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My Favorite Super Bowl Commercial

‘Nuff said!

  • And now that’s my favorite Super Bowl commercial.
    I was just expecting Peanuts characters, but then everyone else started showing up!

  • James Fox


    • Nothing awsome about this … Listen to the words without watching the lame commercial … This is pure communisim on the largest commercial Platform in the world … And as usual american idiots love it!

      • James Fox

        ….What you said is just plain stupidity my friend
        If you want pure communisim, go watch the GE Super Bowl Ads

      • Azz

        i’m constantly baffled by the american obsession with “communism” – nothing wrong with considering others and not just yourself

      • ADinMI

        I’m thinking he meant consumerism, not communism.

  • Mike Russo

    Would be ever better if the animation wasn’t so obviously mechanical.

    • GuyGuy

      [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, “Be considerate and respectful of others in the discussion. Defamatory, rude, or unnecessarily antagonistic comments will be deleted.”]

      • Mike Russo

        How are personal attacks getting through the post approval process here?

      • B.Richards

        It would be so great to be able to have a rebuttal that was not a junior high level
        To use a homophobic slur to state your case makes you equal to the knob you question.
        This commercial will be seen in 30 seconds, without pausing it at every frame for critique, by people who are cheering for Giants and Patriots. These characters are not in the commercial but Met Life’s Charlie Brown branding is and it will cut back to the Metlife blimp and the game and be a great commercial.
        Nuff’ said.

  • top cat james

    Holy crap, they finally made a Roger Rabbit sequel?! Oh wait…

  • Clint H.

    Yes. Just…just yes.

  • I was expecting it to be just about Charlie Brown too, until I saw He-Man, Scooby Doo, Yosemite Sam, Magoo and Voltron. This is the best commercial of 2012 I’ve seen so far.

    Did anyone notice Waldo?

  • Charlie

    That’s at least two times Yosemite Sam has appeared in a Super Bowl commercial.

  • David Breneman

    I couldn’t help but think how many man-hours of lawyering went into getting the rights to produce this commercial. Probably many more hours, and much more money, than was spent on the animation.

    • Shouldn’t have taken too long. With the exception of the Peanuts, all the other characters are either from Time Warner or Classic Media.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        That’s what I noticed too. It was certainly an easy task given the circumstances. Though as one person I know had informed me, the commercial had been up on MetLife’s site prematurely featuring a character that wasn’t owned by either company, but was removed by the time the YT video was up’ed. I don’t want to give away what it was, but I was amused someone remembered him at all (at least Mr. Magoo’s here, though I would’ve also like to see Rocky and Bullwinkle too).

      • Stéphane Dumas

        I agree about a cameo of Rocky & Bullwinkle, add also to the list of characters we wish to see Gerard McBoingBoing, Georges of the Jungle, Dudley Do-Right.

        As for the missing character who should had been there, could it be Popeye or Inspector Gadget or Pink Panther?

        Now I wish a MetLife Canadian version who could be broadcast for the CFL’s Grey Cup finals featuring Canadian cartoons like Rocket Robin Hood, The Raccoon’s, Total Drama Island, 6Teen, Atomic Betty, Delilah & Julius, Arthur, Caillou, etc… ;-)

        Could we imagine also one day, a commercial featuring European cartoons like Danger Mouse, Count Duckula, Asterix, Smurfs, Lucky Luke, Spirou and Tintin?

      • Well, maybe the He-Man (filmation) cartoon is owned by Classic Media, but the He-man character is not… i guess MetLife needed to ask Mattel’s permission to use the character.

  • uncle wayne

    why, thank YOO! Now THAT was marvelous. A Roger Rabbit ending….but with all the starts who did NOT make it into the “Roger Rabbit!” ending! Thank Gawrd for freeze frame. (And thank Gawrd 1,000 times that we don’t have to sit thru some stupidfuck 17-hour ballgame to catch THIS great moment of film!!) Thank you, aGAIN!!

