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Showing posts from 2014

LAIKA Announces Next Feature...and It's a Mystical Samurai Movie!!!!

Laika, the studio behind The BoxTrolls, ParaNorman, and Coraline has announced it's first film of three in it's new distribution deal with Focus Features (fourth in their partnership) entitled Kubo and the Two Strings.

Kubo, is an epic fantasy written by Chris Butler (ParaNorman) and Marc Haimes.  It will be directed by Laika President and CEO Travis Knight.  Knight is, without a doubt, one of the best Stop Motion animators relevant today.  It would be unfair for me to deem him the best Stop Motion animator ever only because there are many other great animators, too.  For instance, one of my favorite memories of his animation is the zombie graveyard scene in ParaNorman (if you want to go watch him talk about that scene go here).  There have been certain scenes, like that one, that have taken over a year to animate overall!!  As of the directorial choice, only time will tell.  Knight will also be producing the film with Arianne Sutner (ParaNorman).  Knight said this when announc…

Short Flicks: Christmas Shorts 2014!

As of posting this, it is, in fact, Christmas.  After all your wrapping I think you deserve a little treat, some Stop Motion cookies for Santa.  Below I've posted three of what I think are some of the best interesting little tidbits, Stop Motion gold in animator tongue, consider it your holiday present (or a present on whatever day of the year you're watching this!) from SMG!!

The first thing on our list is, actually, a music video that's not Stop Motion, but uses a very similar technique of puppets, sets, and polyester!! Fantastically done and a great song as well, reminding us what Christmas is all about!

For King & Country - Baby Boy:

The Carol of the Penguin from Kevin Ulrich:

Yeti Christmas from Azod Abedikichi on Vimeo:

Merry Christmas!!!

Screen Novelties/NBC's Stop Motion "Elf"

Elf, the wildly popular 2003 Christmas movie has been turned into, by our friends over at Screen Novelties a Stop Motion Christmas musical made for TV.  If Stop Motion Christmas musicals are your thing, then this is for you.  If not, then you can still enjoy the BTS!

Below's the embedded video but you can also go to the NBC page dedicated to the project where you can also find a ton of other BTS goodies.  And remember, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is for singing loud for all to hear.

Until next time, have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year! (look out, there'll be some more posts coming up soon!!)

Set Tour: Central Park...

10 Short Films Stand in the Oscars® Animated Short Flick Cut

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (science!, sorry, just felt like saying that), announced that 10 animated shorts will continue to go into the voting process for the 87th Academy Awards, out of 58 qualifying films.  And, hurrah, there's one Stop Motion flick!  The Bigger Picture is a fantastically awesome flick and visually stunning (though at the time of writing this I've only watch the trailer and the making of).  I do hope it gets some blog attention, that would be great.  What makes it so intriguing for me is that the entire thing is all done with actual scale props, meaning a insane amount of work, but a one-of-a-kind look.  In case you missed it you should go watch it here.  My other favorite is Symphony no. 42, which isn't Stopmo but 2d and also looks quite exquisite.

The Bigger Picture, Daisy Jacobs, director, and Christopher Hees, producer (National Film and Television School)Coda, Alan Holly, director (And Maps And Plans)The Dam Keeper, Robert Kondo…

Shaun the Sheep Gets First Half-Hour Special

Shaun the Sheep, the beloved Aardman character is getting his first half-hour special that's due to premiere in the UK on BBC One Christmas 2015.  The title of the episode of it is Shaun the Sheep - The Farmers Llamas.  This makes me, a long time Aardman fan really happy in my sole.  It's also a great release time for Shaun because the special goes straight into production following the completion of Shaun the Sheep The Movie (which comes out in February in the UK).

