Zodiac Race by PandaPanther

Asics Onitsuka Tiger

NY animation studio PandaPanther, whose work I quite enjoy, completed a quirky three-minute short called Zodiac Race for the Onitsuka Tiger line of Japanese shoe company Asics. It celebrates the company’s 60th anniversary with the re-telling of the Zodiac Race Legend. A director’s cut of the film can be seen on the PandaPanther website along with a ‘making of’ video that gives a sense of how they combined miniature backgrounds with the CG characters.

Here is more about the project from PandaPanther:

We were approached by Amsterdam Worldwide, previously known as Strawberry frog to produce a short film, along with an in-store display of an actual 1 Meter Diorama Sneaker which is currently showing in Amsterdam. The actual shoe was used in parts of the film as a backdrop and environment and functions in real life as a miniature race track with moving parts. We were given tons of creative freedom with the characters and environments, and also worked together with a great creative team at Amsterdam Worldwide to expand their script into a full epic. Because the film is for an online campaign, we were not restricted by a set time length and thus the film expanded to 3 minutes in order to give each character some screentime and to hit on all the key moments in the story. A big challenge was to make sure everyone involved felt their Zodiac Sign was represented in some way. We really enjoyed this project, it felt like it perfectly suited us, and we got the opportunity to use many of our techniques, combining miniatures, CG and cel animation.