  • Gray64

    Oh, a Met Life commercial. Yep, there’s the Peanuts gang…Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus…was that He-Man? What the…Pepe Le Pew? VOLTRON?

    Ha! I enjoyed this one! Good fun.

  • Tony McCarson

    now THAT’S a commercial for “born in the 1980s” animation fans!

    • JustGoodSense

      WHAT!? No, try again. Tony, this isn’t meant as a smack at you specifically, but I’ve seen a LOT of co-option in recent years of cultural totems from generations past to define “children of the ’80s” and it’s fuckin’ annoying. The majority of these characters were created to entertain children of the late ’50s and ’60s. (And yes, pedants, there are a couple that would appeal more directly to those who were born in the ’40s and ’70s. I know.)

      The point is, a commercial made for people born in the ’80s (addressing here Tony’s emphasis on “THAT”) would feature the Real Ghostbusters, Doug, Tiny Toons and Darkwing Duck. Not Atom Ant.

      • Matt

        Doug, Darkwing Duck and Tiny Toons were for 90s kids. Ask ANY of them.

        “Try again.”

      • JustGoodSense

        (Before I respond, yes, this is among the dumbest arguments I’ve ever started. On the internet. I start waaay dumber ones in real life.)

        “Doug, Darkwing Duck and Tiny Toons were for 90s kids.”

        Only technically. Tiny Toons premiered in 1990, the other two in 1991. Any child watching not in diapers was “born in the ’80s.” Which is the key phrase here.

        YOU try again. :-P

      • ’90s kid here. I grew up watching most of these old cartoons on Cartoon Network in the ’90s. They were in pretty heavy rotation before they started making original content.

    • Funkybat

      It’s not so much for kids “born in” the 80s, but those who were in the typical cartoon-watching demographic in the late 70s-early 80s. I.E., Gen X-ers and those a bit older. I immediately recognized all of those characters, and almost all of them were on the air someplace or other during my childhood years.

      I guess the main thing that makes this bunch stand out from, say, Roger Rabbit, is that RR featured characters popular with Baby Boomers and Silent Generation kids. 25 years later, we’re seeing mostly TV cartoon characters featured because that’s what kids knew the most in the 70s and 80s.

      I am glad there seemed to be a cutoff around the mid-80s, because in my mind that’s where there was something of a generational shift from the Filmation/Harvey/Hanna-Barbera-centric time to the Disney TV/WB TV Animation/Nickelodeon era of TV cartoons. Maybe in 10 years we’ll see commercials where the Rugrats, Darkwing Duck, The Animanaics and DCAU superheros all get together…

  • ken kahn

    Did anyone else notice “Where’s Waldo” in at least two places?

    • Kevin Dougherty


  • Katnip

    good to see Magoo & peabody & sherman again!!

  • Roland Denby

    I’m not impressed with the execution. The characters aren’t drawn well at all. In fact, most are off model. The size comparisons are terrible, and the colors are also incorrect. It’s an amazing idea, but there should have been someone at Warner Bros. that knew the Hanna-Barbera characters well enough to make these corrections before the final animation was executed. What’s up with the Banana Splits? Why does Snorky look like he’s on some sort of human growth steroid? I could go on, but why bother??

    • Justin

      No please, go on. We’re all captivated by your whining.

      • Roland Denby

        Justin, sweet cheeks, did you work on this spot? Because you’re obviously insulted by comments that criticize the execution of the character art. Perhaps if you spent more time in art school and less time on message boards, your drawing skills would be on par with the professionals and the characters in this spot wouldn’t look like they were poorly traced off of model sheets.

      • Dan

        You’re what’s wrong with our industry, Roland.
        Bitter, jaded, elitists so quick to tear down the work of others and offer their “expert” critique.
        A tad hypocritical of you to judge someone for commenting on message boards….when you’re the one going on your little butt-hurt tirade.
        What’s the matter, sweet cheeks? Are you grumpy that the cute cartoon characters don’t look pretty enough?

        Link us to some of your work. We’d be happy to return the favour and better your skills trough a friendly critique.

        The commercial looks fantastic. Congrats to all who worked on it!

      • Chris Sobieniak

        I’d say if they had another 30 seconds to kill, it may’ve gone someplace I would enjoy, but oh well.

      • Roland Denby

        Dan, I am offering my own personal opinion based on 25+ years in the industry. I am neither bitter, jaded, nor an elitist. I’m simply stating an opinion based on years and years of working in animation, and with some of these characters in particular. It would be great to have an intelligent discussion on the topic, but it’s quite obvious that’s impossible with the grade school mentality shown by a few posters here. Instead of a discussion, I’m accused of whining, or being a hypocritical, bitter, jaded elitist. Worse yet, is the homophobic name calling that another poster used towards someone else offering an opinion.

      • Justin

        So 25 years of experience gives you sole license to be condescending and rude?
        With those 25 years, I bet you can trace REAL good, eh old man?
        Yes. You are an elitist. Numerous times you’re attempting to place yourself above everyone. No kidding, you crusty, angry old timers aren’t a picnic either.

        The commercial looks amazing. Truly a treat to see so many iconic characters together.

      • sweet cheeks

        Roland worked on the best animated commercial of all time….Space Jam

  • Pepe Le Pew, He-Man, Voltron, Charlie Brown, Mr. Magoo, Scooby Doo…together at last.

    I don’t want to imagine the $$$ spent on getting the rights.

  • Ivan

    Roger Rabbit 2!

  • Ivan

    Richie Rich is such a pimp. He’s got Daphne in a limo and hangs with TC and Mr. Spacely.

    • Funkybat

      I thought it was funny to see Top Cat included with the ritzy bunch. TC certainly aspired to be a “one percenter,” but he was in reality a broke con artist. I liked seeing him get away with mingling with the well-off characters.

  • I’ve got only three questions:

    1) How much did it cost to secure the rights for all those characters?

    2) If ad executives are wise enough to know that hand-drawn characters still register positively and strongly with audiences – why can’t movie studios think the same?

    3) What the #&#* was Daphne doing coming out of Richie Rich’s limo?

  • Oh man, nostalgia bomb!

  • Dave

    Very entertaining! And for all the disagreements, at least we can all be happy they didn’t include Rocket Robin Hood.

  • I put together an analysis of the commercial here (including all the places Waldo is), but I can’t figure out one character. Little help?


    • Chris Sobieniak

      I’m sure he’s that Scooby-Doo villian I noticed in the last shot (the one in dark red with the mask).

      Funny that MetLife didn’t know about the Slag Brothers though. I was more bugged by how ‘mammoth’ Snorky is to Fleegle (wheren’t they both roughly the same size?).

  • Old Man Father Time

    So is MetLife like getting the rights to every cartoon now?

    • Mike Russo

      No. Most of the characters all belong to the same company anyway.

      • Justin

        Knob Gobbler.

  • Deaniac

    I love how everybody is complaining about the animation when NEARLY EVERY ANIMATED SERIES represented in this commercial originally had limited animation (except Looney Tunes of course). Go figure, right???

    Quit whining and just enjoy the dang commercial. Flash or no Flash, I thought the animation looked great nonetheless. Amazing that MetLife was able to acquire the rights to both Classic Media/Time Warner characters in this ad.

    • Roland Denby

      When the art looks WORSE than the limited animation of the originals, I think people have the right to complain. I recognize many of the poses from the commercial’s final image, and they are traced directly off of model sheet poses or licensing and merchandising style guides — and, poorly traced at that. When someone can’t even trace properly, it’s pathetic.

      • Steven T

        It’s sad to see people complain about the animation. This commercial was made entirely here in the United States in Los Angeles. You don’t know what the budgets and time constraints were on this project. With that said, I highly doubt you could ever produce anything nearly as close given the same amount of time. Also, you mentioned tracing. All of these shows have had artist working directly off model sheets (thats why they’re there) to maintain control. I take it you must be a “professional tracer” which is why thats the only thing you can comment on.