Aardman's original press release went into the plot's detail and also announced that it's going to kick off a further 30*7 season of Shaun that will be released over the 2016 year.
"The new adventure will see the Farmer getting himself into trouble again – when he goes to market to buy pigs, mischievous Shaun goes along for the ride and gets the Farmer to return home with a trio of exotic llamas instead! Shaun is delighted with his prank and convinces the Flock that the Llamas are just what they n…

Mackinnon & Saunders Case Study: The Invisible World Famous Puppet Makers

This is a really neat video that I found on YouTube this morning.  It's an interview with Mackinnon & Saunders.  They're the company who has pretty much been the go-to for Tim Burton's films for [Stop Motion] puppets, Corpse Bride, Frankenweenie, Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox, and a plethora of other famous puppets have been made there for Stop Motion features, television, and commercials.  So check it out below!


Laika and Focus Features Seal Deal for 3 More Features!

Fantastic news in the Stop Motion World y'all!

Laika and Focus Features, the team behind the Stopmo flicks The BoxTrolls, ParaNorman, and Coraline, have announced a new three film partnership.  Focus, as before, will distribute the animation house's next the flicks with Universal Pictures International handling the overseas releases.

The BoxTrolls marks Laika's best opening ever at $17.3 million.  BoxTrolls is also one of the top contenders for the 2015 Oscar animated feature category (fingers crossed!).

Go read the full announcement here.

This is Very Possibly the Coolest Thing You'll See Today

Ever wonder what Stop Motion looks like between frames? - One of the lead animators on Laika's The BoxTrolls (now in theaters), Brad Schiff (ParaNorman, Coraline, Corpse Bride, and Fantastic Mr. Fox) explains the process in depth in this video...

This is a wonderful explanation of many terms you'll often hear in a Stop Motion production house: shooting on 2s and 3s, exposure sheets, modular sets, and lives (reference videos).  I will say that the people at Laika are truly special.  Very creative, wonderful, and all around great people.  They're a very good role model for a creative team of persons working on an animated film.

I absolutely love that the interviewer cannot wrap his brain around that there's only one animator on a single set, regardless of how many puppets are on set and the insane amount of work ahead of you.  Wait -You do this alone?  Brad once says something that I feel

"It's just the animator.  And his crazy …

"BoxTrolls" Opens Strong and Is Widely Accepted by Critics and Audiences Alike

Drumroll please -The BoxTrolls are here y'all!!

Laika's two previous films, Coraline [2009] debuted with $16.85 mil as well as ParaNorman debuted with $14 mil in 2012, and now their third feature, The BoxTrolls makes their second strongest debut at $16.5.  Aardman/Dreamwork's Chicken Run still stands the only Stop Motion feature to break $100 mil in 2000.

BoxTrolls been widely accepted by the critics as well as the audience, Rotten Tomatoes rates it "fresh" at 71% and the audience raises it at 75%.  Mary Houlihan at The Chicago Sun-Times writes:

"It's a world that runs in a parallel universe akin to that of Charles Dickens, with creatively named characters involved in seemingly outlandish adventures in a Victorian-era city where a moral or two plays out in the end."

Let's Talk About "The BoxTrolls"

Laika's greatly anticipated third feature in association with Focus Features, The BoxTrolls, rolls into U.S. and Canadian theaters tomorrow (or tonight if you're a die hard fan), so I think there's no better time to talk about it than now.

With every great movie, there's a one or two sentence emotional journey that your main character goes through and/or struggles with during the film that's surrounded by a fantastical world, real or imagined.   No doubt that the fantastical Victorian/Dickinson world that we've seen in so many of The BoxTrollstrailers and Instagram photos is utterly gorgeous.  Little has to be said about how grand of a scale and the shocking amount of detail that's put into The BoxTrolls, this goes for the sets and puppets that even goes beyond the stunning feat Laika pulled off with ParaNorman.  We have Eggs as the main character in The BoxTrolls, an adventurous, curious, and slightly crude in his mannerisms little boy.  Though I am as of …

Laika Give Us a 15-Second Puppet 'Making-of' The BoxTroll Fish

Laika, the Portland-based company has released this little tidbit of Stop Motion genius (some call it madness).  And in case you're wondering, this specific BoxTroll is Fish.  In case you are unaware, Laika/Focus Features' The BoxTrolls hit theaters in 3 days, guys!

