Stop motion animation! It’s arguably one of the most painstaking art forms ever created, a peculiar–even uncanny–blend of live action and inanimate objects. While many of us associate it with, say, Jack Skellington and the ubiquitous Rankin/Bass Christmas specials, its history goes back decades before Tim Burton got that twinkle in his eye.
In fact, stop motion animation goes back practically to the dawn of cinema. And since this blog is all about that dawn of cinema, throughout this month we’re going to be studying just how this unique art form got started. And, of course, tip our hats to several silent era animation pioneers.
I’ll admit that as a kid, aside from the Rankin/Bass cartoons I usually found stop motion animation a little too uncanny–even downright unsettling. (Half the films we’re mentioning this month would’ve probably creeped me out back then–ah, silly youth!) But as I grew older, I began to appreciate the talent and incredible patience of stop motion animators more and more. And their delicate work is perhaps even more incredible to me when it hails from the pre-plastic age of handcranked cameras.
So I invite all of you to join me as I examine the early years of this strange, meticulous style of animation. It should be a fun few weeks!
…To say the least! 😉