Charlie’s Boombox: 1980s Animated Short
In 2015 we embarked on a trip back to the 1980s with an animated short film, following Charlie and his hunt for the latest Boombox. Watch the final film ‘Charlie’s Boombox’ above to follow Charlie on his journey.
Working on side projects has always been a big part of the way we work at No Magnolia, allowing us creative freedom and enabling us to explore new techniques and tools. The idea for Charlie’s Boombox came from a conversation about creating 1980s style adverts until we decided to make it more of a narrative piece, developing several stories before settling on the character of ‘Charlie’ and his Boombox fever.
Right from the start, we aimed to create something fun and unique. A hand-crafted video that featured character animation, complete with digitally painted backgrounds, all with a 1980s look to it. The hand-painted approach required a lot more time than a simpler flat vector look but gave the video a lot more character, texture and heart.
After looking at 1980s inspiration and developing character designs for Charlie, we tackled the video scene-by-scene, working from storyboard sketches as reference. The backgrounds were created in Photoshop and then all of the elements were brought together in After Effects, adding effects and animation to bring the character to life.
The story was continuously refined throughout production, constantly striving for better ways to tell the story as succinctly as possible.
The production on the animation was completed over several months around other projects, but eventually it all came together to be sent out in time for Christmas. Explore some of the reference imagery and inspiration for Charlie’s Boombox below:
Inspiration and Development
Below are a selection of the many reference images and videos that we found while on the search for the overall look and style for the short animation.