      • Dan

        Listen up people! Roland knows a thing or two about tracing!

        You know what else is pathetic, Roland? When someone goes on a message board crusade. You seem to have a lot of time on your hands. Maybe you should call up MetLife and see if they have any work for you.

      • Old Man Father Time

        Oh, this Roland again. Look, the company made the commercial how they wanted to make it and hired artists who could do it the way they wanted. End of story. You can’t always get the right talent in a world this large.

    • Funkybat

      I have seen much worse execution of classic characters done by modern artists. Compared to that Wilco Popeye video, this thing is Roger Rabbit Redux.

      I will admit there were some issues with the relative sizes between some characters, but nothing that leapt out at me. Most of the characters seemed to be on model, albeit sometimes a latter-day “model” instead of an original model sheet. The biggest thing that stood out to me when I first saw the commercial is the colors seemed washed out by the atmospheric perspective. I suppose it was necessary to plant them into the real environment, but a little more saturation would have been nice.

      This commercial was entertaining and well done for the most part as far as I’m concerned. I would never say that someone shouldn’t share their opinion, but at a certain point ultra-orthodox purist complaints can get annoying.

  • Top cat AND THE cosby kids made the cut…? WIN. Win win WIN :)

  • Mike Russo

    The amount of anger directed at people even the least bit critical of this commercial is absolutely astounding.

    • Ivan

      It’s a 30 second commercial jam-packed with so many characters I haven’t seen in anything new since my childhood. As an 80s kid, this gave me a huge nerdgasm. I cannot even fathom being critical of this.

      • Tony McCarson

        I was once an 80s kid too! (I was born in 1985.) :)

    • Dan

      Mike, no one seems to be angry except you and Roland. We get it. You don’t like it. Now take your opinion, step aside, and let us enjoy the damn commercial.

      • Mike Russo

        Enjoy the “damn commercial” all you want. It’s amazing how hostile this place can be and how selectively negative many members are with certain topis (Disney, Pixar, Family Guy…) only to turn around and tear apart negative criticism of things they DO like.

        Was this commercial a cool concept? Yes. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with lamenting how obviously computer created it all is. If that bothers some of you, think about that next time you want to whine about Disney plates or a light-hearted analysis of a cartoon pineapple.

        My bigger issue wasn’t even the commercial. It was the way personal attacks were and still are able to sneak past the approval process here. So has precedent been set? From here on in are people with different opinions doing to have to deal with being called “nob gobblers” by those who don’t agree with them?

      • Lavar

        What is this? Your 10th comment explaining and justifying your hatred for this commercial? We get it. You don’t like it. You’ve made your point very clear. Now go crack a beer, watch the Super Bowl and appreciate the fact that such obscure characters are being given such a fantastic platform to be seen.

      • Dan O.

        Mikey, you’re a grown man. I cant help but laugh. If being called something as rediculous and absurd as a “knob gobbler” on a cartoon message board offends you that deeply, then There’s no help for you, my friend. Lighten up.

        Fantastic commercial!

  • What a great ad! I love major cross-over events like this. Too bad Disney wasn’t in on this party.

  • Celia

    Uh,why would you put Casper the friendly ghost in a life insurance commercial? Hello? he’s dead!

  • Ryan M. Maxwell

    All it was missing was Popeye.

    • Mike Russo

      And Tom and Jerry, and Woody, and anything Disney…

  • Gummo

    I liked it.

    For as fast as they are seen, I thought all the characters were reasonably on-model; the appearance of so many disparate characters makes sense to the theme of the commercial; and as a baby boomer, I gotta admit I like being pandered to (so often we’re shoved aside for the young).

    • AJ

      I think it’s nice to see new content of the characters you like, every so often. Just to show the effort of the staff behind them are not completely forgotten about.

