There's a good range of animation on this Christmas. I watched the Nightmare before Christmas the other day and there are a few specials and premieres. So I decided to list a few that I've found. If I've missed anything of significance please let me know.
10:25am Curious George (2006) on ITV1 and Home on the Range (2004) on BBC1
4:25pm Over the Hedge (2006) BBC1 followed by Shrek 2 at 5:45pm
5:15pm Creature Comforts on ITV1 and Corpse Bride (2005) at 6pm
Channel 5 has animation for younger viewers until 10:20 with one of my favourites "Little Princess" is on at 9:10am.
The Polar Express (2004) is on ITV1 at 1:10pm
The Incredibles (2004) on BBC1 at 3:10pm on BBC1
Happy Feet (2006) Premiere's on BBC2 at 3:40pm
I found Shrek the Halls just a little too silly but if you missed it before or want to see it again it's on BBC1 at 4:55pm.
A half hour BBC Special "The Gruffalo" is on BBC1 at 5:30pm Christmas Day.
Technically not an animation but one of the films that inspired me due to it's puppetry and animatronics, The NeverEnding Story (1984) is on ITV3 at 1:35.
Aardman's first venture into CGI, Flushed Away (2006) is on BBC1 at 3pm with more Aardman at 4:40pm with Wallace and Grommit Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
A repeat of the Gruffalo on BBC3 at 7pm.
Chicken Run (2000) 3:05pm BBC1
New Year's Eve
BBC1 seems to dominate the Animation listings for New Year's Eve starting with The Magic Roundabout (2004) at 9:55am. Then the Premiere of The Ant Bully (2006) at 12:40pm and finally Madagascar (2005) on BBC1 4pm.
New Year's Day
The Disney classic, The Sword in the Stone (1963) is on BBC1 at 9:45am
Shark Tale (2004) BBC1 1:55pm
Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006) ITV1 at 2:50pm
There are also Creature Comforts scattered through the ITV listings through the Christmas period and there's a few muppet films too.
Info from tvguide.co.uk
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
There's a good range of animation on this Christmas. I watched the Nightmare before Christmas the other day and there are a few specials and premieres. So I decided to list a few that I've found. If I've missed anything of significance please let me know.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I spotted this morning that I've been neglecting the animation ramblings blog so here's a quick post with a selection of Stop Motion Links that I've found over the years.
Modellers / filmakers
Interview with Jim Rohn
Scarlet star studios
King Kong Armature
How to make models
Tom Brierton on Foam Puppets
Scarlet Star Studios - stop-motion puppet construction
Stop Motion Works
Using an armature as a input device
Friday, September 25, 2009
Pixar's UP will be in UK cinemas from October 9th and in 3D in selected cinemas.
This latest CGI film is the story of an old man Carl and boy scout Russell who travel to South America by tying rather a lot of balloons to the house.
There were many interesting technical challenges for the animators as they chose to animate 10,000 balloons using physics and to promote their films this was done on a smaller scale with a real arm chair floated with balloons. Feathers, forest animals, the dog Dug, a Wedding dress and Carl's cube head and stubbly chin also challenged the Pixar animators who discussed some of the issues at presentation of UP at the Gnomon School
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
For the 1st 4 days of October the island of Jersey will be home to the Brachage Film Festival. There is a lot packed into those 4 days but here's some of the highlights for animators.
Friday 2nd October 2009 - Mont Orgueil Castle
The Secret of Kells is an animated fairytale for both children and adults. It won the audience award at both the Edinburgh Film Festival 2009 and the prestigious Annecy animation festival in France.
Friday 2nd October 2009 - Opera House
This is followed by Animagica Night. The Icelandic quartet Amiina performing an original soundtrack to classic Lotte Reiniger animations followed by the ‘live cinema’ experience of Paper Cinema. Inkblots, photocopies, cardboard, angle-poise lamps, the occasional table, video technology, a laptop and a banana box, are all put to use alongside a cast of hand-drawn marionettes magically brought to life.
