Sheffield-based creative duo Tado – Mike and Katie to their friends and family – has created a stop-motion film for everyone's favourite expressionless Japanese cat character-fronted brand, Hello Kitty.

All of the characters are hand-made – fashion in wood, painted and engineered to move by Mike and Katie. Most of the film was produced by the two over three months, with a bit of help from Gavin Strange (who has a day job at Aardman).

Watch it below.

The piece promotes merchandising on the Hello Sanrio website – where you can pick up everything from clothing to homewares featuring Hello Kitty or associated characters.

As you'd except, the film is bright, colourful, simple – and without narrative. A large part of Hello Kitty's appeal is that the characters don't have stories – or even personalities – attached to them beyond looking cute and living in a world that's a simplified version of our own (but without any sense of rules or boundaries). This lack of authorial control encourages children (and adults) to imbue the characters with their own choice of personality and stories – fitting them into the person's interests, values and sense of the world. And that, arguably, makes them love the characters more.

Tado has also sent us some behind-the-scenes shots (below).


Tado's wooden characters.

On set and ready to perform.

Under construction.

Tado has previously worked with brands including Gola, designed 2013's Red Noses for Comic Relief and decorated Sheffield Children's Hospital's hydrotherapy pool.