Wallace and Gromit are two of the most popular characters to come of out of British animation studio, Aardman Animations. Originally conceived by Nick Park as his graduation film for the National Film and Television School, cheese-loving Wallace and his clever hound Gromit have gone on to star in four shorts and one feature-length film.
Animation has a rich history of ingenuity. Since almost the beginning of cinema, filmmakers have experimented with how and what to animate, from slices of wax to drawing directly on strips of film to the more traditional forms that we see in commercial animation. Below are four of my favorite experimental animation techniques: paint on… Read more »
The Czech surrealist filmmaker, Jan Švankmajer, has a preoccupation with morphing, distorted, incoherent bodies. In his stop motion films, he frequently works with everyday things like toys and clothes, imbuing them with lives that defy how we normally make sense of the world. This video essay looks at the dolls in his 1971 film, Jabberwocky (Žvahlav aneb… Read more »
Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki have inspired delight in international audiences for decades. The enchanted worlds of Princess Mononoke (1997) and Spirited Away (2001) transport us to worlds of complex ethics, captivating creatures, and a beautiful animation style. However, the overwhelming popularity of Studio Ghibli’s films can overshadow the diversity of offerings coming from Miyazaki’s… Read more »
“Imagination is the biggest gift humanity has received. Imagination makes people human, not work.” – Jan Švankmajer One of my favorite things about filmmaking is that it can help you see the world in a different way. This is especially true of stop motion animation, which often repurposes materials in novel ways to build imaginary… Read more »
U.S. pop culture in the postwar era often presented a tidy world. TV moms vacuumed in heels and full skirts. Superman’s hair was always neat and presentable, despite flying around the city faster than a speeding bullet. And media preferred to avoid moral ambiguities. Collage animator Lewis Klahr draws from mid-twentieth-century pop culture – comics,… Read more »