Randy

Long time Stop Motion Magic/Animate Clay site member and contributor Randy Boyum got some major props for his work in clay animation.   9news.com, the NBC affiliate out of Denver, posted a terrific article on April 15 (Click here) that contains an interview with Randy where he discusses his 40-year fascination with working with clay, and some of his best productions. Randy also talks a bit about his upcoming short, which we’re all anxious to see.   There are also some links provided to some of his terrific stop motion shorts.

So congratulations to Randy for this well-deserved recognition!

The Shadow King was fleshed out as an idea to be made fully in stop motion by Henry Selick. There were lots of artists who brought the main characters to life in animation tests. Storyboards were created, set designs sketched out, voice acting recorded - and negotiations with Travis Knight and Disney to see what could be done. Laika studios had to pull the plug due to financing and other issues. It is one of those projects that could have been great, if only fate didn't have its way.

kong2020

You read it correctly! The original King Kong from 1933 will be in theaters for one day, March 15th in over 600 movie theaters in the US. If you would like to find out if it will be at a theater in your zip code, click this link here. Why is this important? Stop motion film maker Willis O'Brien is thought to be the grandfather of the stop motion industry. He pioneered (along with Marcel Delgado and others) most the processes we take for granted in 2020. The use of machined armature parts, surface gages and many specialized film processes were started with the breakthroughs of O'Brien.

Ray Harryhausen leap frogged off of those original techniques to create his famous Dynamation process in later years. This in turn inspired the likes of Phil Tippett, Will Vinton, Nick Park and others who have carried the torch almost 100 years later. So if you want to see the film that started it all in the way it was meant to be seen, this may be your last chance.

Shaun Christmas v2

We seem to post a fair amount about Aardman's Shaun The Sheep. That's because of the incredible stop motion work the studio produces. Oh, that and Shaun is cool. Anyway Shaun, Timmy and the rest of the Flock will star in a new Christmas half hour special, premiering once again on Netflix in 2021!

Our friends at Animation Magazine posted this short desciption of the upcoming feature: Shaun's seasonal excitement turns to dismay when a farmhouse raid to get bigger stockings for the Flock inadvertently leads to Timmy going missing. Can Shaun get Timmy back before he becomes someone else’s present?

To read the entire article, please click here.

Brothers Morgan and Mason McGrew re-created the famous Pixar film completely in stop motion, calling it Toy Story 3 in Real Life. OK, to be honest it's not 100% in stop motion since it takes place in real environments. There are live action scenes and occasionally some rod puppetry shots that are used too. However the majority of the project was done one frame at a time and it took over eight years to complete. So would Toy Story have been better if it were done by hand as opposed to in a computer? Maybe not, but it might have had a little more charm in that every kid imagines their toys living and breathing in their toy box when the lights go out. If you'd like to see how the project was made with behind the scenes video clips, check out the official Facebook page here. You can also see similar updates on their official YouTube channel here.