Saturday 3rd October 2009 - Town Hall
Bev Sage is host to Richard Golesowski from Aardman Animations, for a special Shaun the Sheep masterclass, with models and images to show how little Shaun makes it to the big screen.
Also featuring trailer of new animation “The Puffas” by Ray Hedges and live performance by Simon MacDonald.
There will also be animation in the Max Hattler retrospective and in the London Short Film Festival presents Music & Video.
Follow the latest about the Branchage Festival on Twitter.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Aardman have been busy over the summer. They have been moving into their new offices, creating animation on the Nintendo Wii® and have been commissioned to make a new inventing series for the BBC. They have also been involved in a range of adverts such as the Change for Life, Cherios, Marie Claire and Birds Eye 'Steakhouse'. The Aardman feature films teams are working on "Arthur Christmas" and "The Pirates! which they hope to release in 2012. They have also been building a digital WebbliWorld.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Frank Grimshaw reports in the Imagine Animation Blog of an auction of a 22-inch armature made by Willis O’Brien for the 1933 film of King Kong, it was used in the final scene on top of the Empire State Building.
This and other Vintage Film Posters and Entertainment Memorabilia will be on sale at Christies South Kensington Offices at 2pm on November 24th 2009.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
JapanJourney are arranging Manga Tours in Tokyo. The 7 day trip includes a visit to the Ghibli Museum, a tour of a working anime studio, a stop off at a Manga Café as well as more traditional Japanese attractions such as temples and gardens. Plenty of time has been allocated for those wanting to shop at all of the wonderful locations such as Nakano Broadway and Akihabar.
The next tour is 18-25 March 2010.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The official opening of the 2009 London International Film Festival is on Monday 31 August 6pm at the Renoir Cinema.
However tonight is party night for the festival goers at the Roxy, The Brothers McLeod join with animation and film night organisers Paperbag with DJs and musicians.
The Monday night even will be no-less special with a special preview of Mary and Max by Adam Elliot and the results of the POOP Golden Poo Awards.
Saturday, August 01, 2009
For anyone around Dublin, Ireland on the 8th of August
Pegbar is holding another one of its amazing events! But this time round we’ve got a whole day of talks from industry professionals.
There will be talks about the animation industry, the games industry, moving image, running small studios and making features. And we’ll finish the night off with our networking event.
So Pegbar will take place on the 8th of August, in Filmbase, 11am to 5pm.
There will be a workshop on making comic books for young artists in Filmbase 11am – 1pm
And then in the evening our ‘it’s a pegbar affair’, will be taking place in Murrays Bar, on O’Connell St, 8pm til late! Where there will be loads of cool animations playing and an enjoyable place for everyone to network.
There will be a colouring competition, to which the winners take home loads of Pegbar goodies!
Tickets are as follows:
A whole day pass, including the talks, the evening event and some pegbar goodies are €20, there are only 70 places available and you can prebook the tickets through firstname.lastname@example.org (discounts available for artists who submitted work for the show)
The comic book workshop, is free for young artists aged 12 - 17 and can be prebooked at email@example.com are only 12places available.
The evening networking event is five euro on the door and can be paid for on the day.(Artists who submitted work have free entry)
Friday, July 31, 2009
It seems like everyone is talking about the new stop motion animation from Wes Anderson, "The Fantastic Mr Fox", it's based on Roald Dahl's story and will be showing at London Film Festival later in the year.
Total Film's report
The Playlist has some excellent pictures of the film.
The production process has been complicated by the closure of Revoltion Studios so Fox Animation have taken over the gauntlet. Mark Gustafson has taken on the role of Animation Director after Henry Selick left to work on Coraline.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Cartoonist John Ryan, who created the popular Captain Pugwash British television series, has died aged 88 this week. He is famous for the comical pirate series and author of a multitude of books. As well as writing many of the early scripts he also produced the artwork and directed the filming. John was also responsible for Sir Prancalot which was a similar style to Pugwash and set in a castle. He used his great artistic ability on the Ark Stories in 1981 using a rostrum camera to create simple animated animal stories, Percy Edwards provided the voices.
