Stop motion is an animated-film making technique in which objects are physically manipulated in small increments between individually photographed frames so that they will appear to exhibit independent motion when the series of frames is played back as a fast sequence. Dolls with movable joints or clay figures are often used in stop motion for their ease of repositioning. Stop-motion animation using plasticine figures is called clay animation or "clay-mation". Not all stop motion, however, requires figures or models: stop-motion films can also be made using humans, household appliances, and other objects, usually for comedic effect. Stop motion using humans is sometimes referred to as pixilation or pixilate animation.
The term "stop motion," relating to the animation technique, is often spelled with a hyphen as "stop-motion." Both orthographical variants, with and without the hyphen, are correct, but the hyphenated one has a second meaning that is unrelated to animation or cinema: "a device for automatically stopping a machine or engine when something has gone wrong" (The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 1993 edition).
Stop motion should not be confused with the time-lapse technique in which still photographs of a live scene are taken at regular intervals and then combined to make a continuous film. Time lapse is a technique whereby the frequency at which film frames are captured is much lower than that used to view the sequence. When played at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster.
Stop-motion animation has a long history in film. It was often used to show objects moving as if by magic, but really by animation. The first instance of the stop-motion technique can be credited to Albert E. Smith and J. Stuart Blackton for Vitagraph's The Humpty Dumpty Circus (1897), in which a toy circus of acrobats and animals comes to life. In 1902, the film Fun in a Bakery Shop used the stop trick technique in the "lightning sculpting" sequence. French trick film maestro Georges Méliès used stop-motion animation once to produce moving title-card letters in one of his short films, and a number of his special effects are based on stop-motion photography. In 1907, The Haunted Hotel is a new stop-motion film by J. Stuart Blackton, and was a resounding success when released. Segundo de Chomón (1871–1929), from Spain, released El Hotel Eléctrico later that same year, and used similar techniques as the Blackton film. In 1908, A Sculptor's Welsh Rarebit Nightmare was released, as was The Sculptor's Nightmare, a film by Billy Bitzer. Italian animator Roméo Bossetti impressed audiences with his object animation tour-de-force, The Automatic Moving Company in 1912. The great European pioneer of stop motion was Wladyslaw Starewicz (1892–1965), who animated The Beautiful Lukanida (1910), The Battle of the Stag Beetles (1910), and The Ant and the Grasshopper (1911).
One of the earliest clay animation films was Modelling Extraordinary, which impressed audiences in 1912. December 1916 brought the first of Willie Hopkins' 54 episodes of "Miracles in Mud" to the big screen. Also in December 1916, the first woman animator, Helena Smith Dayton, began experimenting with clay stop motion. She would release her first film in 1917, an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
In the turn of the century, there was another well known animator known as Willis O' Brien (known by others as O'bie). His work on The Lost World (1925) is well known, but he is most admired for his work on King Kong (1933), a milestone of his films made possible by stop-motion animation.
O'Brien's protege and eventual successor in Hollywood was Ray Harryhausen. After learning under O'Brien on the film Mighty Joe Young (1949), Harryhausen would go on to create the effects for a string of successful and memorable films over the next three decades. These included The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973) and Clash of the Titans (1981).
In a 1940 promotional film, Autolite, an automotive parts supplier, featured stop-motion animation of its products marching past Autolite factories to the tune of Franz Schubert's Military March. An abbreviated version of this sequence was later used in television ads for Autolite, especially those on the 1950s CBS program Suspense, which Autolite sponsored.
In the 1960s and 1970s, independent clay animator Eliot Noyes Jr. refined the technique of "free-form" clay animation with his Oscar-nominated 1965 film Clay (or the Origin of Species). Noyes also used stop motion to animate sand lying on glass for his musical animated film Sandman (1975).
