See iconic duo Smith and Foulkes' epic animation for the BBC's Winter Olympics coverage

An epic, cinematic-style animated film promoting the BBC’s Winter Olympics coverage has been released, with the iconic Nexus Studio duo Smith and Foulkes (best known for their Grr ad for Honda with its catchy whistling song) named as its directors, in collaboration with creative agency Y&R London.

The bold, fast-paced and exhilarating film features a professional ice skater facing monsters, a snowboarder dodging giant eyes and a ski jumper racing against the clock. Mythical beasts such as dragons and smoke clutching at legs all feature in a spectacular black, white and red colour-based animation that’s sure to get your blood racing in anticipation.

Watch it below.

'The Fearless are Here' campaign visualises the psychological and physical obstacles that athletes face as part of the Olympics and its high stakes, rather than just focussing on physical endearment.

“From the beginning, the ambition was to focus on the feeling that fear and anxiety induce in top level athletes rather than simply represent it as a physical monster,” Nexus Studios explains.

“The creative focus became how to dramatise the negative emotions that must be conquered in order to succeed. This drove the team towards a more shapeshifting, morphing animation style.”

With the aim to bring a new abstract style to the coveted BBC Olympic title spot, the film draws on the emotional and mental turmoil of an athlete.

Smith and Foulkes researched live action filming techniques for action sports in order to create an accurate sense of movement within a 3D space. A team of artists at Nexus then created the entirely 2D animation, which was drawn and animated using VR cinematography software.

Working with a perceivable depth meant in the VR space meant the team could experiment with different camera angles in the early stages, just as you would when shooting a live action.

"It’s impossible to completely rewrite the story of the Winter Olympics; there are after all only so many sports to choose from. For starters, skiers were always going to hurtle down mountains. We just tried to bring a new visual approach to portray the intense drama of winter sports,” says one half of the duo, Alan Smith.

Smith and Foulkes, made up of Adam Foulkes and Alan Smith, have gained reputation as one of London’s top directing teams. The pair have won numerous awards for their short film ‘This Way Up’, as well as several Cannes Gold Lions, D&AD Pencils and a host of others. others. Honda ‘Grrr’ is the most awarded commercial in the world from 1999-2008 and was AdWeek’s Ad of the Decade.

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