Kohl's, Give a Little More

MPC Brings Animated Holiday Characters to Life for Kohl’s and Anomaly

The US-based retail chain Kohl’s just broke a 2016 holiday campaign, the newest work for the brand from Anomaly, which features loveable CG-animated characters created by the effects, animation and design teams at MPC New York. The campaign was directed by EMMY Award-winning director Lance Acord of Park Pictures.

In “Dinner,” a harried mom, just back from Kohl’s, struggles to get a holiday meal on the table. Two elves decide to pitch in, only to be superseded by the teenage son, who unexpectedly comes to her aid. In “Dress,” a young girl can’t find anything right to wear to a family gathering. Three fashion-conscious elves fly in and start to make her a dress until big sister saves the day by pulling a cute black and white outfit out of a Kohl’s shopping bag.

And in “Parking (Doll),” a forgetful father leaves the prized American Girl doll his daughter wants in a shopping cart as he leaves the Kohl’s store. A squirrel spies the mistake from a tree and enlists one of Santa’s reindeer to chase him down, but a quick-thinking store associate does it for them.

MPC New York VFX Supervisor Chris Bernier says a lot of care went into making sure the animated characters portrayed just the right look. “The biggest challenge for us was to come up with an execution that paid homage to some of the classic animated holiday characters while keeping them current and unique,” he explains. “We looked at plenty of references from a wide array of styles and decided to adopt a more physical, almost stop-motion approach. We wanted the characters to have weight and form and a tangible nature to balance against their more exaggerated animation style.”

MPC New York’s team, which also included Animation Supervisor Graeme Revell and 2D VFX Artist Tobey Lindbäck, worked closely with Acord on the character design. The campaign, Bernier adds, “tapped the entire gamut of what MPC has to offer. People often think of us for our photo-real effects, so I was particularly excited about being able to tap into more ‘cartoony’ characters while still keeping them living in the world of their live-action plates.”

MPC’s team developed the characters from start to finish, including sketch/design, color treatment, texture, animation style and render comp integration. The spots were graded at the start of the process by Colorist Adrian Seery to set an overall look, then again after the composites were completed to ensure that everything came out picture perfect.








Lance Acord

Production Company

Park Pictures

Agency Executive Creative Director

Eric Segal

Creative Director

Fab Berglund

Creative Director

Ida Gronblom

Art Director

Peter Jostrand


Josh Chua

Executive Producer

Jenn Pennington

Executive Producer

Jackie Kelman Bisbee

Executive Producer

Justin Pollock

Head of Production

Anne Bobroff


Tracy Broaddus




Matt Murphy

Head of Production

Melanie Gagliano




Adrian Seery

Color Executive Producer

Dani Zeitlin

Color Producer

Jenna Gabriel



VFX Executive Producer

Camila De Biaggi

VFX Producer

Aiste Akelaityte

Shoot Supervisor

Ashely Bernes

VFX Supervisor 3D

Chris Bernier

VFX Supervisor 2D

Philip Akka

Animation Supervisor

Graeme Revell

Character Development

Andrew Brooks, Michelle Tollo

Bangalore Producer

Neela Kumuda Parankusham

2D VFX Team

Phil Akka, Nick Tanner, Karen Weiss, Tobey Lindbäck, Balakrishnan R, Mithun Jacob Alex, Jegadeesan V

Animation Team

Anna Cardillo, Darren Chang, Graeme Revell, Jacob Fradkin, Jacques Khouri, Jamil Lahham, Joshua Merck, Angela Carafas, Madeline Jackson, Debasish Raha, Shiny Rajan

3D VFX Team

Ashley Bernes, Chris Bernier, Chris Ribar, Francisco Fraga, Gera Rusinoff, Jimmy San, Kai Wang, Liz Martin, Laura Sayan, Michael Siegel, Monica Manalo, Ramiro Gomez, Reginald Emvula, Sue Jang, Tiago Dias, Tuba Yalçin, William Atkin, David Avetisov, Michael Nieves, Alain Cisneros, Brianna Hamilton, Ankit Dheraj Toppo, Priya Bandodkar, Ria Banerjee, Inigo Vimal Roy