Stop motion was used by Rankin/Bass Productions on some of their television programs and feature films including The New Adventures of Pinocchio (1960–1961), Willy McBean and his Magic Machine (1963, 1965) and most notably seasonal/holiday favorites like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), Mad Monster Party? (1966, 1967), The Little Drummer Boy (1968), Santa Claus is Comin' to Town (1970) and Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971). Under the name of "Animagic", the stop-motion works of Rankin/Bass were supervised by Tadahito Mochinaga at his MOM Production in Tokyo, Japan.
In 1975, filmmaker and clay animation experimenter Will Vinton joined with sculptor Bob Gardiner to create an experimental film called Closed Mondays which became the world's first stop-motion film to win an Oscar. Will Vinton followed with several other successful short film experiments including The Great Cognito, Creation, and Rip Van Winkle which were each nominated for Academy Awards. In 1977, Vinton made a documentary about this process and his style of animation which he dubbed "claymation"; he titled the documentary Claymation. Soon after this documentary, the term was trademarked by Vinton to differentiate his team's work from others who had been, or were beginning to do, "clay animation". While the word has stuck and is often used to describe clay animation and stop motion, it remains a trademark owned currently by Laika Entertainment, Inc. Twenty clay-animation episodes featuring the clown Mr. Bill were a feature of Saturday Night Live, starting from a first appearance in February 1976.
At very much the same time in the UK, Peter Lord and David Sproxton formed Aardman Animations. In 1976 they created the character Morph who appeared as an animated side-kick to the TV presenter Tony Hart on his BBC TV programme Take Hart. The five-inch-high presenter was made from a traditional British modelling clay called Plasticine. In 1977 they started on a series of animated films, again using modelling clay, but this time made for a more adult audience. The soundtrack for Down and Out was recorded in a Salvation Army Hostel and Plasticine puppets were animated to dramatise the dialogue. A second film, also for the BBC followed in 1978. A TV series The Amazing Adventures of Morph was aired in 1980.
Sand-coated puppet animation was used in the Oscar-winning 1977 film The Sand Castle, produced by Dutch-Canadian animator Co Hoedeman. Hoedeman was one of dozens of animators sheltered by the National Film Board of Canada, a Canadian government film arts agency that had supported animators for decades. A pioneer of refined multiple stop-motion films under the NFB banner was Norman McLaren, who brought in many other animators to create their own creatively controlled films. Notable among these are the pinscreen animation films of Jacques Drouin, made with the original pinscreen donated by Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker.
Italian stop-motion films include Quaq Quao (1978), by Francesco Misseri, which was stop motion with origami, The Red and the Blue and the clay animation kittens Mio and Mao. Other European productions included a stop-motion-animated series of Tove Jansson's The Moomins (from 1979, often referred to as "The Fuzzy Felt Moomins"), produced by Film Polski and Jupiter Films.
One of the main British Animation teams, John Hardwick and Bob Bura, were the main animators in many early British TV shows, and are famous for their work on the Trumptonshire trilogy.
Disney experimented with several stop-motion techniques by hiring independent animator-director Mike Jittlov to make the first stop-motion animation of Mickey Mouse toys ever produced, in a short sequence called Mouse Mania, part of a TV special, Mickey's 50, which commemorated Mickey's 50th anniversary in 1978. Jittlov again produced some impressive multi-technique stop-motion animation a year later for a 1979 Disney special promoting their release of the feature film The Black Hole. Titled Major Effects, Jittlov's work stood out as the best part of the special. Jittlov released his footage the following year to 16mm film collectors as a short film titled The Wizard of Speed and Time, along with four of his other short multi-technique animated films, most of which eventually evolved into his own feature-length film of the same title. Effectively demonstrating almost all animation techniques, as well as how he produced them, the film was released to theaters in 1987 and to video in 1989.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Industrial Light & Magic often used stop-motion model animation in such films as the original Star Wars trilogy: the chess sequence in Star Wars, the Tauntauns and AT-AT walkers in The Empire Strikes Back, and the AT-ST walkers in Return of the Jedi were all filmed using stop-motion animation, with the latter two films utilising go motion: an invention from renowned visual effects veteran Phil Tippett. The many shots including the ghosts in Raiders of the Lost Ark and the first two feature films in the RoboCop series use Tippett's go motion.
