The 'Lost Panda' story was inspired by an actual Tile customer, a young girl who lost her stuffed animal in a busy city, only to be reunited later with the help of the Tile community. Telling the story from the perspective of Ernie, a stuffed panda, and to bring to life what his owner, Lucy, might have imagined her best friend going through in trying to find his way back to her. In her imagination, Ernie gets more and more lost while looking for her, only to be helped home by the 'good neighbors' he meets a metaphor for the Tile community. Of course, in reality, Ernie stays in the exact place he was likely dropped by Lucy, only to be found by a loving father who had the foresight to put a Tile in Ernie's pocket.
The stunning film was shot on various locations across Europe, combining practical and digital to realize this piece of emotionally charged storytelling. Working with a practical stuffed panda for in camera reference, we closely studied the movements so that the CG panda inherited all the physical characteristics. Using CG, we were able to add all of the right emotional cues and movements that brought Ernie the panda to life. Sophisticated fur groom, emotive eyes, and smooth, animated movements were all key to the emotional pay off for the character and the story. All of that had to be blended and grounded into the live action plates to make it all believable.
In addition to the CG animated lead character, all of the locations were enhanced with detailed digital matte paintings to give the landscapes a spectacular feel for Ernie's epic journey home.
Founder / VFX Supervisor: Colin Renshaw
Executive Producer: Chris Fieldhouse
Producer: Jess Calvert
Head of 2D: Mathew Chance
Animation Lead: Chris Rentoul DIRECTOR: MARK MOLLOY
Chief Creative Officer, North America: Pete Favat
Executive Creative Director: Guto Araki
Creative Director/CW: Eric Manchester
Creative Director/AD: Neal Desai
Copywriter: Jeb Quaid
Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo
Executive Integrated Producer: Dan Kaplan
Integrated Producer: Mariana Perin
Music Director: Eryk Rich
Music Producer: Chase Butters
Music Coordinator: Dez Davis
Production Company: Smuggler, Inc.
Co-Founder: Patrick Milling Smith
Co-Founder: Brian Carmody
Executive Producer: Shannon Jones
Line Producer: Gustav Geldenhuys