Dell, Thomas

Inspiration and Imagination Power MPC’s Alternate Universe for Dell

Reinforcing their position as the leader in character animation, (Fox’s Vinnie, FlyBuys, Cadburys, Narnia's Reepicheep and Eustace the Dragon) MPC introduces “Thomas,” a photo-real VFX-fuelled spot for Dell that reveals the transformative power of imagination. The creative effort highlights a strong partnership between MPC, live action production company Furlined and agency Y&R NY.

MPC took special care to define the personalities of all anthropomorphic characters, giving them life-like qualities and vitality. “The key to a spot like this is to capture the whimsical qualities of the animated pieces and connect those to the real world,” commented MPC NY Managing Director, Justin Lane. “The team worked painstakingly at designing and expressing personality in all of the characters and it truly shows…you really want to learn more about each of them.”

Watch the full spot below and ‘behind the scenes’ here

Character Development

“The most important personality trait of the toad is that he is a bit grumpy and irritable,” added 2D Lead Gigi Ng. “We tried to accentuate this with his mouth line by making it more prominent, but with a subtle frown. We also emphasized how his eyes furrow and are never really open wide. He’s never curious, but always suspicious. By contrast, the rabbit character is always wide-eyed and alert.”

“Our priority was also researching anatomy to capture a perfect, believable look,” said CG Lead Bill Dorais. “For the toad we were trying to get the blinks to look correct, giving him a nictitating membrane, a thin skin that covers the eye. Our philosophy going into this was that the more details we added, the more believable the piece would be.”

MPC leveraged their proprietary software “Furtility” to create photorealistic hair, fur, feathers, and other details, providing easy integration with the live action footage. “We had a big advantage in this spot. Over the years we’ve researched and developed quite a bit of software for our feature film side and have been able to utilize and apply these technological advances to commercials. Without the use of Furtility, I don’t think we would have captured the nuances of these characters as easily,” added MPC Head of Production and Producer on Dell, Derek Macleod-Veilleux.

The resulting spot proved to be both visually imaginative and a great collaboration with the agency team at Y&R. “Thomas” also introduced Furlined Director Bjoern Ruehmann to MPC. “To work with MPC on the Dell commercial was more than great fun, it was a pleasure,” remarked Ruhmann. "Their hard work, talent and passion brought the story of Thomas and his alternate universe to life and made the weeks we worked together an exciting adventure. They have a great share in the magic of this spot.'





Production Company



Bjoern Ruehmann


Jim Elliott


Jim Radosevic


Fern Cohen


Margot Owett

Executive Producer

Craig Jelniker


Roman Vas'Yanov


David Thorne

Line Producer

Leah Fleischman


Rich Orrick @ Work Edit

Assistant Editor

Healy Snow


Erica Thompson




Adrian Seery

Colour Assistant

Dan Silverman



Head of Production

Derek Macleod-Veilleux

Production Assistant

Lindsay Myers

VFX Supervisors

Gigi Ng and Bill Dorais

VFX Team

Gigi Ng, Alex Harding, John Laughlin, Craig Sylvester, Sang Lee, Carl Fong, Mikael Petterson, Kelly Bruce, Bill Dorais, Grae Ravell, Anderson Ko, Ross Scroble, Jacob Fradkin, Andres Weber, Susie Hong, Corey Langelotti, Jimmy San, Ross Denner, Grahame Curtis, Andrew Brooks, Rob Modini, Colin Hess, Stefano Salvini, Murali Krishna, Sumesh Chammancheri, Ajai John Verghese, Anbarasu Elangovan, Kunal Sarkar, Inigo Vimal Roy, Raju Ganesh, Jacob Oommen, Pinto Sasi Kumar, Dheeraj Hebbar, Sathya Narayanan, Venkatesh, Bala Krishnan, Raj Kumar, Sundar Moorthy, Siva Kumar