In the UK, Aardman Animations continued to grow. Channel 4 funded a new series of clay animated films, Conversation Pieces, using recorded soundtracks of real people talking. A further series in 1986, called Lip Sync, premiered the work of Richard Goleszowski (Ident), Barry Purves (Next), and Nick Park (Creature Comforts), as well as further films by Sproxton and Lord. Creature Comforts won the Oscar for Best Animated Short in 1990.
In 1980, Marc Paul Chinoy directed the 1st feature-length clay animated film, based on the famous Pogo comic strip. Titled I go Pogo. It was aired a few times on American cable channels but has yet to be commercially released. Primarily clay, some characters required armatures, and walk cycles used pre-sculpted hard bases legs.
Stop motion was also used for some shots of the final sequence of Terminator movie, also for the scenes of the small alien ships in Spielberg's Batteries Not Included in 1987, animated by David W. Allen. Allen's stop-motion work can also be seen in such feature films as The Crater Lake Monster (1977), Q - The Winged Serpent (1982), The Gate (1986) and Freaked (1993). Allen's King Kong Volkswagen commercial from the 1970s is now legendary among model animation enthusiasts.
In 1985, Will Vinton and his team released an ambitious feature film in stop motion called "The Adventures Of Mark Twain" based on the life and works of the famous American author. While the film may have been a little sophisticated for young audiences at the time, it got rave reviews from critics and adults in general. Vinton's team also created the Nomes and the Nome King for Disney's "Return to Oz" feature, for which they received an Academy Award Nomination for Special Visual Effects. In the 80's and early 90's, Will Vinton became very well known for his commercial work as well with stop-motion campaigns including The California Raisins.
Of note are the films of Czech filmmaker Jan Švankmajer, which mix stop motion and live actors. These include Alice, an adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and Faust, a rendition of the legend of the German scholar. The Czech school is also illustrated by the series Pat & Mat (1979–present). Created by Lubomír Beneš and Vladimír Jiránek, and it was wildly popular in a number of countries.
Since the general animation renaissance headlined by the likes of An American Tail, The Land Before Time and Who Framed Roger Rabbit at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, there have been an increasing number of traditional stop-motion feature films, despite advancements with computer animation. The Nightmare Before Christmas, directed by Henry Selick and produced by Tim Burton, was one of the more widely released stop-motion features and become the highest grossing stop-motion animated movie of its time, grossing over $50 million domestic. Henry Selick also went on to direct James and the Giant Peach and Coraline, and Tim Burton went on to direct Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie.
In 1999, Will Vinton launched the first prime-time stop-motion television series called The PJs, co-created by actor-comedian Eddie Murphy. The Emmy-winning sitcom aired on Fox for two seasons, then moved to the WB for an additional season. Vinton launched another series, Gary & Mike, for UPN in 2001.
Another individual who found fame in clay animation is Nick Park, who created the characters Wallace and Gromit. In addition to a series of award-winning shorts and featurettes, he won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for the feature-length outing Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Chicken Run, to date, is the highest grossing stop motion animated movie ever grossing nearly $225 million worldwide.
The BBC commissioned thirteen episodes of stop frame animated Summerton Mill in 2004 as inserts into their flagship pre-school program, Tikkabilla. Created and produced by Pete Bryden and Ed Cookson, the series was then given its own slot on BBC1 and BBC2 and has been broadcast extensively around the world.
Other notable stop-motion feature films released since 1990 include The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb (1993), Fantastic Mr. Fox and $9.99, both released in 2009, and Anomalisa (2015). As of 2019, stop motion is thriving even in a filmmaking world dominated by CGI despite the efforts needed by the animators.
Cutout animation is a variant of stop-motion animation that utilises flat materials such as paper, fabrics and photographs in its production, producing a 2D animation as a result. Prominent examples of cutout animation include the early episodes of South Park, and the Charley Says series of British public information films.