  • Despite the insane size discrepancies, I’m delighted to see the Banana Splits, since their designs are based from a drawing I did about a decade ago!

    Around 2000, I was asked to design the Splits for Cartoon Network.com’s Web Premiere Toons. I drew a lot of stuff, but at the last minute CN decided to ditch my designs and go with Chip Wass’ take on the Splits instead. Disappointing, but that’s showbiz. I really never expected to see those designs pop up again, let alone a Super Bowl ad.

    And for the record, I drew Snorky the same size as the other Splits. I dunno who thought he should really be the size of an elephant!

    • Chris Sobieniak

      At least they found some use for your work despite the size issue, it’s almost sounds like someone unfamiliar with the show thought Snorky needed to be bigger than the others. At least you have something to be thankful of (much in the way I get seeing my town’s name show up in something).

  • Scarabim

    Kinda wish the Peanuts characters had been drawn/animated by the same company that animated the recent “Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown” DVD. The artists working on that took pains to make the characters look the way Charles Schulz actually drew them. The characters in the commercial look the way Bill Melendez drew/animated them. Bleah.

    • James Fox

      Um, What’s wrong with the Melendez version? o_O

    • Rick Farmiloe

      I animated a lot of the Bill Melendez commercials the past few years. All the models and the way they were animated were 100% approved by the Schulz family. You certainly don’t have to like them, but the look and movement was pretty consistent with how they’ve always been done. I also love the guys who handled the HAPPINESS IS A WARM BLANKET special. They DID have a little more time and a bigger budget. I agree the animation was a little wonky on the Peanuts stuff on the Met Life commercial.

      • Some of us saw the Melendez cartoons before we ever heard of the original comic and liked the former more than the latter.

  • AJ

    I like that Snoopy was the character at the companys logo and the children were at the start. I like peanuts a lot.
    Warner bros really does seem to own every franchise (except Disney of course).

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Well Snoopy had been used by Metlife for the past quarter century now, so it’s only obvious he’d be there.

      • Funkybat

        One small disappointment (upon further review) is that none of the Peanuts gang show up at the end, and in that initial shot at the beginning they are alone with no other characters. It’s almost like Met Life didn’t want to or wasn’t allowed to have them on screen at the same time as all the others.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        Who knows what kind of rights tangle they’d have to weave through to do so.

  • David

    Roland Denby,

    Your critique of the animation is spot on. The characters are all poorly animated. The walks are sliding all over the place. The Peanuts characters in particular are especially bad. Frankly I’m shocked that anyone on Cartoon Brew likes this.

    I didn’t think you sounded bitter at all. Just someone who obviously knows animation.

  • Rick Farmiloe

    I animated on this ad…….sort of. I did some earlier animation of He-Man riding his cat. But they used a different version. Turned out nice, though.

    • Rick, what studio had their hand in the animation here?

  • dbenson

    Liked the throwaway of Magoo walking the wrong way at first. But Daphne from Scooby Doo riding in a limo with Richie Rich?

    The street-smart Top Cat looks impressed, Mr. Spacely looks surprised, and I’m frankly a little disturbed. Are we meant to infer Richie is a budding Donald Trump? Or that Daphne is willing to Go There with the little tycoon? No wonder Freddy is manifesting road rage in the Mystery Machine.

    • JustGoodSense

      Man, give ’em a break. Richie is, like, 60 years old, and Daphne is well over 40. At least he wasn’t in there with Josie and the Pussycats. That’d just be tacky.

  • Wow, I bet they spent more on licensing fees than they spent on production. I’m… impressed?

  • We posted this spot on our blog but for the life of me, I can’t find out what studio animated it? Off the top of your head, anyone know?

    • Six Point Harness did the animation production for Psyop (see complete credits below).

