RBC Blue Water Project by Convert and Jon Klassen

Blue Water Project

This excellent spot for the Royal Bank of Canada’s Blue Water Project is among those rare pieces of design-oriented animation in which an equal amount of thought is given to the movement of the artwork as to its production design. There’s only one cut in the entire commercial; the scenes flow smoothly into one another in a way that drives home the commercial’s subject matter–water. The spot is directed by Convert for The Ebeling Group and designed by Jon Klassen, who has posted his illustration designs for the commercial on his blog. Klassen also co-directed a fine student film at Sheridan a few years ago called An Eye For Annai.


  • http://siskavard.blogspot.com Corey

    So what makes a company like RBC able to not let their executives make creative decisions & ruin good ideas like this one? Do these projects slip through the cracks or does RBC actually sit back and say “let the artists do their job”

    Well played, RBC!

  • http://www.rohitiyer.com/ Rohit Iyer

    Beautiful.

    I especially like the choices they made with regards to typography and the music.

    Also, the translucent nature of the layers really drives the subject matter home.

    Good stuff!

  • http://segaltoons.com Steve Segal

    A beautiful and thoughtful spot. Well done.

    It was so good I almost wasn’t distracted by the explosions, fighting and aggressive camera moves of the World of Warcraft promo that played right beside it.

  • http://utopiamoment.ca Jack Ruttan

    I liked this when it aired during the Canadian coverage of the Olympics. It looks like animated Charles Harper illos.

    http://grainedit.com/2008/02/25/charles-harper-illustrations-giant-golden-book-of-biology/

  • http://www.animationinsider.net/ Aaron H. Bynum

    Very cool and sophisticated.

  • Badjoojoo

    Gorgeous work. The design work reminds me of Charles Harper.

  • Saturnome

    Looks like the RBC got it right since sometimes.

  • http://www.rafatoro.blogspot.com Rafa

    “An Eye For Annai” remain of one of the most beautiful, and charming shorts of all time.
    So since I first saw it I became a fan of John Klassen art.
    This spot is another proof of his good taste and great talent.

  • http://willfinn.blogspot.com/ Will Finn

    Nice! Go Jon!

  • http://www.burstofbeaden.com jon klassen

    thanks for the link!
    the Convert guys should get a lot of the credit on this one – they did a really nice job putting it all together.
    and yeah, the Charlie Harper stuff definitely came into it – the last pan especially. he’s kind of cornered the market on top down shots of water ripples.

  • Luke

    It’s true about the Charley Harper reference. Especially the last shot from above, lifted straight from his work.

    http://a6.vox.com/6a00ccff8b449e673100e3989ae8fe0003-500pi

    And upon looking around for Harper images, especially everything in it.

    That said, there’s a lot of contemporary animation that is Harper influenced. Samurai Jack’s character design shows a heavy Harper influence. But I have never seen anyone really nail the Harper thing as well as this. It appears as if they decided to make it an homage to him. I can totally relate. What a great project it must have been to be able to make that stuff move. My envious congratulations to the people who got to work on it.

  • http://www.patchoforange.blogspot.com robin

    GOOO JON !!!