Stop motion has very rarely been shot in stereoscopic 3D throughout film history. The first 3D stop-motion short was In Tune With Tomorrow (also known as Motor Rhythm), made in 1939 by John Norling. The second stereoscopic stop-motion release was The Adventures of Sam Space in 1955 by Paul Sprunck. The third and latest stop motion short in stereo 3D was The Incredible Invasion of the 20,000 Giant Robots from Outer Space in 2000 by Elmer Kaan and Alexander Lentjes. This is also the first ever 3D stereoscopic stop motion and CGI short in the history of film. The first all stop-motion 3D feature is Coraline (2009), based on Neil Gaiman's best-selling novel and directed by Henry Selick. Another recent example is the Nintendo 3DS video software which comes with the option for Stop Motion videos. This has been released December 8, 2011 as a 3DS system update. Also, the movie ParaNorman is in 3D stop motion.
Another more complicated variation on stop motion is go motion, co-developed by Phil Tippett and first used on the films The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Dragonslayer (1981), and the RoboCop films. Go motion involved programming a computer to move parts of a model slightly during each exposure of each frame of film, combined with traditional hand manipulation of the model in between frames, to produce a more realistic motion blurring effect. Tippett also used the process extensively in his 1984 short film Prehistoric Beast, a 10 minutes long sequence depicting a herbivorous dinosaur (Monoclonius), being chased by a carnivorous one (Tyrannosaurus). With new footage Prehistoric Beast became Dinosaur! in 1985, a full-length dinosaurs documentary hosted by Christopher Reeve. Those Phil Tippett's go motion tests acted as motion models for his first photo-realistic use of computers to depict dinosaurs in Jurassic Park in 1993. A low-tech, manual version of this blurring technique was originally pioneered by Wladyslaw Starewicz in the silent era, and was used in his feature film The Tale of the Fox (1931).
Reasons for using stop motion instead of the more advanced computer-generated imagery (CGI) include the low entry price and the appeal of its distinct look. It is now mostly used in children's programming, in commercials and some comic shows such as Robot Chicken. Another merit of stop motion is that it legitimately displays actual real-life textures, as CGI texturing is more artificial, therefore not quite as close to realism. This is appreciated by a number of animation directors, such as Tim Burton, Henry Selick, Wes Anderson, and Travis Knight.
Dominating children's TV stop-motion programming for three decades in America was Art Clokey's Gumby series (1955–1989) and its feature film, Gumby I (1992, 1995), using both freeform and character clay animation. Clokey started his adventures in clay with a 1953 freeform clay short film called Gumbasia (1953) which shortly thereafter propelled him into his more structured Gumby TV series. In partnership with the United Lutheran Church in America, he also produces Davey and Goliath (1960–2004).
In November 1959, the first episode of Sandmännchen was shown on East German television, a children's show that had Cold War propaganda as its primary function. New episodes, minus any propaganda, are still being produced in the now-reunified Germany, making it one of the longest running animated series in the world.
In the 1960s, the French animator Serge Danot created the well-known The Magic Roundabout (1965) which played for many years on the BBC. Another French/Polish stop-motion animated series was Colargol (Barnaby the Bear in the UK, Jeremy in Canada), by Olga Pouchine and Tadeusz Wilkosz.
A British TV series, Clangers (1969), became popular on television. The British artists Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall (Cosgrove Hall Films) produced the two stop-motion animated adaptions of Enid Blyton's Noddy book series including the original series of the same name (1975–1982) and Noddy's Toyland Adventures (1992–2001), a full-length film The Wind in the Willows (1983) and later a multi-season TV series, both based on Kenneth Grahame's classic children's book of the same title. They also produced a documentary of their production techniques, Making Frog and Toad. Since the 1970s and continuing into the 21st century, Aardman Animations, a British studio, has produced short films, television series, commercials and feature films, starring plasticine characters such as Wallace and Gromit; they also produced a notable music video for "Sledgehammer", a song by Peter Gabriel.
