Saturday, September 29, 2012

McLaren Tooned

If you're a fan of F1 then it's more than likely that you have caught any one of the six 3 minute long CGi-animated shorts that have popped up on YouTube called Tooned featuring the McLaren racers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton along with Professor M as they test out various race car and race driver developments.  As I've been checking them out myself I decided to see just how many more we could expect.

Of course now that Hamilton has officially signed with Mercedes and Perez has been signed to McLaren the day before I decided to write this what I found could all be pointless. A shake up that could spell a fast end to the series. 

What I learned about Tooned is that the series which airs before each race on SKY Sports F1 is meant to be a long term branding tool used by McLaren Marketing to grow their brand awareness and loyalty by entertaining the entire family even those who may not be interested in racing.  Tooned was created in partnership with award winning animation studio Framestore and McLaren Marketing all under the direct direction of the McLaren Group the joint venture is called McLaren Animation.  Reading about it it looks like they really did a lot of work to develop Tooned and were or are looking to make it a long running series.  You can read McLaren's press release here -- Tooned.  But with the latest driver shake ups I don't know what is going to happen.  Hopefully they'll just let the rest of the episodes play out as they are and then next year animate Perez. 

Tooned the series and some interesting things I've seen...  If you're wondering who professor M is don't worry he isn't based on any one at McLaren and is instead a mix of Q from James Bond fame, Steve Jobs and with a small hint of a couple engineers at McLaren Technology Centre.  He's voiced by Alexander Armstrong a British comedian.  While watching the series you occasionally catch some stuff in the background and one of the more noted things that I've seen is the Thief who looks to be stealing some trophies.  He's in a few of the videos but I can't make out who he's supposed to be or what exactly it is that he's stealing.  I wonder if there is a little bit of a back store that we'll find out about later on in the series.  I wonder if we'll see it released on domestic DVD or even better on Speed TV (OK stop laughing I can hope right). Until then here are fist six episodees that have been aired so far. If they do keep airing them I'll add them as I find them on YouTube.

Episode 1 -- Wheel Nuts

Episode 2 -- Slicks

Episode 3 -- Track to the Future

Episode 4 -- Beyond the Limit

Episode 5 -- Lift Story

Episode 6 -- Gone With the Wind
Apparently there are no "good" embedable versions of Episode 6 yet so here's the link Gone With the Wind

Episode 7 -- The Rising Son

Episode 8 -- Lecture Circut

Episode 9 -- Strictly Bollywood

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