"He's hurt. How will he fly back to Santa?"
Following on the emotional coat tails of last year's Christmas ad, Supervalu has done it again.
Telling the story of a little girl rehabilitating a lost reindeer, this year's ad has the story arc we all need - disbelieving parents, a hardy baby reindeer and the performance of a lifetime from nine-year-old Penny Lynch as the star.
Deermuid, the reindeer who starred alongside Penny is clearly a megastar in the making. Eddie Drew, Deermuid’s deer handler, said, “Deermuid is nine years old and absolutely loves people. He was sadly abandoned by his mother as a fawn, but this meant he was bottle-fed and grew up on a farm, making him extremely sociable and comfortable with humans.”
Deermuid lives with Eddie in Co Wicklow and is "fed twice a day with water, carrots and Sean’s Brown Bread which is his absolute favourite!”
Speaking about her role in the ad, Penny said, “Filming the ad was the best week ever! Even though the weather was terrible I still had the most fun with Deermuid. Deermuid and I had two playdates before the shoot so we were good friends from the beginning.”
And of the moment she found out she had won the role, Lynch explained, “It was all very quick and I was so surprised. My drama teacher asked if she could put me forward for an audition and just a week later, I got the call to tell me I’d got it!” Penny attends Realta School of Speech and Drama.
Directed by Ben Liam Jones, whose work includes shorts for the likes of SKY, Cadbury, Arthritis UK, Land Rover and Centerparcs, the ad was inspired by Stephen Spielberg's ET.
Of the ad, Jones said "It is a dream of mine to make an Xmas movie one day and I suspect this is the closest I’ll ever get.
Ripped off all my favourite Spielberg moments off and I don’t care who knows it. Thanks to an amazing team who turned this around in such a short amount of time. And the amazing trust from everyone involved."
If this doesn't get you in the festive spirit, we don't know what will.