During 1986 to 1991, Churchill Films produced The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Runaway Ralph, and Ralph S. Mouse for ABC television. The shows featured stop-motion characters combined with live action, based on the books of Beverly Cleary. John Clark Matthews was animation director, with Justin Kohn, Joel Fletcher, and Gail Van Der Merwe providing character animation.
From 1986 to 2000, over 150 five-minute episodes of Pingu, a Swiss children's comedy were produced by Trickfilmstudio. In the 1990s Trey Parker and Matt Stone made two shorts and the pilot of South Park almost entirely out of construction paper.
In 1999, Tsuneo Gōda directed an official 30-second sketches of the character Domo. With the shorts animated by stop-motion studio dwarf is still currently produced in Japan and has then received universal critical acclaim from fans and critics. Gōda also directed the stop-motion movie series Komaneko in 2004.
In 2003, the pilot film for the series Curucuru and Friends, produced by Korean studio Ffango Entertoyment is greenlighted into a children's animated series in 2004 after an approval with the Gyeonggi Digital Contents Agency. It was aired in KBS1 on November 24, 2006 and won the 13th Korean Animation Awards in 2007 for Best Animation. Ffango Entertoyment also worked with Frontier Works in Japan to produce the 2010 film remake of Cheburashka.
Many young people begin their experiments in movie making with stop motion, thanks to the ease of modern stop-motion software and online video publishing. Many new stop-motion shorts use clay animation into a new form.
Singer-songwriter Oren Lavie's music video for the song Her Morning Elegance was posted on YouTube on January 19, 2009. The video, directed by Lavie and Yuval and Merav Nathan, uses stop motion and has achieved great success with over 25.4 million views, also earning a 2010 Grammy Award nomination for "Best Short Form Music Video".
Stop motion has occasionally been used to create the characters for computer games, as an alternative to CGI. The Virgin Interactive Entertainment Mythos game Magic and Mayhem (1998) featured creatures built by stop-motion specialist Alan Friswell, who made the miniature figures from modelling clay and latex rubber, over armatures of wire and ball-and-socket joints. The models were then animated one frame at a time, and incorporated into the CGI elements of the game through digital photography. "ClayFighter" for the Super NES and The Neverhood for the PC are other examples.
Scientists at IBM used a scanning tunneling microscope to single out and move individual atoms which were used to make characters in A Boy and His Atom. This was the tiniest scale stop-motion video made at that time.
Aardman Animations, Ltd. (also known as Aardman Studios or simply Aardman) is a British animation studio based in Bristol. Aardman is known for films made using stop-motion clay animation techniques, particularly those featuring Plasticine characters Wallace and Gromit. After some experimental computer animated short films during the late 1990s, beginning with Owzat (1997), it entered the computer animation market with Flushed Away (2006). Aardman films have made $1 billion worldwide and average $147 million per film. All of their stop motion films are among the highest-grossing stop-motion films, with their debut, Chicken Run (2000), being their top-grossing film as well as the highest-grossing stop-motion film of all time.Animation
Animation is a method in which pictures are manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent celluloid sheets to be photographed and exhibited on film. Today, most animations are made with computer-generated imagery (CGI). Computer animation can be very detailed 3D animation, while 2D computer animation can be used for stylistic reasons, low bandwidth or faster real-time renderings. Other common animation methods apply a stop motion technique to two and three-dimensional objects like paper cutouts, puppets or clay figures.
Commonly the effect of animation is achieved by a rapid succession of sequential images that minimally differ from each other. The illusion—as in motion pictures in general—is thought to rely on the phi phenomenon and beta movement, but the exact causes are still uncertain.
Analog mechanical animation media that rely on the rapid display of sequential images include the phénakisticope, zoetrope, flip book, praxinoscope and film. Television and video are popular electronic animation media that originally were analog and now operate digitally. For display on the computer, techniques like animated GIF and Flash animation were developed.
