Howard Moss & Charles Bennes (1930)

Two men compete over winning the heart of their common love interest. This nearly lost short was released by Warner Bros. as part of its varieties series. The soundtrack, on Vitaphone disc, remains lost. The film remains for us to enjoy, thanks to the preservation efforts of Mark Kausler. Howard Moss was one of the first stop-motion animators, producing a series called ‘MoToy Comedies’.

Nick Park (1989)

Wallace and Gromit build a rocket to get to the Moon in search of cheese.

Wallace and his sophisticated dog Gromit, have to decide where to go for their annual picnic. With a home-made rocket and large appetite they head for the moon, hoping to find it made of cheese. Their moon tasting arouses the anger of the moon’s resident, mechanical caretaker. In the conflict that ensues the earthlings unwittingly help the robot to fulfill its dreams.

A Grand Day Out with Wallace and Gromit, later marketed as A Grand Day Out, is a 1989 British stop-motion animated short film starring Wallace and Gromit. It was directed and animated by Nick Park at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield and Aardman Animations in Bristol.

The short premiered on 4 November 1989, at an animation festival at the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol.

The short was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1991, but it lost to Creature Comforts, another stop-motion animated short film made by Nick Park and Aardman Animations, also released in 1989.

Nick Park started creating the film in 1982, as a graduation project for the National Film and Television School. In 1985, Aardman Animations took him on before he finished the piece, allowing him to work on it part-time while still being funded by the school. To make the film, Park wrote to William Harbutt’s company, requesting a long ton of Plasticine.

The block he received had ten colours, one of which was called “stone”; this was used for Gromit. Park wanted to voice Gromit, but he realised the voice he had in mind â€” that of Peter Hawkins â€” would have been difficult to animate. For Wallace, Park offered Peter Sallis ÂŁ50 to voice the character, and his acceptance greatly surprised the young animator.

Park wanted Wallace to have a Lancastrian accent like his own, but Sallis could only do a Yorkshire voice. Inspired by how Sallis drew out the word “cheese”, Park chose to give Wallace large cheeks. When Park called Sallis six years later to explain he had completed his film, Sallis swore in surprise.

Gromit was named after grommets, because Park’s brother, an electrician, often mentioned them, and Nick Park liked the sound of the word. Wallace was originally a postman named Jerry, but Park felt the name did not match well with Gromit. Park saw an overweight Labrador retriever named Wallace, who belonged to an old woman boarding a bus in Preston. Park commented it was a “funny name, a very northern name to give a dog”.

According to the book The World of Wallace and Gromit, original plans were that the film would be forty minutes long, including a sequence where Wallace and Gromit would discover a fast food restaurant on the Moon. Regarding the original plot, Park said:

The original story was that Wallace and Gromit were going to go to the Moon and there were going to be a whole lot of characters there. One of them was a parking meter attendant, which was the only one that remained â€” the robot cooker character â€” but there were going to be aliens, and all sorts. There was going to be a McDonald’s on the Moon, and it was going to be like a spoof Star Wars. Wallace was going to get thrown into prison and Gromit was going to have to get him out. By the time I came to Aardman, I had just started doing the Moon scene and somebody told me, “It’s going to take you another nine years if you do that scene!” so I had to have a check with reality and cut that whole bit out. Somehow, I had to tie up the story on the Moon and finish the film.

Nick Park

Visit Nick Park and Wallace and Gromit by clicking on the link below:

http://www.wallaceandgromit.com

To check out Nick Park’s Creature Comforts click on the link below:

https://hobomooncartoons.com/2019/11/09/creature-comforts/

Michael Shanks (2019)

In an industry obsessed with the superficial, it’s not easy being an aging movie star. It’s even harder when you’re also a stop-motion animated skeleton monster. Phil used to be a cutting edge special effect. As a stop-motion animated skeleton from the 1960s, modern movie studios just aren’t hiring him to star in blockbusters anymore. Refusing to succumb to his own irrelevance, Phil takes drastic measures when he learns the film for which he was created is being rebooted without him.

