It seems that Monty the Penguin has captured hearts and minds this Christmas – and also spawned a home-grown tribute video that is just as delightful as the advert it’s based on.
Using a version of John Lennon’s song Real Love, created by the singer before his death in 1980 and finally released and recorded by his Beatles’ band mates in 1996, it tells the heart-warming Christmas story of little boy and his best friend – a puppet of penguin.
Filmed in Reading, it features many recogonisable landmarks include Broad Street’s postbox and Reading’s unique Christmas tree.
A witty touch sees children use Google Maps to plot their journey to the stable in their re-enactment of the the Wise Men.
And, in a twist on John Lewis’s advert, the stuffed animals turn out to be real at the end as the Nativity comes to life with real donkeys and sheep in a stable, before panning on a baby lying in a manger and ending with the question ‘What if it’s real?’
Charming and funny, the film has already racked up more than 900 views on YouTube since it launched on Sunday, December 14. It has been created by talented members of Carey Baptist Church, in Reading’s town centre.
In a note on Carey’s website, the makers note: “The penguin (one of John Lewis’s own) and his friend, look wistfully at children heading to the nativity, and get their chance to join them at the end. We had a great time filming with children from the church. Enjoy!”