Animation is more pervasive than many people realise. Apart from short films, feature films, animated gifs and other media dedicated to the display of moving images, animation is also heavily used for video games, motion graphics and special effects. Animation is also prevalent in information technology interfaces.The physical movement of image parts through simple mechanics – in for instance the moving images in magic lantern shows – can also be considered animation. The mechanical manipulation of puppets and objects to emulate living beings has a very long history in automata. Automata were popularised by Disney as animatronics.
Animators are artists who specialize in creating animation.Animation director
An animation director is the director in charge of all aspects of the animation process during the production of an animated film or an animated segment for a live action film or television.Brickfilm
A Brickfilm is a film made using Lego bricks, or other similar plastic construction toys. They are usually created with stop motion animation, though computer-generated imagery (CGI), traditional animation, and live action films featuring plastic construction toys (or representations of them) are also usually sometimes considered brickfilms. The term 'brick film' was coined by Jason Rowoldt, founder of Brickfilms.com.Clay animation
Clay animation or claymation, sometimes plasticine animation, is one of many forms of stop motion animation. Each animated piece, either character or background, is "deformable"—made of a malleable substance, usually plasticine clay.
Traditional animation, from cel animation to stop motion, is produced by recording each frame, or still picture, on film or digital media and then playing the recorded frames back in rapid succession before the viewer. These and other moving images, from zoetrope to films to video games, create the illusion of motion by playing back at over ten to twelve frames per second. The techniques involved in creating computer-generated imagery are conversely generally removed from a frame-by-frame process.Corpse Bride
Corpse Bride (also known as Tim Burton's Corpse Bride) is a 2005 British-American stop-motion animated musical dark comedy film directed by Mike Johnson and Tim Burton with a screenplay by John August, Caroline Thompson and Pamela Pettler based on characters created by Burton and Carlos Grangel. The plot is set in a fictional Victorian era village in Europe. Johnny Depp leads the cast as the voice of Victor, while Helena Bonham Carter voices Emily, the titular bride. Corpse Bride is the third stop-motion feature film produced by Burton and the first directed by him (the previous two films, The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach, were directed by Henry Selick). This is also the first stop-motion feature from Burton that was distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It was dedicated to executive producer Joe Ranft, who died in a car accident during production.
The film was a critical and commercial success and was nominated for the 78th Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature, but lost to Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which also starred Bonham Carter. It was shot with Canon EOS-1D Mark II digital SLRs, rather than the 35mm film cameras used for Burton's previous stop-motion film The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993).Fantastic Mr. Fox (film)
Fantastic Mr. Fox is a 2009 American stop motion animated comedy film directed by Wes Anderson, based on Roald Dahl's 1970 children's novel of the same name. The film is about a fox who steals food each night from three mean and wealthy farmers. They are fed up with Mr. Fox's theft and try to kill him, so they dig their way into the foxes' home, but the animals are able to outwit the farmers and live underground.
