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Comedic VanMoof claymation ad shows genius of Tim Burton and Wes Anderson animator

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By Amy Houston | Reporter

January 31, 2022 | 3 min read

VanMoof, a Dutch-based ebike brand, has teamed up with animation gurus Rowdy for this witty spot showcasing the safety features of its bicycles.

In what could have been quite a dry topic, ‘Hard Times For Super Thieves’ is a mockumentary-style film filled with one-liners that cleverly focuses on the elaborate careers of three individuals who pride themselves on being top swindlers.

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Directed by Tobias Fouracre, who has worked on award-winning films including Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and Wes Anderson’s Fantasic Mr Fox, the video sees the three characters recount many of their past trickster triumphs. The ‘Master Lockpicker,’ ‘Cyber Security Specialist’ and ‘International Art Thief’ each put their ‘skillsets’ to use, but to no avail – they cannot swipe the bike.

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‘Hard Time For Super Thieves’ by Rowdy

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In a blog post, Fouracre said of the characters: “They’re all very different from one another, so that was good. I had some ideas about the Master Lockpicker straight away: I knew he should look like a cross between Terry-Thomas and Salvador Dali.”

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He noted that the perception of animators can sometimes be a bit stereotypical.

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“When many people think of stop motion, they might think it’s one lonely person in a dark room who builds little puppets and little sets and animates them like some sort of alchemist. But it’s not like that at all – there’s a whole team, just like live-action.

“You have a cameraman, an assistant cameraman, and even a puppet-making team that’s split up into loads of different departments. You have people doing fabric, sculptors and people building the armatures – that’s the skeleton inside of the puppet.”

VanMoof: Hard Times For Super Thieves by Rowdy

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