Stop Motion Movies

Stop Motion in Film

Stop motion owes a lot to the pioneers such as Willis O’Brien. But there are many others who worked very hard on Stop motion in the early years. One such unsung hero is Phil Tippett. I came across an interview with him done by the discovery channel back in the 70’s. I have transcribed the Phil Tippet interview here for your studies. Phil Tippett here talking about the time required in Stop Motion: You can’t have any distractions, any noise. You can’t be talking to anybody. You have to really concentrate on all of various joints. If you were shooting 150 frame shot which is about 6 seconds long, that could take sometimes 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 hours depending upon how complicated the scene was. Narrator: Stop Motion animator, Phil Tippett, has brought some of Hollywood’s most unusual characters to life. For the Coneheads, he created Garthok, a six legged monster that Conehead Dan Aykroyd has little chance of defeating. Stop Motion animation is the technique of photographing miniature puppets in a series of still frames. When projected at the standard film speed of 24 frames per second, a phenomenon known as persistence of vision takes over, making the puppet appear to move fluidly. For the animator, it is an intensive process. The puppet’s body and limbs are moved in very small increments and then a single frame of film is exposed to record the image. With absolute concentration to ensure that all the joints are moving in the desired direction with the desired momentum, the animator repeats the process for each frame. That […]

Animation – Despicable Me!

Refreshingly we have a studio that is bold enough to make a super villain the lead character in a film, especially an animation for children. Let me introduce you the the very excellent new animation in 3D of course  “Despicable Me”. This is a ploy that plays on the notion that children are more fascinated with the villain in a film than they are a goody two shoes superhero. “Despicable Me” is the first but will not even be the last animated film this year to place a super villain in the lead. Later this year Will Ferrell will voice headline another evil-doer story, “Megamind.” But to call these characters really is a farce when you get down to it. In “Despicable Me” Steve Carrell voices Gru who has the physicality of a James Bond villain from the Sean Connery era but seems to be as threatening as a kitten when it comes to personality. To further humanize Gru three orphan girls are placed in his care as part of an evil scheme. The interaction between Gru Margot, Edith and Agnes achieves this in terms of character and is also satisfying in terms of entertainment. That being said, however, Gru’s minions are what every kid, and even most of the parents, will be talking about after they see this film. I would say that they are what everyone will be quoting but they speak their own sped up minion language that is difficult to understand, let alone translate. But you do not have to understand the minions to get the full effect. Think three stooges, only there are hundreds of […]

iPAD in Stop Motion

So you are itching to get your hands on a new Apple iPAD just so you can take to bits..! I don’t think so. But if you are like the guys at TechRestore then they know how to do it and put it back together all in Stop Motion? A quote from TechRestore “Ever wonder what it would look like if your consumer electronics could disassemble and reassemble themselves? Well, wonder no more. Because the folks at TechRestore have posted a stop motion video showing an Apple iPad coming out of the box… and then out of its case.”

Stop Motion – Eerie and Creepy

Uncle Creepy returns in stop motion! In 1966 Warren publishing introduced a group of three horror comics (in magazine format to avoid censorship) called, Eerie, Creepy and Vampirella. The comics were in black and white with the exception of the front covers designed by renowned graphic designer such as Williamson, Crandall, Evans, Angelo Torres, Gray Morrow, Joe Orlando, John Severin and Frazetta. The series ran for nearly 18 years. In 2007 Craig Haffner founded “New Comic Company LLC”  and purchased the rights to the Creepy and Eerie magazines. Craig who is a fan of Ray Harryhausen approached the Chiodo brothers to produce a stop motion video for the launch of his new Creepy Comic first edition at Comic Con in July 2009. Chiodo brothers are best known for the puppet producers on hit movie Team America and the stop motion producers in Will Ferrell’s Elf. Below is the result of that work.. Executive producer and written by Craig Haffner and Dan Braun, Stop motion animation by Chiodo Bros. Production Inc., Stephen, Edward and Charles Chiodo. Stephen directed the short stop motion “ad” and used green screen or chroma keying for some of the backdrops. Below you can see the main set with green screen in the background. The shape and layout of the set make it easier for the animators to move around the character. John Deall created an intricate armature for the face […]

Stop Motion – What is the meaning of Life ?

Pay $9.99 and this booklet will tell you! A stop motion movie recently released by “Regent Releasing” across North America called $9.99 is an adaptation of the short stories by Etgar Keret. The story explores the meaning of life through a booklet costing just $9.99. The booklet grabs the attention of the main character Dave Peck , a 28 year old unemployed guy still living at home. The story centers around a group of individuals in an apartment block who themselves are searching for happiness who are cynical about the booklet that Dave promotes. There is a real mix of characters in this stop motion movie. A retired guy “Albert” has a guardian angel (wings and all) living with him. Albert is basically unhappy with life and looks for a way out to anywhere but here. Ron “the underachiever” has a group of 2 inch tall hard drinking students. Zack, a young boy bribed by his father in to drinking his milk for 50c / glass in order to buy the latest toy ( a soccer kicking wind up toy ). But changes his mind about saving the money to saving the piggy bank “pig” instead as time passes. The movie is directed by Tatia Rosenthal (born 1971 in Tel Aviv, Israel), employed 9 stop motion animators (Daniel Alderson, Yonatan Bereskin, Darren Burgess, Steven Cox, Anthony Elworthy, Jan-Erik Maas, Sharon Parker, Andrew Spilsted and […]

The Fantastic Mr Fox – Not so Fantastic ?

You may have heard the book by Roald Dahl “The Fantastic Mr Fox has been made in to a stop motion animated movie? The Movie is out on November 13,2009. The trailer I have watched a number of times and then decided to dig out the book and read it again. The Fantastic Mr Fox Trailer My interest in the movie is for two reasons. One that it is stop motion animation, something which I am obviously keen on as I am involved in running stopmotioncentral.com but second because I have fond memories of the book. Let me warn you that this story does not end happily! There is no “lived happily ever after” in this critique. From what I have learned about the movie from watching the trailer and reading about it, I fear that the movie has been made in to yet another “dumbed down” please everyone attempt at a blockbuster. The appeal of the original book was that it was a good story number one but also that it was charming. It was a true classic in that it did not try to be hip or cool or fashionable. The movie seems to be the opposite. It tries too hard to be up to date , hip and cool. Making references to fashionable phrases and dialogue. Why! Fashion fades..classics last! An example quote from the movie ” Badger ,,demolitions expert”.. Fox ..”What ! Since when” Another one… “I don’t have a bandit hat but I modified this tube sock” hmmm. This is about as far from the book as you can get. But heh..maybe I should move […]