Friday, July 31, 2009

Stop Motion News: The Fantastic Mr. Fox

20th Century Fox has announced they will be releasing a new stop-motion animated movie based on the best-selling children's book The Fantastic Mr. Fox by British author Roald Dahl (who also co-wrote the movie script with Noah Baumbach). The movie includes an all-star cast including Owen Wilson, George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, and many more. The movie will be released 13 of November.

In the movie Mr. and Mrs. Fox live an idyllic home life with their son Ash and visiting nephew Kristopherson. But after 12 years, the bucolic existence proves too much for Mr. Fox's wild animal instincts. Soon he slips back into his old ways as a sneaky chicken thief and, in doing so, endangers not only his beloved family, but the whole animal community. Trapped underground and with too little food to go around, the animals band together to fight against the evil Farmers -- Boggis, Bunce, and Bean -- who are determined to capture the audacious, fantastic Mr Fox at any cost.

Check out the trailer below.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Stop-Motion How-To:The Power Of the Unexpected

I'm kind of a dull person to watch movies with, since I really don't get too emotionally drawn into a movie. But I have noticed that the one thing that seem to provoke my feelings the most is the unexpected. When someone in a movie is sick and it's obvious he's going to die sooner or later, I rarely find myself saddened when he dies. But in a movie where the story seems rather predictable, and then suddenly one of the likable characters dies I find myself shocked and saddened by this new turn of events.

Or, to look at it from the other side of the coin, a gag can become much funnier when it's unexpected, such as in Aardman's short Aardman where a guy dressed up as a superhero walks up to what looks like a hole in the ground. He walks over the hole and nothing happens, but when he gets a couple steps past it, he falls through the ground, turning somthing that would have been a cliche into somthing that surpises the audience.

Of course, you can't use the unexpected too much, because it will soon become the expected. For instances, in M. Night Shyamalan's movies, people have come to expect a big twist in the end and often are disappointed because they wanted a epic twist when it was just a good one. Try doing something unexpected in your animations. If you do it right, you'll get some good reactions.

To illustrate my point, check out the video below.