The Captain Pugwash Television Series
Before the Captain and his band were on television they were a successful series in the Eagle and then the Radio Times. The very TV first episode aired on BBC1 on 22nd October 1957. That initial pugwash series was filmed in black and white and ran for 58 episodes, in the 1970s a second colour series was commissioned by the BBC and 30 more episodes were made.
Later in 1998 John Cary created a third CGI Captain Pugwash using the 2D software Animo to produce a crisper result. Some people have criticised the CGI seascapes but most would agree that the style is very similar.
Captain Horatio Pugwash was joined by Master Mate, Pirate Willy, Pirate Barnabas and the voice of reason "Tom the Cabin Boy". The pirates sailed the Black Pig and their arch enemy was "Cut-Throat Jake"
The Captain was renown for making stupid plans and his exclamations such as
"Plundering Porpoises!", "Jumping jellyfish!" or "Harrowing hurricanes!"
The Music and voices
The series music is possible even more well know than the series itself. The Trumpet Hornpipe is a lively sea shanty played on the accordion.
All the characters were voiced by Peter Hawkins
Watching the series it's easy to assume that the technique is simply cutout animation on a painted backdrop. However it was actually a cardboard puppet play filmed in real time with articulated puppets made from card and metal. Some panning and zooming was also used with larger sets. This technique enabled Ryan and his team to shoot and impressive 400ft of film a day which meant that each Pugwash episode took only about three weeks to complete. John Ryan's setups were called "Captions" and he used same technique on the later series Sir Prancalot and also on Mary, Mungo and Midge. The illustration was crisp and high quality and the colours bold.
Toonhouse Pugwash Early Series
Toonhound Pugwash Modern Series
Wirligig TV's Look at Captain Pugwash
BBC Entertainment News
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I was looking at the armatures in the Stop Motion Animation Shop this morning and wondered if there was anything like that in the uk. A quick search on google came up with the following:
Some links for UK suppliers of stop motion armatures, in no particular order.
Mark Reeve Animation Engineering
Friday, June 05, 2009
A new animation book is due out later this month aiming to provide an apprenticeship in skills from the golden era of animation. How to Make Animated Films is a Complete Masterclass on the Traditional Principles of Animation and is written by teacher and animator Tony White.
Starting out with the basics of equipment and technical aspects like Dope Sheets, Light boxes and subtleties such as using top or bottom pegs. The books then discuses the timing aspects and movement arcs. Several chapters are dedicated to specific actions such as bouncing balls and walks and runs followed by more advanced techniques. The later chapters look at bringing this all together and it finishes with a look at the future of animation.
Why this book?
Putting it all together
The future of animation
The book includes hands-on Tutorials, demonstrations and final sample animations of 2D, 3D, Flash, Claymation, Cut-Out animation. It is also accompanied with a DVD demonstrating the principles and concepts from the book.
Tony White is well placed to write such a book. He started out studying with Ken Harris, Art Babbit and Richard Williams and went on work for Halas and Batchelor, Richard Williams Animation and Animus Productions. Over the years he has won various awards for films and commercials.
In 2005 he founded a non profit organisation The Animaticus Foundation is dedicated to the preserving, teaching and evolving the artform of 2D animation in a digital world.
Tony White's channel on Youtube
Tony White Biography
Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Focal Press (12 Jun 2009)
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The Cannes Film Festival Opens today with Pixar's Up, Directed by Pete Docter.
"By tying thousands of balloon to his home, 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America."
Carl is joined on his adventures by the young explorer and stow away, Russel. along the way they cross wild terrain, meet villains and jungle creatures and have close encounters with bi-planes and zepplins.