"LAIKA artists pride themselves on using only the freshest and finest ingredients when crafting the creative characters and concoctions in their films. See their full, homemade recipe for bringing a fresh Boxtroll to life in the new featurette, “How To Prepare Fish” on #TheBoxtrolls YouTube channel. #WHPthemakingof"

RED Interactive and Laika Release 'BoxTrolls' Interactive Game

With the The BoxTrolls' release just around the corner (Sep. 26), Laika, in association with RED Interactive have released their movie tie-in game, The BoxTrolls: Slide 'n' Sneak.  The premise of the game is as you [the player] make your way through Cheesebride, you're on a rescue mission to rescue the captures BoxTrolls from the evil Red Hats' factory lair.

So if your looking for BoxTrolls awesomeness to prep yourself for the movie, this is it.  The game is free to download for iOS and soon will be launched on Android markets.

How Laika is Revolutionizing Stop Motion Animation

Portland Monthly Magazine just did a extensive 'making of' article on Laika's The BoxTrolls for their Fall Arts Preview.  Sculptures, armatures, art, 3D printed faces, and sets, yes, this article has it all.  I highly recommend this.  I will say that this is a microcosm of a BoxTrolls making of book.  So go do yourself a favor and go study this article!

Laika’s first two films, Coraline (2009) and ParaNorman (2012), each grossed more than $100 million and received an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature. The Boxtrolls, Laika’s third feature, hits screens nationwide September 26, with voices from the likes of Sir Ben Kingsley and Tracy Morgan. The film conjures the studio’s most imaginative realm yet: the decadent, Victorian village of Cheesebridge, where humans live aboveground and garbage-scavenging boxtrolls live below. The $50 million project is the result of 350 people shooting 125,280 individual poses over the course of 18 months. 

Link: http://www.portlandmonth…

Chiodo Bros. Teach In-depth Online Course on Stop Motion

The Chiodo Bros., a Stop Motion company that's worked on projects such as Elf, Robocop, The Simpsons, and a whole lot more are going to be teaching a four-week long web course on the Stan Winston School of Character Arts website.  Sadly, I just found out about this today and they are already half way through the course.  But you can still go here to sign up.

The course promises to take you: "From initial concept to building your own Stop Motion puppet, to building a miniature set and animating a sequence, the [Chiodo] brothers will show you everything you need to know!"

It's going to be an online live web course so it does require a bit of diligence as to when to tune in.

Go here to see the promo video:

"BoxTrolls" Take over Box-Offices 1# in UK and #2 in Mexico

The box-office numbers are in for Laika's The BoxTrolls overseas release.  In the UK it's in #1 with $3.4 million.  Laika's previous films Coraline and ParaNorman opened with similar numbers in the UK at $3.7 and $2.3 million.

The BoxTrolls opened #2nd in Mexico at $1.8 million.  Collectively, in Denmark and Sweden Boxtrolls made a debut of $260,000.  Taking Laika to new heights for best-ever Laika openings in those markets.

A "BoxTrolls" Featurette!

As is the 'norm' so to speak in our little world of Stop Motion.  Laika, the makers of the upcoming The BoxTrolls (in partner with Focus Features like their past two films: ParaNorman and Coraline) have in the past released little epic featurettes.  This years there's no disappoint with The BoxTrolls.  And it's embedded/linked in below...

A hashtag last year to spread the word for Laika was #WeirdWins for Laika's ParaNorman.  This year it's just simply #TheBoxTrolls! Enjoy spreading Laika love all over the interwebs! :)


Directed by Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi and based off Alan Snow's novel Here Be Monsters! comes Laika's The BoxTrolls, coming to a theater near you sooner than you think!

By the way, I've gotta say that it's good to be back after taking a month long break to get back into Stop Motion blogging again!

And the new poster....

