of visual tone and pacing, Joe Pelling says, and had fun expanding the world they’d created full of characters and a medieval village. “Our approach was to be a little less precious this time round, and maybe a little more lo-fi in some areas, like using claymation instead of silicon sculpts. The entire team seemed to agree that character and comedy should come first so we really tried to focus on performance over super detailed models.”