Pete also Directed Monsters Inc and has written for films such as WALL-E and Toy Story.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
The finalists are up for the Aardman/Firebox Morphmation competition.
Fishcake by Jennifer Kell
Morph: Fair Play By Ian Timothy
Tea and Biscuits by David Hart
Morph Gets Fit by Rachel McGrath
Morph Stains on the Carpet By Peter & Caroline
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
I've been informed by the Royal Festival Hall that the Peter and the Wolf program will no-longer begin with 'The Lost Town of Switez'.
"The evening now begins with a presentation of two short films. Joyets, directed by Magdalena Osinska, incorporates original drawings created by Osinka when she was five-years-old - giving life to her childhood imagination. Begone Dull Care is an exhilarating interpretation of the music of the Oscar Peterson Trio, painted directly onto film by Evelyn Lambart and Canadian National Film Board animation legend Norman McLaren in 1949. These short films will be followed by the screening of Peter and the Wolf."
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Many years ago I saw an animation that featured a haunting tune and an outdoor setting. The visuals were excellent and it undoubtedly fuelled my desire to get into animation in a later life.
Following my first experiments with animation back in college, I've wanted to track down that film and find out what it was. My first step of success what when I was enthusing about the film to a friend and hummed the tune to them. "Sounds like the Godfather tune" they said. I found references to those films and discovered that the music was composed by Nino Rota. That year I was lucky enough to get a copy of the sound track from my (then to be) wife.
I recently thought to ask the people on the Imagine Animation forum if they knew of a film that fitted the description. A few days later, I got a reply via Twitter that it could be the film "Contact" (Контакт) by Vladimir Tarasov, made in 1978. This was described as featuring music (”Godfather Theme”) by Nino Rota with permission. A further search revealed a clip on YouTube.
Watching this, it fitted the picture perfectly, it was made at the right time, had the tune, the outdoor setting and quality animation. It made the official selection at both the Lillle and Triest festivals in 1979 so it's good to know that it's not just me that thinks it's great.
My next challenge is to get to watch the full version of the film. I've discovered that it's on the Masters of Russian Animation Volume 2 collection of DVDs. The only copy I've seen would be an American format. For me this is one of my big gripes with regional encoding of DVDs. Yes, it allows the distributors to control the release of the DVDs into the market but it also stops me playing rare films only released in the USA on a UK player, 10 or 15 years later. Luckily I've got a region unlocked DVD player on my PC so it could be played there but there have been suggestions that such unlocking should be outlawed.
Spike's comments on the director and film.
"Vladimir Tarasov, who became interested in science fiction as a child, reading western writers H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, and Andrei Norton, as well as Russia's Kir Bulchov."
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Playboy Animation Competition
"Playboy promises a tasty $10,000 to someone who blows us away with an animation that out-entertains the competition. Now it's your chance to animate your way into history by proving to us that you have created the next South Park, Family Guy or Robot Chicken. One grand prize winner grabs the cash. The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2009, so get to work and come up with something brilliant!"
Thank to Frank from Animation Magazine for finding this one.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Friday 8 May 2009, 7pm at Royal Festival Hall
The evening begins at 7pm with the world premiere of The Lost Town of Switez, a new animated film from the same creators of Peter and the Wolf, set to an original score by Russian composer Irina Bogdanovich.
Peter and the Wolf starts at 7.25pm. There is a relaxed open-door policy throughout the performance, and food and drink are allowed in the auditorium. The evening finishes between 8.30pm and 9pm.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Aardman have teamed up with the online gadget store Firebox.com and are looking for short animated stopmotion Morph films.
There's a chance of winning a one-off signed original sketch of a scene from your film by Peter Lord, Creative Director of Aardman, a copy of Stop Motion Pro6.5 High Definition software or an Animation Station.
Full terms and conditions
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Press release from
As part of their renowned Animate the World Festival, the Barbican is launching an Animator of the Year competition this year to recognise undiscovered talent in the UK.