Nikon Releases a $4,000 Stop Motion Animator's Kit

Nikon has just made it a lot easier to make Stop Motion animation with their just-released Stop Motion animation kit.  The kit is being used by the internet Stop Motion artist PES, who's is shooting his recently Kickstarted Submarine Sandwich short film over the period of the next few months.

Their newly released kit includes the following:

36.6Mp D810 DSLRAF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF_ED FX-format macro prime lensDragonframe 3.5 Stop Motion animation software and controllerEH-5b/EP-5B power supply and connector

I wouldn't exactly label this as a 'beginner' kit, it seems to be leaning much more on the intermediate/professional side of things when you take into account the $4,000 price tag.  The camera is a step up from the Nikon D3x that Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox was shot on, so seemingly 4k isn't so much to ask considering that it cost that amount for just the D3x camera body, not including a lens.

You can preorder the kit on their website: http:/…

Short Flicks: "Usagi Yojimbo: The Last Request"

Great news!!!!  The incredibly awesome Japanese cult-comic Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai is being developed into a Stop Motion feature!

And just to whet your appetite for more Usagi they've released a 7-minute proof-of-concept short film on YouTube that's posted below.  The film is made by Lintika Films on a shoestring budget.  The main workhorses on this project were it's director, Roel Robles, and the rest of this crew: Ray Gilberti, Fon Davis, Todd Fellows, Euisung Lee, and Lauren Vogt.  Planning a feature, Lintika is reportedly 'currently speaking with investors' to hopefully get the project of a feature film to get finally made.

If your looking for more updates on a Usagi feature keep up with them on their Facebook page and their Twitter.


Laika 'Unboxes' a New 'BoxTrolls' Poster, Take a Look!

The BoxTrolls will hit US and Canadian theaters September 26, 2014.

Laika @ Comic-Con: 'Let's Bring Back Hand-Drawn Animation'

At Comic-Con, Laika's president and spokesperson Travis Knight dropped a big bomb on the audience, that he wants to make an entire feature film with solely hand-drawn animation.  The editor of Slashfilm reported this little bit of info:

"He says that every one of the Laika Stop Motion movie features small bits of hand-drawn animation composite, but he would like to one day do a whole movie in the medium.  It's seems like they don't have any definite plans but you could tell from his tone that it's something he's been considering for a while now."

I would personally love to see a studio get back into the game.  Walk Disney Animation Studios, after  abandoning the medium after their box-office bomb The Princess and the Frog pretty much killed any hand-drawn features in development at the time.  Plus, with the Laika branding integrated with the hand-crafted medium of hand-drawn animation, well, good things are to come is all I can say.  Good things are to co…

Marty Cooper Shows Us What Happens When You Combine Normal Objects With Classic 2d Animation

Stop Motion artists/animator and really artists in general rarely get praise and credit for what they do.  But Marty Cooper was recently put in the spotlight after he got a lot of buss from his Tumbr and awesome semi-viral video, Aug(De)Mented Reality.  Using just an iPhone, celluloid, white-out, and a black Sharpie he creates short, imaginative videos by having his cel creatures react with real-world objects.  Adam Savage (host of Mythbusters) asked Cooper to come to the Tested studio and show him how he makes these crazy little shorts and luckily, for us he filmed it.

Aug(De)Mented Reality

Animating Adam Savage's workshop:

Laika Studios is Looking For a Bigger Facility

It's been announced that the Organ based Stop Motion company, Laika, formerly Will Vinton Studios,  is looking for a space that's around 350,000 square feet.  As mentioned in a previous press release from Laika, a space of this size could allow for potentially two feature productions to run parallel...

This would obviously mean more films, and by judging by the way their features have been going, this could mean for some legendary projects.  Plus this would also add a job serge in the Stop Motion industry, meaning good thing to come for aspiring students of Stopmo.  Currently the company has over 300 employees for production on their latest feature, The BoxTrolls.

Laika's 'BoxTrolls' to Screen at Venice Film Festival

Based on Alan Snow's children's novel Here Be Monsters, Laika's The BoxTrolls will be screened out of competition at the 71st Annual Venice Film Festival on August 31st.  Several of the film's theatrical premiers will kick off September 12th in some international territories, the U.K. and Mexico being two of them.  October 2nd marks Italy's release.  Lastly, The BoxTrolls will rollout into American and Canadian theaters September 26.
“This is an incredible honor for LAIKA and our film,” said studio president & CEO and producer/lead animator for Boxtrolls Travis Knight. “To be singled out by one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals is an utter joy and an enormous validation for the hundreds of artists whose talents make our films come to life.”

PES is Teaching an Online Class on Stop Motion Shorts

PES, well, you already know PES so I don't think I need to go into any details on his Oscar® nomination, or his upcoming feature film based on the Garbage Pail Kids franchise. He's just finished making an online video teaching course, an hour-and-a-half DIY if you will on how to make Stop Motion Shorts.  The course is now live on Skillshare.  He goes through the process of making, start to finish, on how to make a minute long Stopmo short.  An awesome opportunity for enthusiasts, intermediates, and people who've never tried it before.

Learn to craft a witty and surprising 1-second film. In this one-hour class, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker PES walks through his creative process for developing concepts, crafting narratives, capturing film, and editing a final stop-motion piece. This whimsical class is perfect for artists, filmmakers, storytellers, and marketers all looking to quickly engage and delight audiences.

Link to his Skillshare page:
Short Fi…

PES Is Kickstarting a New Film - "Submarine Sandwich"

PES, the Oscar® nominated YouTube artist is doing his first Kickstarter.  He is one of the most accomplished and widely-known content creators currently making internet videos.  His film Fresh Guacamole was the shortest short film ever to be nominated for an Oscar®.  Plus his short Western Spaghetti was voted Time Magazine's 2# best Internet video of 2008.  To sum it up, this flick, if funded, will be stupendous!

His goal is to raise $30,000.  Currently, 2 days into the campaign, he's already at over $6,500.

PES states, 'The only way for me to get my head and into the world is through this crazy process called Stop Motion animation.  Stop Motion is a way to bring inanimate objects to life.  It's an epic process to make a film like this.  Everything that is put on film is real.  It's in front of the camera. - There's no CGI in my videos!'  Honestly, I really appreciate PES paving the way for the rest of us creators by explaining Stopmo in a 4 sentence statem…

Animation Magazine Just Released an Exclusive Post Giving Us a Behind the Scenes Look at 'BoxTrolls'

Animation Magazine, an excellently written website for animation lovers and pretty much the Variety of animation just did an entire post showing statistics and pictures from the behind the scenes on Laika's upcoming feature The BoxTrolls.

Sony Pictures Animation are Developing 'Superbago', a Stop Motion/Live-Action Feature Flick

Good news in the Stop-mo world folks, Sony Pictures Animation has teamed up with John Harvatine IV and Eric Towner of Stoopid Buddy Stooidos are developing a full length Stop Motion/live action combination feature film, Superbago.

Towner and John Harvatine are attached to direct Superbago Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) and Eric Robinson are producing.

Hess, Ricky Blitt, Hubbel Palmer and Chris Bowman are writing Superbago, centering on a pair of superhero wannabes.  Towner told Variety that the film has 'offbeat origins.'

“This project started with a couple of buddies buying a ’73 Winnebago off Craigslist and making a short film near and dear to our hearts,” he said.  “We found a super supportive home in Sony Pictures Animation and couldn’t be more thrilled with the talented team surrounding the project.” “‘Superbago’ will skew older than our last features but I immediately fell in love with the smart comedy idea behind it, which features two irreverent stop-motion characters d…

McDonalds' German "Made of Love" Spot Produces Amazing Paper Stopmo Into the Commercial World

"Made of Paper - Made of Love. In exquisite craftsmanship and with great sensitivity the little paper figures life was breathed. Was realized the Papercraft Commercial together with the agency Heye, director Sinem Sakaoglu and the team of visual distractions Ltd.."



