It’s that time of year when 2018’s heart-tugging Christmas adverts are making the headlines, but let’s rewind to 2006 for a moment. Remember the IRN-BRU Snowman spot? A play on Raymond Brigg’s original story The Snowman, this humorous animation featured a little boy, his beloved can of the Scottish fizzy drink, and his frosty friend, soaring through the air over a series of Scottish landmarks.
Twelve years on, award-winning animator and illustrator Robin Shaw, who directed the iconic Christmas campaign, has worked with a team of animators at Lupus Films’ London on a sequel, which will air for the first time on Saturday night.
To celebrate, Robin will be taking part in a special talk to mark the beginning of V&A Dundee’s Winter Nights, a festive season of late-night openings, music performances, festive design workshops and short film screenings, at the museum throughout December.
Robin, who was also part of the directing team on the Channel 4 TV special The Snowman and The Snowdog, will join V&A Dundee Curator Kirsty Hassard for Creating a Christmas classic: In conversation with Robin Shaw on 7 December, to discuss his most recent work and reflect on his 15-year-long career as an illustrator and animator.
“I’ve been lucky to have enjoyed a career in animation and illustration that’s so far been fantastically varied, challenging and, for the most part, a great deal of fun. It was such a thrill to direct the first IRN-BRU advert in 2006 in homage to The Snowman film. I’ve been amazed by the affection for it and the fact that it’s been shown every Christmas ever since!” says Robin.
“Re-sparking the story for the sequel advert, re-assembling many of the crew members who worked on the first ad and animating on paper and pencil again have all been part of a wonderful process. It’s an honour to be asked to share this experience and to speak about other interesting projects at such a creatively inspiring place as V&A Dundee.”
V&A Dundee’s Winter Nights season takes place throughout December, featuring a winter wonderland stage set design workshop; a design grotto where visitors will get the opportunity to jazz up their jumpers with badges and embellishments, and the chance to create a giant kaleidoscope window display.
It’s also a great opportunity to explore the galleries after-hours, and check out the short winter films from DCA's Discovery Film Festival that will be shown alongside a range of interactive design displays in the main hall.
Winter Nights activities at V&A Dundee are free to attend and available to book at vam.ac.uk/dundee.