As a highly respected animation blogger we’d appreciate your support in helping us to spread the word about this competition – as well as perhaps entering yourself.
What’s up for grabs:
Animator of the Year Winner:
o Winner’s name and animation will be posted on the Barbican Animate the World website on Friday 3rd April.
o A pair of tickets to every screening in the festival*
o A pair of tickets to one of the special adult animation workshops during the festival.
o A special box set of Pixar DVDs
Animator of the Year Runner up:
o A pair of tickets to a festival screening of your choice*
Entrants can design and share their own animations via the dedicated online Animation Studio
The Barbican’s Animate the World festival starts on Saturday 4th April and this year features a brand new strand; Animate Advanced, catering especially for adult fans of animation. Festival goers can enjoy new animations such as Bill Plymtpon’s nourish Idiots and Angels and classics like Rene Laloux’s Fantastic Planet.
For more information about the festival or the competition please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Xtranormal is an online tool for creating simple movies. After selecting an over all theme you are placed in the script editor. From here you can configure everything from selecting the set and characters, writing the script and actions to choosing the camera angles. The voice synthesiser has a range of about 6 voices and the British man I chose was clear and realistic. Even though it is in a beta I found nothing that did not work and fairly quickly produced a short clip. Although you are not going to be able to recreate ET or Titanic with this tool you could use it for animatics or simple presentations. You need to register to be able to save your film results.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Mark Wallinger's exhibition The Russian Linesman "Frontiers, Borders and Thresholds" at the Hayward Gallery contains a selection of 8 Edweard Muybridge photographs from his Animal Locomotion series.
The examples include the classic Bird in flight and some more obscure pieces such as Man performing acrobatics and Man performing contortions (part 1 and part 2). Although I've seen these in books there's always something special about seeing them hanging up on the wall.
For an animator I found some other items of interest such as Foley Artist Tacita Dean's massive dubbing cue sheet shows the relationships between sound, voice and image.
There are also many examples of anatomy in the form of statues and paintings. Smugglerius shows the muscle structure of a man, it was made in a rather macabre way, being cast directly from a skinned/executed smuggler. Dying Gaul is another example of anatomy in the form of a full sized sculpture and George stubs contributes with a human skeleton.
A couple more things of note were the sterographic pictures and Albrecht Durer's illustrations of perspective machines.
I know that Mark Wallinger was trying to put across a point about thresholds and boundries of different forms but for me it was a good resource of interesting material.
Finally and for me one of the main reason's for the visit was Robert Hooke's Flea
Monday, March 02, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
So the Oscar results are in:
La Maison en Petits Cubes by Kunio Kato got the award for Best Short Film and Wall-E got the Animated Feature Film award.
More details of the individual films can be seen at the Animation World Network Oscar Showcase, click the links at the top of the page.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Wallace and Gromit are moving to a new home after creators Aardman Animation were given the go-ahead to build a £10 million headquarters.
The Oscar-winning studio will move to a three-storey complex next to its current dockside base in Bristol after the plans were approved by the city council.
It will almost double the number of staff currently working at the site from 110 to 200, as nearly all the company's employees are relocated to the new expanded development.
Aardman co-founder David Sproxton said it was an exciting time in the company's history, "the building will mean everyone can be together at last and out of the Portakabins."
The building will boast its own "mini cinema" and could feature four wind turbines on the roof - providing up to 25 per cent of the site's energy needs.
More details can be found via the Wallace and Gromit Forum.
Monday, February 09, 2009
There's plenty of articles about the other Bafta winners. Animation Ramblings is interested the animation winners. Congratulations to WALL-E and our home baked A Matter of Loaf and Death and a not forgetting Terry Gilliam who's films (and animation) have entertained us all over the years.
