We absolutely loved making these fun 1980s cartoon inspired animations for the “The Retro Squad” at Alton Towers Resort, fairground rides with a 1980s theme.

Alton Towers brief was the rides should arrive from outer space in response to a message sent in 1980. Due to the lack of opportunity to photograph the rides on location, we suggested an animated approach, and as they were 1980s themed why not theme the animation as well! When one of the rides was replaced for the new season we produced a follow up animation explaining Mixtape being recalled to Planet Retrograde and replaced with Spinjam, then when Roller Disco was being replaced the following season we created another animation to introduce the evil Twistatron!

Taking inspiration from The Transformers, Centurions, Thundercats and Masters of the Universe we designed the robot form of each ride (and Bumper 03), producing over 200 hand drawn and coloured characters and backgrounds. Referencing the 1980s animations we tried to replicate the look and feel of hand painted animation cels by using a limited number of colours, keeping linework slightly imperfect, adding slight shadows under the fg elements, glows and grain. In the Twistatron episode there’s a big old homage to the scene in “Transformers: The Movie” when Megatron is transformed into Galvatron.

“41 years ago a message asking for help to bring more funktastic thrills for the nation to enjoy was sent out into the galaxy and the cry for help was answered by The Retro Squad, 3 wickedly awesome, fairground-inspired and totally 80′ rides: Mixtape – Roller Disco and Funk’n’Fly! Together they set course for ATR but never arrived and the memory of them got lost in time…. Until now cause these totally rad rides have officially landed!”