The film was released in the autumn of 2009 and stars George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Michael Gambon, and Owen Wilson. For Anderson, it was his first animated film and first film adaptation. Development on the project began in 2004 as a collaboration between Anderson and Henry Selick (who worked with Anderson on the 2004 film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) under Revolution Studios. In 2007, Revolution folded, Selick left to direct Coraline, and work on the film moved to 20th Century Fox. Production began in London in 2007. It was released on November 13, 2009, and has a 92% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film also received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.Go motion
Go motion is a variation of stop motion animation which incorporates motion blur into each frame involving motion. It was co-developed by Industrial Light & Magic and Phil Tippett. Stop motion animation can create a disorienting, and distinctive staccato effect, because the animated object is perfectly sharp in every frame, since each frame of the animation was actually shot when the object was perfectly still. Real moving objects in similar scenes of the same movie will have motion blur, because they moved while the shutter of the camera was open. Filmmakers use a variety of techniques to simulate motion blur, such as moving the model slightly during the exposure of each film frame or using a glass plate smeared with petroleum jelly in front of the camera lens to blur the moving areas.Henry Selick
Charles Henry Selick (; born November 30, 1952) is an American stop motion director, producer, and writer who is best known for directing the stop-motion animation films The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), James and the Giant Peach (1996), and Coraline (2009). He studied at the Program in Experimental Animation at California Institute of the Arts, under the guidance of Jules Engel.James and the Giant Peach (film)
James and the Giant Peach is a 1996 British-American musical fantasy film directed by Henry Selick, based on the 1961 novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. It was produced by Tim Burton and Denise Di Novi, and starred Paul Terry as James. The film is a combination of live action and stop-motion animation. Co-stars Joanna Lumley and Miriam Margolyes played James's aunts in the live-action segments, and Simon Callow, Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon, Jane Leeves, David Thewlis, and Margolyes voiced his insect friends in the animation sequences.Laika (company)
Laika, LLC is an American stop-motion animation studio specializing in feature films, commercial content for all media, music videos, and short films. The studio is best known for its stop-motion feature films Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings and Missing Link. Nearly all films have been co-produced in partnership with Universal Pictures through its Focus Features label (Missing Link is distributed by United Artists Releasing). It is owned by Nike co-founder and chairman Phil Knight and is located in Hillsboro, Oregon, part of the Portland metropolitan area. Knight's son, Travis, acts as Laika's president and CEO.
Laika had two divisions: Laika Entertainment for feature films and Laika/house for commercial content. The studio spun off the commercial division in July 2014 to focus exclusively on feature film production. The new independent commercial division is now called HouseSpecial.List of animated short films
This is a list of animated short films. The list is organized by decade and year, and then alphabetically. The list includes theatrical, television, and direct-to-video films with less than 40 minutes runtime. For a list of films with over 40 minutes of runtime, see List of animated feature films.List of stop-motion films
This is a list of films that showcase stop-motion animation, and is divided into three sections: animated features, live-action features, and animated shorts. This list includes films that are not exclusively stop-motion.ParaNorman
ParaNorman is a 2012 American stop-motion animated dark fantasy comedy horror film, produced by Laika and distributed by Focus Features. Directed by Sam Fell and Chris Butler, from a screenplay by Butler, it stars the voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee, Tucker Albrizzi, Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, Elaine Stritch, Bernard Hill, Jodelle Ferland, Tempestt Bledsoe, Alex Borstein and John Goodman. It is the first stop-motion film to use a 3D color printer to create character faces, and only the second to be shot in 3D. In the film, Norman, a young boy who can communicate with ghosts, is given the task of ending a 300 year-old witch's curse on his Massachusetts town, despite being grounded by his father.
ParaNorman was released on August 17, 2012. It received mainly positive reviews and was a modest box office success, earning $107 million worldwide against its budget of $60 million. The film was nominated for that year's Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film.Robot Chicken
Robot Chicken is an American stop motion sketch comedy television series, created and executive produced for Adult Swim by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich along with co-head writers Douglas Goldstein and Tom Root. The writers, especially Green, also provide many of the voices. Senreich, Goldstein, and Root were formerly writers for the popular action figure hobbyist magazine ToyFare. Robot Chicken has won an Annie Award and six Emmy Awards.Screen Novelties
Screen Novelties is a collective of film directors, specializing in stop motion animation. It was formed in 2003 by Mark Caballero, Seamus Walsh, and Chris Finnegan.Their work fuses classic cartoon sensibilities with mixed-media elements such as puppetry and miniature model photography. They were among the first stop motion artists to adopt an entirely digital capture system and workflow, beginning in 1999 with the pilot films that would eventually become Robot Chicken. Screen Novelties was integral in the launch of both Robot Chicken and Moral Orel for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block.Notable past work includes:
Creating a stop motion animation version of the Flintstones for a dream sequence in The Flintstones: On the Rocks.
Working with Ray Harryhausen, helping him complete his film The Tortoise & the Hare.
