Friday, September 08, 2006

Making it to a Happy Meal

A true pinnacle in the business of designing and developing for animation is when characters you worked on in the past make it to a McDonald's Happy Meal. That's the case in this special feature I'm presenting here on the Academy's blog.

Last year in the summer of 2005, I discovered that Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon, popular video game characters I developed, were both on Happy Meal packages. I celebrated the good news by getting a Happy Meal of my own and scanning the package art for posterity. Here it is below, with Crash and Spyro sharing space with Ronald McDonald as the Happy Meal box appeared in the USA.

Later, I received an email from an artist in Europe letting me know that the Happy Meal packages over there had Crash and Spyro on them as well. Here's what the two sides of the European Happy Meal looked like.

The Animation Academy approaches the art and craft of character design in a way that makes our program unique, with an emphasis on the animated character as a franchise. The Happy Meal packages are an excellent educational example of how character based intellectual properties can be utilized as a powerful marketing device.

If you haven't as yet seen the Origin of Spyro development sketches on exhibit at the Academy's website, you're welcome to follow this link for the presentation:

For the Crash Bandicoot fans out there here's an added treat you can look forward to. You'll soon get a chance to see never before published artwork and read the story behind the origin of Crash Bandicoot on an upcoming feature coming soon to the Academy's blog.

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