My Short Monologue About the Brand New 'Morph'

Morph, ever since his premier in '77, on Channel 4 in the UK in Take Heart, Morph has become a beloved icon in UK pop-culture and to us in the Stop Motion community:)

If you haven't been living under a rock the past couple months, you know that Peter Lord and Aardman set out to Kickstart a Morph web series strictly for YouTube.  After being successfully funded, we haven't heard much on the new series, except for now!!  Today, Aardman released the new episode at 5:15pm UK time, which is the exact time of Morph's first ever TV appearance during Take Hart.  And today, with pleasure, I watched the first episode of the new series.  Staying canon to the 'homemade' feel of Aardman, I can say that by the looks of this episode, we're in for a treat.  This is an awesome present, especially for all you readers in the states, happy Independence Day y'all!!!

Brand New Morph: Twin Decks

Aardman Will Create New Seasons for "Shaun the Sheep" and "Timmy Time" Exclusively Amazon Prime

Aardman, the incredibly talented creators of Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, and the Shaun spin-off preschool series Timmy Time.  Aardman has recently signed a deal for its content to stream exclusively in the United States on the Amazon Prime Instant Video service.  This deal will include new, Amazon-only seasons and specials for Shaun and Timmy, though Wallace & Gromit: Curse of The Ware-Rabbit won't have a debut on Prime because technically Dreamworks Animation owns the rights to the property.

Anyway, this is big news as far as I'm concerned and a great marketing strategy for The Shaun the Sheep Movie that's coming out early next year.  Not only will they be prepping viewers for the new flick, they'll also bring in new fans to the classic Aardman style.

The Shaun the Sheep Movie is due out March 20th, 2015.

Short Flicks: "IOA"

A vowel reciting speaking machine leads a miserable existence as a tool of a despotic singing-teacher. In a soliloquy it describes oppression, exploitation and beatings and complains that it is only needed for its functional performance. The analogy to conditions in the human working world is by no means coincidental...


IOA from Gabriel Möhring on Vimeo.

Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival Announces This Year's Guests!

This year, for its 6th edition, the Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival (September 26-28th) will be featuring some of the most outstanding names and projects in the business including an inside, in-depth, BTS for Laika's The BoxTrolls!  Laika will deliver a special presentation and Stoopid Buddy Stoodios may show up for a while...

Anyway, featured below is your fix on the MSMFF breaking news...

VIP Access to LAIKA Studios and Behind-The-Scenes of The Boxtrolls

LAIKA (Portland, Oregon USA) is, without a doubt, one of the most ambitious, creative, and courageous stop-motion studios in the world. They specialize in feature-length and short animated films, as well as commercials. The studio has produced two OSCAR NOMINATED stop motion films: ParaNorman (2012) and Coraline (2009).

During their special presentation, you will discover the remarkable creativity of LAIKA, with a look at their latest project The Boxtrolls (in theatres 26 Sept. 2014), and be able to meet the original puppets fro…

Short Flicks: "Landrover 'Claynation'"

Claynation, a global campaign for Land Rover, directed by Peter Sluszka, was created using clay and many skilled hands to morph and mold an ever-changing landscape. The Claynation campaign of broadcast, print ads and digital was designed, fabricated and shot over the course of 5 months at the DUMBO stage. The spot used roughly 1.5 tons of clay, with animators brought in from across the country that specialized in claymation animation. The Land Rover car used in the spot, the only non-clay element in the spot, was dissected, modeled and printed out on a 3D printer. The car, once assembled, functioned realistically from the steering, doors, to the practical headlights. In the campaign, the car is seen driving through many clay environments, with every frame morphed and manipulated, to create the seamless journey from cities to mountains and beyond.

"The BoxTrolls" International Trailer #2

Official synopsis reads:

A family event movie from the creators of Coraline and ParaNorman that introduces audiences to a new breed of family – The Boxtrolls, a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who have lovingly raised an orphaned human boy named Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead Wright) in the amazing cavernous home they’ve built beneath the streets of Cheesebridge. When the town’s villain, Archibald Snatcher (Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley), comes up with a plot to get rid of the Boxtrolls, Eggs decides to venture above ground, “into the light,” where he meets and teams up with fabulously feisty Winnie (Elle Fanning). Together, they devise a daring plan to save Eggs’ family.

