If you’re a fan of stop motion animation, then you’re a fan of Rankin/Bass.  The studio is best known for 1964’s Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. But in 1967, Rankin/Bass did the ultimate monster mash-up with Mad Monster Party.

Though it was originally released in spring and contained no overt mention of Halloween, Mad Monster Party featured every creepy creature associated with trick or treating. Count Dracula, the Mummy, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Werewolf, the Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, skeletons and zombies populated the stop-motion family comedy. 

There’s an excellent article from the website Decades that discusses this often overlooked treasure that features Boris Karloff and Phyllis Diller, as well as the impact it had on other pop culture interpretations of the famous characters in its story.

Further, there’s a link to a “Making of” short feature on Youtube.  I always love those things.

Here’s the link for the story. 

Oh and Happy Halloween!

Michael Tharme has been working on his Wildlife on Mars project for some time and is gearing up to push for completion. He's made some extremely impressive puppets using the build-up process that the pioneers of stop motion invented. Plus a few new processes as well, but of course with new modern materials that is to be expected. While Mike does have many places he resides on the internet, his blog is quite a lot of insights into his ambitions and thoughts on the finer details of puppet and prop making. You can find his blog right here. Below is his messages to us which explain the above video as well as what his plans are for the film. You can also find links if you'd like to help out.

"...there is a video of my talking before hand but the pitch trailer kicks in at 2:30. So the pitch trailer consists of all my test footage shot over a month, these where to see how far I could push my puppets armatures but also to see where issues might occur in the animation performance and the latex skin as the puppets where build using the build up process. The heads are made in cast polyurethane resin. Both puppets use a ball & socket armature with aluminium/ copper wire in the lips, fingers, eyebrows, eye lids and tails of the creature.The finished animation (which should be 5 minutes long) will be sent to the Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation to celebrate Ray's 100th birthday next year."

"The project, Wildlife on Mars, has been in development since 2012 when Ray first saw the original storyboard and wanted to see the finished film. This is a passion project as well as keeping a promise to Ray that I would make and finish this film for him. There is a GoFundMe for donations to help out with my travel expenses to get me into university to finish this film for my Masters Degree, so any form of donation is great welcomed."

The Bricks Arcade channel on YouTube released this funny little Lego Halloween short. It's already got over 70,000 views in the few days it's been up! There are many good aspects to it, including the animation, effects and even camera moves which are very smooth. It's definitely worth a watch.

robot chicken

I've always had a kind of love-hate relationship with Robot Chicken. I love that it's done using stop motion. I love that it's so all about pop culture and has fun with many of the properties I love. I love that it's free. But I hate that it too often devolves into easy potty humor instead of being clever. But overall, it's fun to watch and it's great to see how it makes use of stop motion to such great effect.

As the stop-motion series reaches its 10th season, the creators, cast, and crew reflect on 15 years of playing with action figures on-camera. The attached article details how the show was conceived, sold, and the challenges (and fun!) the creators have had with it over the years. It's a long read, but well worth the time investment.

Click here for the article from the website



Tonight we had a chat with Terry Ibele. Terry is creator of the Animation Industry Podcast and has experience in clay animation and 2-D hand drawn animation. His most notable and funny short animation being the Fish King which was done in clay. Terry also goes to Sheridan College in Canada and is studying to potentially carry the stop motion torch into the future. In this interview he goes on to talk about how both his podcast and life experiences have shaped his outlook and desire to choose art over the mundane business world. You can find links to his podcast, Instagram and YouTube channels below: