Blog Post #9: Star Trek Stop-Motion Commercials

While I was researching stop motion animation, I came across the Star Trek commercials that appeared on G4TV. I remembered seeing a few of them and thinking they were just a bit wacky. This post will show you the four commercials that were produced in order to advertise the older Star Trek episodes to a younger crowd.

The purpose of the four commercials produced was to revamp the older Star Trek episodes starring William Shatner into the new “Star Trek 2.0.” 72andSunny, a Los Angeles ad agency, teamed up with G4 to make these commercials. The show contained interactive features like “The Spock Market,” Trek Trivia, and a real-time chat function. 72andSunny had help from NYC’s Rogue Creative company to create the stop-motion animation of Star Trek dolls hanging out in the modern world. Although the “2.0” version of the classic Star Trek shows have been cancelled, the show is still being played on G4TV.

The four commercials, “Cribs,” “Karaoke,” “Coffee Shop,” and “Pool” are somewhat crude but resonate with people who grew up from the 80s to today. One commercial features the characters hanging out poolside, while another shows the characters in their house hanging out in a style that mocks the “MTV Cribs” show. The commercials end with the clever tagline “Tune in and Prosper” which everyone probably knows is a play on the Star Trek “Live Long and Prosper” saying with the hand up with the fingers parted in two.

The “Cribs” commercial (seen below in the Director’s Cut, an extended version) is very funny. Spock is voiced by Charlie Murphy, the brother of Eddie Murphy. I think the stop-motion is mixed with clay-mation as the viewer can see the mouth move while Spock talks. Notice the modern MTV style, Spock is supposed to be like a rapper who is bragging about all the things he has.

Next I will show the “Coffee Shop,” and “Pool” clips which are also pretty funny. Spock gets angry about not being able to get WiFi which has most likely happened to all of us one time or another. In the “Pool” clip, Spock asks Kirk to put suntan lotion on him too which is awkward, a bit crude, but ends up being funny.

The “Karaoke” spotlights Spock singing “My Prerogative” by Bobby Brown. The lyrics used with Spock are fitting because Spock is usually portrayed in the show (since he is only half human and other half is Vulcan), he rarely shows emotions so this was a good song choice to portray Spock in a humorous light when he usually seems pretty mean. (May be reading too much into it but it was fitting for his character overall.)

Overall, these creative animations were done very well and were ingenious. They have a short plot and are quite humorous. I enjoyed watching them and they did make me want to watch the shows again. Although many people think the older show is completely nerdy, it is worth checking out. The story lines can be cheesy at times but hold great moral and leadership lessons. Also the show featured the first interracial kiss on American TV between Captian Kirk (William Shatner) and Uhura (Nichelle Nichols). This show may not have ran very long but it has become a great popular culture icon and I’m glad the classic shows not only the Star Trek franchise are being revamped.

I responded to Ian Crawford and Megan Pettry.

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One thought on “Blog Post #9: Star Trek Stop-Motion Commercials

  1. I had a hard time watching these shorts. I was a big fan of the old Star Trek growing up and seeing such favorites as the un-emotional Spock telling Uhura to “keep the the salsa on the chips and off the leather” felt like a jab to the way I see Star Trek. These shorts have nothing to do with Star Trek and I feel like it taints the image that Star Trek represented, which is Sci-Fi not “Real World: Space.”

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