"The BoxTrolls" Official Final Trailer is Here

This trailer, unlike it's predecessors, gives us the first real look at the plot and the world of The BoxTrolls.

Based on the book by Alan Snow, it tells the story of a young boy taken in by the secretive and underground-dwelling BoxTrolls, who hide from humans inside the cardboard containers they wear as clothes.  When he grows into a teen, Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead-Wright) has to re-enter the world above to stop a villain from ridding the town of his extended troll family.

Let's just say that, by the looks of this trailer, Laika is reengineering Stop Motion as we know it.  And that's not even scratching the surface when I say that.  The design and animation here is breathtaking!  It makes me look at it twice and say 'WAIT!  Is that CGI!?'


Short Flicks: "The Bigger Picture Trailer"



Original film credits:
Full running Time: 8 mins
Director: Daisy Jacobs
Producer: Chris Hees
Stop Motion Animator: Chris Wilder
(Chris was also recently lead animator on Sleeping with the Fishes)
VFX artist : Janusz Tomczyk
Editor: Vera Simmonds
Screenwriters: Daisy Jacobs and Jennifer Majka
Director of Photography: Max Williams
Production Designer: Elo Soode
Sound Editor/Rerecording Mixer: Jonas Andreas Jensen
Composer: Huw Bunford
SFX Supervisor/Online Editor/Grade: Ross Allen
Principal Cast: Alisdair Simpson, Anne Cunningham, Christopher Nightingale
Production Assistant Gemma Priggen

'BoxTrolls' Final Trailer to Premiere at Annecy

Portland based Laika studios has set it's upcoming final trailer for The BoxTrolls film to premiere at the Annecy International Festival of Animated Film on June 11.  It will be presented ahead of an open-air screening of ParaNorman, with it's writer and director Chris Butler there to into the film and participate in a Q&A season with the audience.  The final trailer will also be released via the interwebs on same day.  Based on the novel Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow (which, I suggest you read, by the way), The BoxTrolls will arrive in U.S. and Canadian theaters September 26, 2014.  Visit for more information.

The Boxtrolls is a comedic fable that unfolds in Cheesebridge, a posh Victorian-era town obsessed with wealth, class and the stinkiest of fine cheeses. Beneath its charming cobblestone streets dwell the Boxtrolls, foul monsters who crawl out of the sewers at night and steal what the townspeople hold most dear: their children and their cheese…

Short Flicks: "Gan-Gan"

My grandmother Elizabeth (or Gan-Gan as I called her) was a force of nature; she was wonderful. As a child she seemed to me like a visitor from another time or place. Her tiny terraced house in Bideford was full of treasures; hundreds of books, a medusa's head, Peter the Great's ivory letter opener, the caul of her mother tied up in blue ribbon, a tile stolen from the Alhambra, a silk blouse embroidered by nuns, deadly poison, beautiful Pre-Raphaelite artworks, a knife carved from the wood of HMS Victory, Granny Green's pince-nez, and diaries full of stories from a hard life well-lived.
After her death in 2010, I helped my father and uncle sort through some of her possessions. I inherited some of her clothes to wear, books to read, a bicycle to ride. But how do you make sense of all the other things that someone leaves behind, the things nobody sees, boxes full of photographs, and bits of string? 
I used these objects alongside images and memories of my own to make this shor…

Short Flicks: "Flatworld" (UPDATED) You Don't Want to Miss This!!!

Flatworld is the incredible award winning short film from Daniel Greaves.  It is personally one of my favorite short films, ranking up there with Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers.  Blurring the lines of 2d cel animation and Stop Motion, Daniel does this in Flatworld with expertise unseen in the medium since.  Wow!  That last sentence sounded like a film critic!  Would you believe that!