Winner - WALL•E – Andrew Stanton
PERSEPOLIS – Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud
WALTZ WITH BASHIR – Ari Folman
Winner - WALLACE AND GROMIT: A MATTER OF LOAF AND DEATH – Steve Pegram, Nick Park, Bob Baker
CODSWALLOP – Greg McLeod, Myles McLeod
VARMINTS – Sue Goffe, Marc Craste
Saturday, February 07, 2009
I'd like to share with you some links/definitions.
Association Internationale du Film D'Animation
ASIFA-Hollywood is the Los Angeles chapter of The International Animated Film Society
The ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive
The $100,000 Animation Drawing Course
I came across these links in a round about way. I'd been told about John Kricfalusi's blog and although I've been reading it since before Christmas, he's be churning out a lot more than I can read. So much so that I've even been printing blog pages out to read on the bus on the way too and from work. I was a bit puzzled as to why these articles were so long and why the comments were even longer but I was happy to read them in ignorance of this fact. I've been particularly interested in his comments on clear staging and hope to write a short article on how it applies to CGI and model animation in the next few days. John had mentioned Preston Blair's book "Cartoon Animation" a few times so I though I'd get myself a copy.
After wandering around the books shops and failing to find a copy like an animated J.R.Hartley I decided to look on the web. After a few searches I realised a few things. The first is that Cartoon Animation is actually a compilation of Preston's earlier works, a series of booked entitled "Animation". The next was that the Animation Archive have posted the first of these online.
Preston Blair Animation Part 1
Preston Blair Animation Part 2
The final piece of the jigsaw that made sense of everything was that John was actually running an animation course based on Preston Blair's material hence why the detail in the blog articles and the inquisitive responses in the blog comments.
Friday, February 06, 2009
Stoke Your Fires Festival of Animation 2009 - call for submissions
Press Release by John Simmonds
The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery is excited to announce that the Stoke Your Fires Festival of Animation will return in 2009.
This year’s animation festival builds on the success of the 2008 event by hosting a month of animation themed events at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery.
The festival itself takes place on 2-3 April 2009 at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery. This ticketed two day event will see professional animators come to Stoke-on-Trent to take part in seminars, lectures and masterclasses to share and develop their understanding of the industry.
The festival also has a major international competition element. Last year saw more than 100 submissions from animators across the globe. The Best Animated Short was awarded to Aardman Animation’s ‘The Pearce Sisters’ which now has more than 35 awards worldwide.
The competition is not limited to professional animators. The 2008 competition saw many pieces of original and engaging work by student animators.
The organisers of the 2009 festival would like to invite submissions in the following categories:
Best Animated Short
Best Professional Regional Animation ‘Made in the Midlands’
Best Animated Commercial
Best International Animation
Best In Game Animation
Best Student Animation
See www.stokeyourfires.com for more information about how to submit work to the competition.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
"Peg Bar would like to invite you down to our show next Friday 23rd of January.
It will be upstairs in Murrays Bar, on O'Connell St, Dublin. Doors open at 7pm.
The night will kick off around 8pm, with Eamon Butler of Double Negative, opening the show, he will be doing a 45 min presentation on the animation and designs done on the 'Hellboy 2' film. He will be followed by screenings of a number of showreels from artists across Ireland and Uk. Entry is free. There will be a donation box on the night and we hope people can contribute a few euro to keep Peg Bar alive and running."
Pegbar is a networking event directed solely at the animation industry in Ireland
Friday, January 09, 2009
Happy New Year animation ramblings fans, it certainly looks like 2009 will be the year of 3D films.
Film directors such as James Cameron, Robert Zemeckis and even George Lucas have been talking about how their new films will be in 3D and DreamWorks Animation chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg stated that "all of DreamWork Animation's films will be both authored and offered in 3D"
NVIDEA have been demoing new active glasses for showing such films at home and Novo have produced the worlds first consumer 3D webcam which has the extra advantage of looking a little like the Johnny 5 robot from the Short Circuit films.