10 Greatest Toy Commercials of All Time

001 Commercials are not to be mistaken for works of art. While a TV commercial may utilise many of the same skill sets as a film- writing, direction, editing, cinematography, acting and so on- due to their explicit business agenda, we do not equate them with actual cinema. Though we may duly admire the artistry of an illustration for Coca Cola, no matter how well executed, we distinguish such works from those that hang upon the walls of a gallery. This line is blurred when advertising material is appropriated into a work of art (see: Andy Warhol) or when artists begin to achieve tremendous success, but nonetheless, this sacred/profane dichotomy between art/design is clear-cut once we ascertain the intention or motivation of the work€™s creator. So while it is not my contention that these 10 toy commercials are films, I believe they can be appreciated on a filmic level, and hope you will humour me in discussing them thus.

10. Mousetrap (1995)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dJr2SdyLGk This advertisement evokes Winsor Mccays benchmark 1914 short film Gertie the Dinosaur, in it€™s seamless integration of real and animated imagery. Or given its 1995 release, its closest point of reference may be Robert Zemeckis€™ Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, which modernized this technique. Taking the classic animation pairing of cat and mouse and inserting it into a real environment alongside a real child (or at least, a child actor), the advertisement is a living dream- a Tom and Jerry cartoon come to life. The fast-paced sequence in which the mechanics of the game are demonstrated is masterful in its visual representation of kinetic energy, and the rhythm of the advertisement€™s jingle is a clever and subtle allusion to Dem Bones.
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Musician, cartoonist and ex-video store clerk.