Contributing whimsical puppet and special effects sequences for Cartoon Network shows Chowder and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.
Performing the restoration of the original Rudolph & Santa Puppets from the 1964 classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Their offbeat short films enjoy a small cult following, especially "Mysterious Mose" which was made in their garage in 1997-98, using a hand-wound bolex camera and an old 78rpm record as the soundtrack. The film mixes rod puppetry, stop motion animation, and silhouette animation.The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Nightmare Before Christmas (also known as Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas) is a 1993 American stop-motion animated musical dark fantasy Halloween-Christmas film directed by Henry Selick, and produced and conceived by Tim Burton. It tells the story of Jack Skellington, the King of "Halloween Town" who stumbles through a portal to "Christmas Town" and decides to celebrate the holiday. Danny Elfman wrote the songs and score, and provided the singing voice of Jack. The principal voice cast also includes Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey, Ken Page, Paul Reubens, Glenn Shadix, and Ed Ivory.
The Nightmare Before Christmas originated in a poem written by Burton in 1982 while he was working as an animator at Walt Disney Feature Animation. With the success of Vincent in the same year, Burton began to consider developing The Nightmare Before Christmas as either a short film or 30-minute television special to no avail. Over the years, Burton's thoughts regularly returned to the project, and in 1990, he made a development deal with Walt Disney Studios. Production started in July 1991 in San Francisco; Disney released the film through Touchstone Pictures because the studio believed the film would be "too dark and scary for kids".The film was met with both critical and financial success, grossing over $76 million during its initial run. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, a first for an animated film. The film has since been reissued by Walt Disney Pictures, and was re-released annually in Disney Digital 3-D from 2006 until 2009, making it the first stop-motion animated feature to be entirely converted to 3D.Wallace and Gromit
Wallace and Gromit is a British stop motion clay animation comedy series created by Nick Park of Aardman Animations. The series consists of four short films and one feature-length film, but has spawned numerous spin-offs and TV adaptations. The series centres on Wallace, a good-natured, eccentric, cheese-loving inventor, along with his companion Gromit, a silent yet loyal and intelligent anthropomorphic dog. The first short film, A Grand Day Out, was finished and made public in the year 1989. Wallace was originally voiced by veteran actor Peter Sallis, and later by Ben Whitehead. Gromit always remains silent, instead communicating only through means of facial expressions and body language.
Because of their widespread popularity, the characters have been described as positive international cultural icons of both modern British culture and British people in general. BBC News called them "some of the best-known and best-loved stars to come out of the UK". Icons has said they have done "more to improve the image of the English world-wide than any officially appointed ambassadors". Their films have received critical acclaim, with the first three of the short films, A Grand Day Out (1989), The Wrong Trousers (1993) and A Close Shave (1995), having 100% positive ratings on the aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes; the feature film Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) earned a 95% rating. The feature film is the second highest-grossing stop motion animated film ever, only outgrossed by Chicken Run, another Nick Park creation.The Wallace and Gromit characters spearhead the fundraising for two children's charities: Wallace & Gromit's Children's Foundation, which supports children's hospices and hospitals in the United Kingdom, and Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal, the charity for Bristol Children's Hospital in Bristol, England.Wes Anderson
Wesley Wales Anderson (born May 1, 1969) is an American filmmaker. His films are known for their distinctive visual and narrative styles. Anderson is regarded by many as a modern-day example of the auteur. He has received consistent praise from critics for his work, and three of his films—The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Grand Budapest Hotel—appeared in BBC's 2016 poll of the greatest films since 2000.Anderson was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for The Royal Tenenbaums in 2001, Moonrise Kingdom in 2012 and The Grand Budapest Hotel in 2014, as well as the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for Fantastic Mr. Fox in 2009. He received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Director and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for The Grand Budapest Hotel in 2014. He also received the BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2015. He currently runs production company American Empirical Pictures, which he founded in 1998. Anderson won the Silver Bear for Best Director for the stop-motion animated film Isle of Dogs in 2018.
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