Stop-Motion

Spooky Stop-Motion Animations

We decided to dedicate this blog to some stop-motion animations that go hand in hand, with Fall, October and Halloween! No particular order, just some suggestions for family movie nights for this month!

1. Nightmare Before Christmas

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If you, like Jack Skellington, "have grown tired of the same old thing"  Nightmare before Christmas may be right up your alley for animations to watch in October. Written by Tim Burton and directed by Henry Selick, this dark fantasy, stop-motion, musical was released in 1993. If you are a fan then you're in luck... the comic book sequel will be released soon!

Read more about the sequel here!

 

2. Coraline

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Written and directed by Henry Selick and released in 2009! Coraline, a young and curious single child, is bored and feeling a bit lonely, so she explores the new home. Her discovery of the parallel universe that seems to be a dream come true at first, becomes a nightmare she needs to get out of. 

Follow some of Coraline's adventure here!

 

3. Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit

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Wallace and Gromit was written and directed by Steve Box and Nick Park, and released in 2005! The animated series started in 1990, with The Curse of the Were-Rabbit being Nick Park's, of Aardman Animation, first feature film. It won at the 78th Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature. The second was Shaun the Sheep, released in 2015 with the sequel TBA!

Watch The Curse of the Were-Rabbit trailer here!

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4. James and the Giant Peach

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Written by Roald Dahl, and another one directed by Henry Selick, James and the Giant Peach was released in 1996! Though it may not be necessarily be Halloween-ish, it is pretty fit for the theme! James parents get killed by a rhinoceros and he goes to live with his evil aunts. But, the most fitting part is all the friends he makes...in a giant peach...with a bunch of insects. 

If you already saw it, it may have been a while, refresh your memory here!

 

5. Corpse Bride

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Written and directed by Tim Burton and released in 2006, Corpse Bride is 3rd to be produced by him but the first he directed. It's set in the 1800's in a Victorian Village, and teaches us to be very careful where we practice our vows! You may end up in the "Land of the Dead" if you were as careless as Victor was. 

Enter the "Land of the Dead" through the trailer here!

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Animation Throughout The Years

Technological advances have allowed us to make the quality full-length films and shorts you see on the big screen today. But have you ever wondered how animation first started and how it changed over the years? Today we’re going to provide you with a brief overview on animation and how it first started.

The Phenakistoscope and Zoetrope devices

The first animation devices were invented in the early 1830s. These animation devices involved a spinning drum with drawings that slightly differed from one another. When spun, it would appear as though the images were moving (Kehr, 2016).

Early Stop-Motion

In 1908, Emile Cohl created what is considered to be the first fully animated film, Fantasmagorie. This film lasts for around 1 minute and 16 seconds. From the early 1900s to the 1930s, many illustrators tried their hands at stop-motion animation using various techniques (Popova, 2011). 

Adding the element of sound

It wasn’t until Disney’s Steamboat Willie that animation was able to come alive by combining the stop-motion with sound. Disney later started to add in depth with his camera which made the stories and characters really come to life for an audience. Disney’s 1937 Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs was what really impressed audiences (Kehr, 2016). Although this film wasn’t the first animated film, it was definitely the first full-length animated film of such a high quality.

The 1980s changed animation forever

Computer animation technology was created in the 1980s, which allowed animators to create dynamic, interesting characters and give animated films a completely different look. The world went crazy over the first film that was completely computer-animated, Toy Story (Kehr, 2016).

Animation continues to Improve

Animation thrives today due to many of the technological advances we’ve had. Animation software has become more accessible and stop-motion has become relevant on social media as apps have been created for making stop-motion videos on your phone. Animation is still an incredibly powerful way of communicating and storytelling and can resonate with audiences of different ages and backgrounds. We’re looking forward to see where technology takes animation in the future.

Works Cited:
Kehr, Dave. "Animation." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2016. Web.

Popova, Maria. "Before Walt Disney: 5 Pioneers of Early Animation." The Atlantic. The Atlantic Monthly Group, 2011. Web.

2016 Oscar Nominees

We're so excited for the 2016 Oscars this Sunday, February 28th. Take a look at some of the nominees below and let us know which movies you think will take home awards in the categories of Best Animated Feature and Best Animated Short Film! 

Nominees for Best Animated Feature

Anomalisa

Anomalisa is a stop-motion animated film that is centered around the life of an inspirational speaker who meets a woman who shakes up his boring life. This film targets an adult audience and has gotten quite a bit of attention due to how accurately it is able to portray emotions and relate to an adult audience through claymation. This drama film was released by Paramount Pictures and directed by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson.

Boy and The World

This film looks at the world through a young boy's eyes. The young boy, Cuca discovers the beautiful world around him as he goes on an adventure to find his father. The story depicts the contrast between a rural village and the city. During his adventure in the city, Cuca is taken to a beautiful and abstract place. The film is almost completely silent. This movie was created in Brazil and is written, directed, and animated by Alê Abreu. 

Inside Out

A young girl named Riley has to leave her home and move to San Francisco. This movie gives you an inside look at what's going on in Riley's brain by following her emotions joy, anger, fear, disgust, and sadness. This movie is a 3-D computer animated movie which was directed by Pete Docter. This movie was produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. This is a great movie because it addresses the kind of emotions children go through as they grow up and also addresses mental health.

Shaun the Sheep Movie

This stop-motion film follows Shaun and his sheep friends on an action-packed adventure as they take on a big city and try to rescue their farmer. This movie follows a character, Shaun, who was first introduced in the Wallace and Gromit shorts. Shaun The Sheep later became a TV Series and is now a full-length feature film! It is a British film produced by Aardman Animations. 

When Marnie Was There

This is an Anime film which was written and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi. This film follows a young girl named Annie and how a new friend, Marnie, changes the way she perceives her life. Annie is able to discover more about her foster parents and the truth about her real family by spending time with Marnie. This movie is based on a novel by Joan G. Robinson and is produced by Studio Ghibli. 


Nominees for Best Animated Short Film

Bear Story

Bear Story is a dark film which follows the life of a lonely bear who has been separated from his family. A bear creates a mechanical diorama and people can peek into the peephole of this mechanical diorama for a coin. The diorama depicts a family who has been separated because the male was taken to the circus. This film is created by the Chilean animation company, Punkrobot. This short actually addresses the way families were torn apart during the Pinochet regime in Chile in the 1970s.

Prologue

Prologue is an animated short film which is the first part of an upcoming feature film. This short is based on the play Lysistrata by Aristophanes, which has to do with women who withhold sexual interactions from men in order to win a war. The storyline revolves around Spartan and Athenian warriors and takes place 2,400 years in the past. A little girl witnesses an intense battle between Athenian and Spartan warriors and goes back to her grandma to seek comfort. 

Sanjay's Super Team

This is a great Pixar short directed by Sanjay Patel. This movie is about a boy who wants to play with his toys and watch TV, but his dad wants him to be quiet and pray with him. Sanjay's imagination runs wild, and gets a new respect for the gods his father is praying to. The inspiration for the film comes from Sanjay's own childhood.

We Can't Live Without Cosmos

This is a dialogue-free short which follows two cosmonaut friends as they train for their mission in space. This short is fun for anyone who is interested in space or ever dreamed of becoming an astronaut. This is an animated short film written and directed by Russian filmmaker Konstantin Bronzit. 

World of Tomorrow

World of Tomorrow is sci-fi short film which was written, directed, produced, animated, and edited by Don Hertzfeld! This film follows a young girl, Emily. A clone of Emily from the future walks Emily through her life and helps her make decisions. The film has already won 42 awards, will the Oscars be it's 43rd? 

Which movies do you think will take home awards? Leave a comment below! Don't forget to tune in to the Oscars this Sunday! 

The Ten Animated Films We’re Most Looking Forward to in 2016

This year boasts a large amount of animated film releases from major studios. In fact, there are 167 animated films listed on IMDB to be released in 2016. These are the ten films we’re most looking forward to within the coming year, in order of release date.