STOP MOTION (hyphenated STOP-MOTION when used as an adjective) is an
animation technique that physically manipulates an object so that it
appears to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments
between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of
movement when the series of frames is played as a fast sequence. Dolls
with movable joints or clay figures are often used in stop motion for
their ease of repositioning.
Stop motion animation using plasticine is
called clay animation or "clay-mation". Not all stop motion requires
figures or models; many stop motion films can involve using humans,
household appliances and other things for comedic effect. Stop motion
can also use sequential drawing in a similar manner to traditional
animation, such as a flip book .
Stop motion using objects is
sometimes referred to as pixilation or object animation .
* 1 Terminology
* 2 History
* 2.1 1960s and 1970s
* 2.2 1980s to present
* 3 Variations of stop motion
Stereoscopic stop motion
* 4 Comparison to computer-generated imagery
Stop motion in television and movies
Stop motion in other media
* 7 See also
* 8 References
* 9 External links
The term "stop motion", related to the animation technique, is often
spelled with a hyphen , "stop-motion". Both orthographical variants,
with and without the hyphen, are correct, but the hyphenated one has,
in addition, a second meaning, not related to animation or cinema: "a
device for automatically stopping a machine or engine when something
has gone wrong" (The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 1993
Stop motion is often confused with the time lapse technique, where
still photographs of a live surrounding are taken at regular intervals
and combined into a continuous film.
Time lapse is a technique whereby
the frequency at which film frames are captured is much lower than
that used to view the sequence. When played at normal speed, time
appears to be moving faster.
Play media Segment from the 1925 film The Lost World animated
by Willis O'Brien
Stop motion animation has a long history in film. It was often used
to show objects moving as if by magic. The first instance of the stop
motion technique can be credited to Albert E. Smith and J. Stuart
The Humpty Dumpty Circus (1897), in which a
toy circus of acrobats and animals comes to life. In 1902, the film
Fun in a Bakery Shop used the stop trick technique in the "lightning
sculpting" sequence. French trick film maestro
Georges Méliès used
stop motion animation once to produce moving title-card letters in one
of his short films, and a number of his special effects are based on
stop motion photography. In 1907, The Haunted Hotel is a new stop
motion film by
J. Stuart Blackton
J. Stuart Blackton , and was a resounding success when
Segundo de Chomón (1871–1929), from Spain, released El
Hotel Eléctrico later that same year, and used similar techniques as
the Blackton film. In 1908, A Sculptor's Welsh Rarebit Nightmare was
released, as was The Sculptor's Nightmare, a film by Billy Bitzer.
Italian animator Roméo Bossetti impressed audiences with his object
animation tour-de-force, The Automatic Moving Company in 1912. The
great European stop motion pioneer was Wladyslaw Starewicz
(1892–1965), who animated The Beautiful Lukanida (1910), The Battle
of the Stag Beetles (1910), The Ant and the Grasshopper (1911).
One of the earliest clay animation films was Modelling Extraordinary,
which impressed audiences in 1912. December 1916 brought the first of
Willie Hopkins' 54 episodes of "Miracles in Mud" to the big screen.
Also in December 1916, the first woman animator,
Helena Smith Dayton ,
began experimenting with clay stop motion. She would release her first
film in 1917, an adaptation of
William Shakespeare 's Romeo and Juliet
In the turn of the century, there was another well known animator
known as Willis O\' Brien (known by others as O'bie). His work on The
Lost World (1925) is well known, but he is most admired for his work
on King Kong (1933), a milestone of his films made possible by stop
O'Brien's protege and eventual successor in Hollywood was Ray
Harryhausen . After learning under O'Brien on the film Mighty Joe
Young (1949), Harryhausen would go on to create the effects for a
string of successful and memorable films over the next three decades.
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), It Came from
Beneath the Sea (1955), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), The Golden
Voyage of Sinbad (1973) and Clash of the Titans (1981).
In a 1940 promotional film,
Autolite , an automotive parts supplier,
featured stop motion animation of its products marching past Autolite
factories to the tune of
Franz Schubert 's Military March . An
abbreviated version of this sequence was later used in television ads
for Autolite, especially those on the 1950s CBS program Suspense ,
1960S AND 1970S
In the 1960s and 1970s, independent clay animator Eliot Noyes Jr.
refined the technique of "free-form" clay animation with his
Oscar-nominated 1965 film Clay (or the Origin of Species). Noyes also
used stop motion to animate sand lying on glass for his musical
animated film Sandman (1975).
Stop motion was used by
Rankin/Bass on some of their Christmas
specials, most notably Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)
In 1975, filmmaker and clay animation experimenter
Will Vinton joined
with sculptor Bob Gardiner to create an experimental film called
Closed Mondays which became the world's first stop motion film to win
Will Vinton followed with several other successful short
film experiments including The Great Cognito, Creation, and Rip Van
Winkle which were each nominated for Academy Awards. In 1977, Vinton
made a documentary about this process and his style of animation which
he dubbed "claymation"; he titled the documentary Claymation. Soon
after this documentary, the term was trademarked by Vinton to
differentiate his team's work from others who had been, or were
beginning to do, "clay animation". While the word has stuck and is
often used to describe clay animation and stop motion, it remains a
trademark owned currently by Laika Entertainment, Inc. Twenty
clay-animation episodes featuring the clown
Mr. Bill were a feature of
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live , starting from a first appearance in February
At very much the same time in the UK,
Peter Lord and David Sproxton
Aardman Animations . In 1976 they created the character Morph
who appeared as an animated side-kick to the TV presenter
Tony Hart on
BBC TV programme
Take Hart . The five-inch-high presenter was made
from a traditional British modelling clay called
Plasticine . In 1977
they started on a series of animated films, again using modelling
clay, but this time made for a more adult audience. The soundtrack for
Down and Out was recorded in a Salvation Army Hostel and Plasticine
puppets were animated to dramatise the dialogue. A second film, also
BBC followed in 1978. A TV series The Amazing Adventures of
Morph was aired in 1980.
Sand-coated puppet animation was used in the Oscar-winning 1977 film
The Sand Castle , produced by Dutch-Canadian animator
Co Hoedeman .
Hoedeman was one of dozens of animators sheltered by the National Film
Board of Canada , a Canadian government film arts agency that had
supported animators for decades. A pioneer of refined multiple stop
motion films under the NFB banner was
Norman McLaren , who brought in
many other animators to create their own creatively controlled films.
Notable among these are the pinscreen animation films of Jacques
Drouin, made with the original pinscreen donated by Alexandre
Alexeieff and Claire Parker .
Italian stop motion films include
Quaq Quao (1978), by Francesco
Misseri , which was stop motion with origami , The Red and the Blue
and the clay animation kittens Mio and Mao . Other European
productions included a stop motion-animated series of
Tove Jansson 's
The Moomins (from 1979, often referred to as "The Fuzzy Felt
Moomins"), produced by Film Polski and Jupiter Films.
One of the main British
Animation teams, John Hardwick and Bob Bura,
were the main animators in many early British TV shows, and are famous
for their work on the
Disney experimented with several stop motion techniques by hiring
Mike Jittlov to do the first stop motion
Mickey Mouse toys ever produced for a short sequence
called Mouse Mania, part of a TV special commemorating Mickey Mouse's
50th Anniversary called Mickey's 50 in 1978. Jittlov again produced
some impressive multi-technique stop motion animation a year later for
a 1979 Disney special promoting their release of the feature film The
Black Hole . Titled Major Effects, Jittlov's work stood out as the
best part of the special. Jittlov released his footage the following
year to 16mm film collectors as a short film titled The Wizard of
Speed and Time , along with four of his other short multi-technique
animated films, most of which eventually evolved into his own
feature-length film of the same title. Effectively demonstrating
almost all animation techniques, as well as how he produced them, the
film was released to theaters in 1987 and to video in 1989.
1980S TO PRESENT
Stefano Bessoni , Italian filmmaker, illustrator and stop-motion
animator working on Gallows Songs (2014)
In the 1970s and 1980s, Industrial Light a film based on the famous
Pogo comic strip. Titled I go Pogo, it was aired a few times on
American cable channels, but has yet to be commercially released.
Primarily clay, some characters required armatures, and walk cycles
used pre-sculpted hard bases legs.
Stop motion was also used for some shots of the final sequence of
Terminator movie, also for the scenes of the small alien ships in
Spielberg 's Batteries Not Included in 1987, animated by David W.
Allen . Allen's stop motion work can also be seen in such feature
The Crater Lake Monster (1977), Q - The Winged Serpent
(1982), The Gate (1986) and Freaked (1993). Allen's King Kong
Volkswagen commercial from the 1970s is now legendary among model
Will Vinton and his team released an ambitious feature film
in stop motion called "The Adventures Of Mark Twain" based on the life
and works of the famous American author. While the film may have been
a little sophisticated for young audiences at the time, it got rave
reviews from critics and adults in general. Vinton's team also created
the Nomes and the Nome King for Disney's "Return to Oz" feature, for
which they received an Academy Award Nomination for
Effects. In the 80's and early 90's,
Will Vinton became very well
known for his commercial work as well with stop motion campaigns
The California Raisins .
Of note are the films of Czech filmmaker
Jan Švankmajer , which mix
stop motion and live actors. These include Alice , an adaptation of
Lewis Carroll 's Alice\'s Adventures in Wonderland , and
Faust , a
rendition of the legend of the German scholar . The Czech school is
also illustrated by the series
Pat & Mat (1979–present). Created by
Lubomír Beneš and Vladimír Jiránek, and it was wildly popular in a
number of countries.
Since the general animation renaissance headlined by the likes of Who
Framed Roger Rabbit and
The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid at the end of the 1980s and
the beginning of the 1990s, there have been an increasing number of
traditional stop motion feature films, despite advancements with
computer animation .