It’s not easy for a movie-star to age – especially when you’re a stop motion animated skeleton monster. Phil, once a terrifying villain of the silver-screen, struggles to find work in modern Hollywood due to being an out-of-date special effect. BEHIND THE SCENES: https://bit.ly/2X3ODfA

Director: Michael Shanks

Writers: Michael Shanks & Chris Hocking

Producer: Chris Hocking & Nicholas Colla

Director of Photography: Max Walter & Gerald Thompson

SELECTED AWARDS & FESTIVALS

Flickerfest Pty Ltd (2020)

Stop Motion Animation by Samuel Lewis (https://samuellewis.com.au)

Director of Photography (Live Action): Max Walter (https://maxwalterfilm.com)

Director of Photography (Animation): Gerald Thompson (https://bfg-motion.com)

Full list of credits at: https://latenitefilms.com

Supported by Screen Australia and YouTube through the Skip Ahead Initiative

Ray Harryhausen was an American filmmaker best known for his pioneering use of stop-motion animation effects. Unfortunately, he died May 7, 2013 in London, England at the age of 93.

Harryhausen grew up in Los Angeles, acquiring a love of dinosaurs and fantasy at a young age. His parents encouraged his interests in films and in models, and he was inspired by the cinematic effects in such movies as The Lost World (1925) and King Kong (1933). After seeing the latter, he began experimenting with marionettes and stop-motion animation, making short films in his parents’ garage. At about age 18 he met noted animator Willis O’Brien, with whom he would later work on several projects. On O’Brien’s advice to refine his abilities, Harryhausen enrolled in art and anatomy courses at Los Angeles City College and later in film courses at the University of Southern California. It was around this time that he began developing the technique that became known as “Dynamation,” used to make it appear that actors on film are interacting with animated models.

In 1940 Harryhausen landed his first animating job, working for producer George Pal on a number of “Puppetoons”—short films that animated puppets by using a type of stop-motion. He subsequently served in the U.S. Army, where he worked with director Frank Capra on propaganda films for the war effort. After being discharged in 1946, Harryhausen created a series of short nursery rhyme-based films that he distributed to schools. He was soon contacted by O’Brien to help on Mighty Joe Young (1949), an adventure drama featuring an enormous ape, in the style of King Kong. The film, for which Harryhausen did much of the animation, received an Academy Award for special effects. Harryhausen’s work on The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), which was based on a story by his friend Ray Bradbury, caught the attention of producer Charles Schneer, with whom he would work on the majority of his films advertisement

Near the Arctic Circle, an atomic bomb is detonated. This fearsome experiment disturbs the sleep of a giant rhedosaurus encased in ice for more than 100-million years and sends it southward on a destructive, deadly rampage. The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms is a film of firsts. It spawned a new era of atomic-age creature features. It was the first screen adaptation of a work by fantasy fiction titan Ray Bradbury. And it marked the first time Ray Harryhausen had control over special effects. Harryhausen came up with a fantastic creature (constructed at full scale, all 50 tons of it) that swims down from the north to run amok through New York City before being conquered in a spectacular Coney Island roller coaster finale. Take a classic ride and unleash the Beast!

Harryhausen contributed effects to more than a dozen movies, including It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955), Mysterious Island (1961), and Hammer Films’ One Million Years B.C.(1966). He was well known for the Sinbad films: The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), his first colour feature; The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973); and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977). He also created the special effects for the star-studded Clash of the Titans (1981), which was remade with animatronic and computer effects in 2010. Though he effectively retired from animation in the mid-1980s, Harryhausen continued to work on small projects into the 21st century. In 1992 he received the Gordon E. Sawyer Award for technical contributions from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His published works include Film Fantasy Scrapbook (1972) and the autobiography An Animated Life: Adventures in Fantasy (2003; cowritten with Tony Dalton).

Jan Ĺ vankmajer (1982)

Three surreal depictions of failures of communication that occur on all levels of human society.

Dimensions of Dialogue is a 1983 Czechoslovak animated short film directed by Jan Ĺ vankmajer. It is 14 minutes long and created with stop motion.

Terry Gilliam selected the film as one of the ten best animated films of all time.

Brothers Quay (1986)

Click here to watch The Street of Crocodiles: http://www.totalshortfilms.com/ver/pelicula/251

The Street of Crocodiles is a 21-minute-long stop-motion animation short subject directed and produced by the Brothers Quay and released in 1986.

The Street of Crocodiles was originally a short story written by Bruno Schulz, from a story collection published under that title in English translation. Rather than literally representing the childhood memoirs of Schulz, the animators used the story’s mood and psychological undertones as inspiration for their own creation.