Friday, April 04, 2014

Stop-Motion, 20th and 21st Century Style: George Pal, Aardman Animations

The Puppetoon Movie, a compilation put together by Arnold Leibovit in 1987, is now available again on a limited edition Blu-ray.

Saw The Puppetoon Movie on the big screen back during its late 1980's theatrical run and was thrilled and delighted to find that it included Mr. Blogmeister's favorite Puppetoon ever made, the charming and romantic Together In The Weather, starring Punchy & Judy.

Reviews thus far include a thorough and well-written piece on the DVD release by Francis Rizzo III for DVD Talk.

There's also Jeremy Arnold's comprehensive article about George Pal's career, The Puppetoon Movie On Blu-ray, on the Turner Classic Movies website.

Here's a clip from the Puppetoon DVD, including a commentary by stop motion animator Bob Baker, who worked with Mr. Pal on the series, and historian/archivist Steve Stanchfield.

Channel Four, known for some pretty darn wonderful documentaries on music, produced this top-notch look at George Pal.

Even in the era of wall-to-wall CGI, this blogger finds Pal's imaginative special effects in such films as War Of The Worlds still positively mind-blowing after six decades.

The latest scoop from Animation Scoop - there's a new feature film forthcoming from a studio much beloved by Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog, the incomparable Aardman Animations. Since Mr. Blogmeister adored the Aardman features Chicken Run and Wallace And Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit, this is truly jolly good news among this week's reeking current events stench. Of course, ranking high on the short list of all-time favorite films is The Wrong Trousers.

When a October 10, 2005 fire at the Aardman Animations warehouse, the hope was that the company would be able to return from the damage. This blaze wiped out just about all the original sets for the Wallace and Gromit films and panels of original storyboards. . . as fully "up in smoke" as a 35mm nitrate camera negative of a Gale Henry or Alice Howell Universal comedy!

Well, they did make it all the way back, thank Wensleydale, and the official trailer for the upcoming Aardman opus, to be released in 2015, is here - the epic, the sensational, the big screen spectacle topping the special effects and severed-limb packed "300" movies. . . the Shaun the Sheep feature film!

While this will not be a horror flick that crosses Shaun Of The Sheep and Shaun Of The Dead, one sincerely hopes that the next feature from Aardman proves itself at the box office as an enormous international hit and Aardman gets to make more features (maybe even starring Wallace & Gromit). So today, the respectful tip of the Jack Buchanan top hat goes to the outstanding creative artists of Aardman Animations!

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