      • Here’s the complete credits for the “Everyone” spot

        Agency: CP+B
        VP, Executive Creative Director: Ari Merkin
        Creative Director: Dawn McCarthy
        Associate Creative Director: James Maravetz
        Senior Integrated Producer: Sherri Levy
        Junior Integrated Producer: Yamaris Duarte

        Director: Psyop
        Production Company: Psyop/Smuggler
        Psyop Creative Director: Laurent Ledru
        Executive Producer (Psyop): Neysa Horsburgh
        Executive Producer/Partner (Smuggler): Patrick Milling Smith
        Executive Producer/Partner (Smuggler): Brian Carmody
        Executive Producer/COO (Smuggler): Lisa Rich
        Executive Producer(Smuggler): Allison Kunzman
        Head of Production (Smuggler): Laura Thoel
        Live Action Producer: Alexandra Lisee
        Producers (Psyop): Scott Siegal, Amanda Miller
        Associate Producers (Psyop): Minh Ly, Kevin Miller
        Associate Producer, Animation: Nicholas Butera
        Director of Photography: Andrij Parekh
        On Set VFX Supervisor: Adrian Hurley
        Designers: Laurent Ledru, Paul Kim, Angela Zhu
        Storyboard Artists: Danelle Davenport, John Nelson, Josh Wiesenfeld, Phillippe Collot
        Flame: Gavin Camp
        Lead Desktop Compositor: Lane Jolly
        Compostiors: Julie Lenoble, Jason Heinze, Brian Williams
        Animation Director: Greg Franklin
        Production Supervisors- Animation: Andy Fiedler, John Andrews
        2D Animators: Marius Alecse, Chris Darnbrourgh, John Dusenberry, Dan Forgione, Brock Gallagher, Frank Macchia, Chris Martin, John Martinez, Joel Moser, Mike Nassar, Marius Alecse, Chris Darnbrourgh, John Dusenberry, Dan Forgione, Brock Gallagher, Frank Macchia, Chris Martin, John Martinez, Joel Moser, Mike Nassar, Adam Rosette, Adam Scarpitta, Ed Skudder, Kelly Turnbell, Angelo Vilar, Lynn Wang
        Lighters: Stephen DeLalla, Katie Yoon
        Roto: Brian Bloss, Marianne Magne, George Faul
        Tracker: Mark Lipsmayer
        Particles: Mat Rotman, Brian Alvarez
        3D Lead: Kyle Cassidy

        Editorial Company: Arcade Edit
        Editor: Greg Scruton
        Assistant Editors, Arcade Edit: Dean Miyahara
        Assistant Editors, Psyop: Tony Christopherson, Ryan SamSam

  • I was very impressed with this commercial! The biggest surprise for me is seeing the Harvey characters (Casper and Richie Rich)! Makes me wish a new cartoon were done (featuring other Harvey characters as well)! And seeing Mr. Peabody and Underdog in the same commercial as Snoopy is a golden moment for me (all my favorite dog characters).

    In Japan, the only thing that would really equal this, especially in tokusatsu (Japanese SPFX) is if Godzilla, Gamera, Ultraman, Kamen Rider, Super Sentai, and tons of other Japanese monsters, superheroes, and robots would get together in one epic shot. :)

  • Justin

    This is my favorite Super Bowl commercial this year too! If fact, it’s one of the best I’ve ever seen! I was surprised to see casper and Mr. Magoo.

  • Greg Chenoweth

    I enjoyed this commercial a lot, simply for the nostalgia. It was wonderful to see the H-B characters in this ad, especially my favorite, Huckleberry Hound.

  • Brendan Spillane

    Like many of you, the Met Life became a big favorite of mine, too. A friend of mine, though, criticized this ad for being too “hippy”/”touchy-feely”. I couldn’t have agreed with him less!

  • Turkey Volume Guessing Man

    Gotta love it! You know that in the months leading up to this commerical, some MetLife bigshot was on the phone frantically telling the advertising agents: “This ad is costing us $5 million and will make or break our company. So I don’t care what it costs us, dammit, GET ME GRAPE APE!”