Monday, January 19, 2009

Favorite Things

Stop Motion Animation

I love stop motion animation. I know, I know most people who like stop motion animation say that it all started with King Kong (1933) or some Ray Harryhausen film like Jason and the Argonauts. But not me, I got hooked as a child watching the Rudolph Christmas specials every year (who wanted to watch a black and white movie as a child or even some gladiator type movie from the 60s? God Forbid! What can I say, I am a child of the modern times and was only fascinated with bright, shiny objects that played on my feelings that I would soon be getting gifts.) However, my interest grew more and more each movie or show I saw containing stop motion animation from Clash of the Titans to Gumby. For me, the epitome of stop motion animation was Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas...because it was a musical (which I have previously mentioned as being a guilty pleasure) but it was also creepy and alternative cool enough that I could like it out in the open without someone mocking me for liking a "cartoon."

A couple years later and James and the Giant Peach was released. I went to see it opening day and thought it was decent...but it had a touch of sadness to it too, because there had been several articles in newspapers and magazines leading up to it's release stating that it would probably be the last stop motion animation movie made because computer animation was cheaper and faster (and supposedly all the kids liked it more). Well since the death knell was sounded over a decade ago, I am pleased to see that stop motion animation is still going strong if not thriving. Let's see: a couple Wallace and Gromit movies and shorts, Chicken Run, The Corpse Bride, Robot Chicken, The PJs, Moral Orel, and of course the upcoming Coraline (I am excitedly reading the book now). Plus all the Lego shorts on Youtube:

Stop Motion Animation has such a richer feel than computer animation. I don't necessarily mean more life-like than some computer animation...but have a deeper, more mass feel. It just resonates more deeply with me. I am amazed at what these people spend years creating 1/24th of a second at a time. I suggest everyone check out Coraline in the theater, plus it's 3D. I think they call that Two Birds with One Stone. I am very excited about it and want to take GF-Unit for Valentine's day (it is not traditional but the traditional Valentine's stuff is so generic and turns out badly)...but that is all IF I can wait that long to see it, that is a big IF. And in case you haven't figured it out...yes I am a total geek.


Anonymous said...

Why, Michael... Are you asking me to the movies for our very first Valentines Day? How sweet of you! (And of course I would be honored... I think Coraline looks pretty sweet) :)

Anyways, glad us anonymous-ers can now leave comments. I refuse to succumb to the pop-trend of MySpace, Facebook, or blog accounts. So I reserve the right to mock all others who do so! HA! Just kidding, you all give me something to read coz I'm too lazy to write about my own life. :)


Michael said...

Who is this? Are you stalking me?