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Aardman combines live action puppetry, digital sets and 2D elements for Coldplay video

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Aardman and Åsa Lucander: Daddy, for Coldplay

Animation studio Aardman has created the video for Coldplay’s track Daddy, an emotive and atmospheric video that sees a little girl’s fragmented memories of her father depicted as an oceanic journey. Directed by Aardman’s Åsa Lucander, the film uses a combination of animation techniques including live action puppetry, digitally painted sets and 2D animated elements to build a unique and fantastical aesthetic.

The little girl is seen rowing a boat across an ocean, brought to life through stop motion puppetry and set against a digitally painted gradient backdrop, where she encounters scenes that symbolise her memories. Buildings dangle around her, with flashing ambulance lights suggesting a traumatic event, before she loses her oars, and discovers a kite – another memory of her dad. She’s visited by a crow, depicted in a different technique, hand-painted 2D animation while other 2D creatures such as the marine life, exist in a parallel realm out of reach from the main character.

“The first time I listened to the track it spoke to me on a deep level,” Lucander says of the project. “I immediately started to imagine storylines and images formed in my mind’s eye. When this happens, you know you’re on to something very special! I’m often drawn to emotional stories and I knew very quickly that this was one I wanted to tell.”

“I wanted to capture the nature of dreams and memories” she continues, “a sense of a fragmented, surreal imagination. It is an emotional journey, and I guess you could read it in many ways. The sea becomes a metaphor for what stands between the girl and her father. A threat, a sense of danger of the unknown and what she has lost.”

Daddy isn’t a single for Coldplay, but the band’s creative director Phil Harvey says they wanted to make a film for it because “the song feels like a story within itself”. The track features on Coldplay’s album Everyday Life, out tomorrow 22 November.

Aardman recently celebrated 30 years of Wallace and Gromit with a commemorative 50p coin produced by the Royal Mint. The studio has a history of animating for music videos too, from the multi-award-winning Sledgehammer for Peter Gabriel in 1986, to MF Doom’s Super Hero, which was made through its US outpost, Aardman Nathan Love.

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Aardman and Åsa Lucander: Daddy, for Coldplay

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Aardman and Åsa Lucander: Daddy, for Coldplay

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Aardman and Åsa Lucander: Daddy, for Coldplay

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Aardman and Åsa Lucander: Daddy, for Coldplay

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Aardman and Åsa Lucander: Daddy, for Coldplay

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Aardman and Åsa Lucander: Daddy, for Coldplay