I usually don't push my viewers to watch the 'making of' because usually it's like a 5-minute trailer of the actual film but this BTS I highly recommend!  I'd describe it as a year at Cal Arts concentrated into one 30-minute making of.  Chock full of goodies, right to the top.  So get yo' learn on!!!


Flatworld - Unfolded (Making Of Documentary) from Tandem Films on Vimeo.

Watch PES Fly Bombers in his Unique and Witty Way in "Dogs of War" (His First Film)

Ever wonder what the Stop Motion artist PES's fist film was?  Stop wondering.  Now online, the Oscar-nomiated director PES has released his first film, a live-action short entitled Dogs of War.

"It was shot in the summer of 1998 in the old cemetery in Hackettstown, New Jersey. It was based on a dream PES had while napping on the couch with a WWII documentary blaring in the background. This is the first time it has appeared on YouTube."


Short Flicks: "Nintendo/Paper Mario Sticker Star"

A new Nintendo ad featuring a Stop Motion, paper cut-out Mario.

*note: the technique used here is something called replacement animation invented in the '50s by George Pal.  With his Puppettoons, he pioneered the idea of blending the aspect of Stop Motion and 2d animation by using various cut-outs of the same character but in a slightly different positions for each shape.


Director: Antonio Balserio
Production House USA: 1st Ave Machine
Production House Argentina: Gazz
Animation Production and Direction: Can Can Club
Agency: Leo Burnett Texas

Gumby Fest Brings in the Biggest Names in Stop Motion

On June 14th 2014 the first ever Gumby Fest, a major film festal and celebration for Stop Motion animation will be taking place in Glendora, CA.  Below is a reprint article from the press release from their blog announcing their world-class Stop Motion guests...
Academy Award-Winner Rick Baker Joins ‘Meet Gumby’s Gang’ Panel at Inaugural Gumby Fest in Glendora on June 14 Animators for ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas,’ ‘Robot Chicken’ ‘Coraline’ to share stories from the Gumby studios Glendora, CA – Academy Award-winner Rick Baker will join the “Meet Gumby’s Gang” panel at the premier Gumby Fest to be held June 14 in Glendora, California. Gumby, the world’s original clayboy and pop-culture legend who starred in more than 230 TV episodes and a movie, “grew up” in Glendora, where the iconic TV series was produced from 1960 to the late 1970s by Clokey Productions. The celebration of all-things Gumby as well as stop-motion animation will take place on the grounds of Glendora City Hall and Pu…

Short Flicks: Bent Image Lab's "Fruity Pebbles"

What could be better than starting your day off with part of a whole breakfast, Fred Flintstone, and Stop Motion?  We couldn't think of anything either.  Nevertheless, these awesome commercials/BTS will bring out the kid, and nerd, in all of us.  Directed by Rob Shaw for the incredible Bent Image Lab (a studio that just moved to Manhattan, by the way), these TV spots encapsulates everything we know and love about the modern stone-age Flintstone family who establish how we now think of Prehistoric times.

Fire House

Cocoa Pebbles "Fire Hose" from Bent Image Lab on Vimeo.

Cop Rock

Cocoa Pebbles "Cop Rock" from Bent Image Lab on Vimeo.

Laika to Concentrate on Making More Features

Laika, the incredibly talented studio currently housing some of the most brilliant minds in the Stop Motion industry, and talent behind films such as Coraline, ParaNorman, and the upcoming The BoxTrolls, announced earlier this week that they plan to convert their spin-off studio, Laika/house, into a studio mainly concentrated on making feature films.  Getting rid of commercials complety from their plate.  Formerly, Laika/house only produced television commercials and shorts.

LAIKA/house President Lourri Hammack, Creative Director Kirk Kelley and Managing Director of Strategic Operations Al Cubillas will lead a new studio specializing in short to mid-form animated content for advertising and broadcast markets.

Located 19 miles away from the main Laika production house, the Laika/house facility in Oregon has been responsible to make some of the most iconic branding characters, (i.e. the M&M characters), plus, they've revamped some of the most iconic characters in the commercial b…