The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Nightmare Before Christmas , directed by
Henry Selick and produced by
Tim Burton , was one of the more widely
released stop motion features and become the highest grossing stop
motion animated movie of its time, grossing over $50 million domestic.
Henry Selick also went on to direct James and the Giant Peach and
Coraline , and
Tim Burton went on to direct
Corpse Bride and
Will Vinton launched the first prime-time stop-motion
television series called
The PJs , co-created by actor-comedian Eddie
Murphy . The Emmy-winning sitcom aired on Fox for two seasons, then
moved to the WB for an additional season. Vinton launched another
Gary & Mike , for UPN in 2001.
Another individual who found fame in clay animation is
Nick Park ,
who created the characters
Wallace and Gromit
Wallace and Gromit . In addition to a
series of award-winning shorts and featurettes, he won the Academy
Award for Best Animated Feature for the feature-length outing Wallace
In the 1960s, the French animator
Serge Danot created the well-known
The Magic Roundabout
The Magic Roundabout (1965) which played for many years on the
Another French/Polish stop motion animated series was Colargol
(Barnaby the Bear in the UK, Jeremy in Canada), by Olga Pouchine and
Tadeusz Wilkosz .
A British TV series,
Clangers (1969), became popular on television.
The British artists Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall (Cosgrove Hall Films
) produced a full-length film
The Wind in the Willows
The Wind in the Willows (1983) and later
a multi-season TV series
The Wind in the Willows
The Wind in the Willows based on Kenneth
Grahame 's classic children\'s book of the same title. They also
produced a documentary of their production techniques, Making Frog and
Toad . Since the 1970s and continuing into the 21st century, Aardman
Animations , a British studio, has produced short films, television
series, commercials and feature films, starring plasticine characters
Wallace and Gromit
Wallace and Gromit ; they also produced a notable music video
for "Sledgehammer ", a song by
Peter Gabriel .
During 1986 to 1991, Churchill Films produced The Mouse and the
Runaway Ralph , and
Ralph S. Mouse
Ralph S. Mouse for ABC television.
The shows featured stop-motion characters combined with live action,
based on the books of Beverly Cleary. John Clark Matthews was
animation director, with Justin Kohn, Joel Fletcher, and Gail Van Der
Merwe providing character animation.
From 1986 to 2000, over 150 five-minute episodes of
Pingu , a Swiss
children\'s comedy were produced by
Trickfilmstudio . In the 1990s
Trey Parker and
Matt Stone made two shorts and the pilot of South Park
almost entirely out of construction paper .
Tsuneo Gōda directed an official 30-second sketches of the
character Domo . With the shorts animated by stop-motion studio dwarf
is still currently produced in
Japan and has then received universal
critical acclaim from fans and critics. Gōda also directed the
stop-motion movie series Komaneko in 2004.
In 2003, the pilot film for the series
Curucuru and Friends ,
produced by Korean studio Ffango Entertoyment is greenlighted into a
children\'s animated series in 2004 after an approval with the
Gyeonggi Digital Contents Agency. It was aired in
KBS1 on November 24,
2006 and won the 13th Korean
Animation Awards in 2007 for Best
Animation. Ffango Entertoyment also worked with
Frontier Works in
Japan to produce the 2010 film remake of
Robot Chicken has mostly utilized stop motion animation,
using custom made action figures and other toys as principal
Since 2009 Laika , the stop-motion successor to
Will Vinton Studios ,
has released four feature films , which have collectively grossed over
STOP MOTION IN OTHER MEDIA
Many younger people begin their experiments in movie making with stop
motion, thanks to the ease of modern stop motion software and online
video publishing. Many new stop motion shorts use clay animation into
a new form.
Oren Lavie 's music video for the song Her Morning
Elegance was posted on YouTube on January 19, 2009. The video,
directed by Lavie and Yuval and Merav Nathan, uses stop motion and has
achieved great success with over 25.4 million views, also earning a
2010 Grammy Award nomination for "Best Short Form Music Video".
Stop motion has occasionally been used to create the characters for
computer games, as an alternative to CGI. The Virgin Interactive
Entertainment Mythos game
Magic and Mayhem
Magic and Mayhem (1998) featured creatures
built by stop motion specialist Alan Friswell, who made the miniature
figures from modelling clay and latex rubber, over armatures of wire
and ball-and-socket joints. The models were then animated one frame at
a time, and incorporated into the CGI elements of the game through
digital photography. "
ClayFighter " for the Super NES and The
Neverhood for the PC are other examples.
List of stop motion artists
List of stop motion artists
List of stop motion films
Wallace and Gromit
Wallace and Gromit
* ^ STOP, combinations section (Comb.), STOP-MOTION a device for
automatically stopping a machine or engine when something has gone
wrong (The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Clarendon Press,
Oxford, Vol. 2 N-Z, 1993 edition, see page 3,074)
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