Barbour brings back Raymond Briggs' alcoholic Father Christmas

Barbour returns to Raymond Briggs once again, with ‘Father Christmas’ taking over from ‘The Snowman and The Snowdog’ in ‘Thanks Mrs C’ animation.

Briggs first wrote ‘Father Christmas’ in 1973, which was adapted into an animated special in 1991. The book tells the tale of Father Christmas, presenting a dramatically different modern interpretation of the character. He is far from jolly, an alcoholic and lives in a normal house with the usual tasks involved with his delivery on Christmas Eve.

To revisit the book and animation, Barbour has brought back its original director Dave Unwin to reimagine the story.

The Christmas spot - ‘Thanks Mrs C’ - follows Father Christmas through the decades, as he delivers presents with the help of his Barbour wax jacket.

Marking 125 years of Barbour, the film begins in 1894, as Santa receives a gift from Mrs Claus - a waxed jacket to replace his old jacket that had become a little threadbare.

To highlight the longevity of its wax jackets, the animation visits Santa in three different decades - the 1930s, 1960s and 2019. And while the children may grow up and homes change, his one constant is the Barbour jacket that helps him overcome the difficulties of delivering presents.

The animation ends with Father Christmas in the comfort of his home after another busy present drop. As he sits with a cup of warm tea, he thanks his wife for her thoughtful gift she gave him 125 years ago that has looked after him over the years.

Barbour first began reimagining Briggs books back in 2016. ‘Gifts They’ll Always Remember’ was based on ‘The Snowman and The Snowdog’ - the sequel to the famous book - The Snowman. It focused on the premise ‘actions speak louder than words’ telling the story of adult Billy

In 2017, it continued the tie-up with ‘The Snowman and The Snowdog’ offering viewers a further glimpse into the life of Billy - the boy that flew in The Snowman in 1982. It showed Billy all grown up with a wife, daughter and a now elderly dog who was just a puppy in the original book.

The animation was created by Illuminated Films, who used computer-assisted animation, compositing and special effects software TV Paint.

Discussing the launch of its Christmas ad, Paul Wilkinson, global marketing and commercial director said “For our 125th anniversary year, we wanted to do something special for our Christmas campaign.

"Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas is a much-loved children’s book and it has inspired our film, which as well as capturing the spirit of the festive season in a humorous tale, also allows us to demonstrate the sustainability of our iconic wax jackets which, if rewaxed regularly, will last a long long time.”

Adding to this, Iain Harvey, producer at Illuminated Films, comments “The vision that Barbour shared with us for this fantastic campaign complements the brand of Raymond Briggs’ iconic Father Christmas.

"The character is part of British heritage for so many families every Christmas and to celebrate 125 years with Barbour is certainly an exciting moment in the character’s own timeless history. For us at Illuminated Films, having recently celebrated 25 years, we can’t imagine what the next century will envisage!”

Barbour: Thanks Mrs C

Added 04 November 2019
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