In animation usually the most enduring characters are the ones with the simplest designs. Mickey Mouse, The Simpsons and Astro Boy can all be doodled with a minimal amount of artistic talent.

Japan’s premier cartoon Doraemon is no exception. With just a few circles and lines you can perfectly recreate everyone’s favorite robot cat. However, bringing Doraemon’s form into the realm of real life is a daunting task.

A commercial for Spain’s Nocilla (chocolate/hazelnut spread a la Nutella) has thrown its hat into the ring by releasing a cute but seemingly low-budget depiction of Doraemon.

The commercial advertises a cross-promotion for Nocilla giving away sets of Doraemon glasses. In it we see a white cat in a blue T-shirt get dragged around with a panicked expression on its face.

At moments we can see a young boy manipulating the feline like a puppet. At the end of the commercial, one sharp-eyed YouTube commenter pointed-out that just as the boy takes his first bite of chocolaty toast his face glimpses a realization of what he’d just done.

The spot was well received overall with multiple praises of “way cute.” It seems people love seeing a cat play piano so much they’re willing to overlook the several glaring dissimilarities with Doraemon.

It also spawned a remix version with some additional digital effects and filters.

For comparison, here’s a previous attempt to bring Doraemon into 3D from Japan in a series of Toyota commercials.

Here, the human characters of this relatively high-budget series were cleverly cast in a realistic future setting. However, when Doraemon makes his first appearance cast by Jean Reno of Leon fame, something feels a little off.

When shown on YouTube, the commercials also sparked controversy over the little blue cap Reno’s Doraemon is sporting. Some have compared it to a Jewish kippah, resulting in some anti-Semitic comments.

So, being cute or controversial, these attempts at a real Doraemon are attention grabbing but miss the mark in authenticity. We’ll just have to keep waiting for some interpretation that makes us sit back and say, “Yeah, that looks just like him.”

Source: Kyousoku 2ch (Japanese)
Videos: NocillaTV, 023audiovisual, Char Azn