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Bad Ideas

Things That Didn’t Need to be CG: Charlie the Tuna

Starkist has created a Charlie the Tuna TV ad for the first time in 12 years. The character has been “updated,” which today means only one thing: computer animation.

Besides the fact that it makes zero sense conceptually to have Charlie float in the middle of a room with air bubbles spouting up, the spot’s clumsy character animation and unattractive rendering leaves much to be desired. The biggest surprise may be that CG veteran Steve “Spaz” Williams (Jurassic Park, The Mask, Terminator 2: Judgment Day) directed the project. Buffalo, NY-based IBC Digital and Cornerstone Pictures handled the animation production.

Starkist could have done something really fresh and original had they hired traditional animators to revive the strikingly stylish look of the original character developed by Chuck Jones in the early-1960s: