Animation

Stunning steampunk animation online: The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello

Anthony Lucas award winning 2005 short film, The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello is a Gothic horror mystery set in a world of iron dirigibles and steam powered computers. Jasper Morello is a disgraced aerial navigator who flees his Plague-ridden home on a desperate voyage to redeem himself.

The film uses a unique style of silhouette animation, developed by Lucas, and the entire 26 minute short is now available online for your viewing pleasure

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Surreal post-apocalyptic gorgeousness from Shane Acker

One film Ive been looking forward to seeing ever since I caught the trailer is 9. Shane Ackers feature length début tells the story of 9, a robot rag doll that comes to life in a post-apocalyptic world. All humans are gone, and it is only by chance that he discovers a small community of others like him taking refuge from fearsome machines that roam the earth intent on their extinction.

The film is being produced by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov and is an expansion of Ackers 2005 short film of the same name.

Late Film have managed to track down the short and it looks stunning. But dont take my word for it – go see for yourself.

Code Monkey: The Anime Music Video

Every now and then, as I trawl the depths of YouTube, I stuble across something that is very good indeed. In this case its Code Monkey AMV, which uses footage from the Anime Black Heaven to make a music video for Jonathan Coultons Code Monkey.

According to the blurb, the short won the Best in Show award at Animazement 2007, and its easy to see why. Not only is this an excellent mash-up, but its a damn fine music video by any standard.

Its also left me wanting to get my paws on Black Heaven.

Bill Plympton talks Idiots and Angels

Bill Plympton is one of the most original animators working today. His 2008 film, Idiots and Angels is a dark comedy about a morally bankrupt man scrabbling to hide the good in himself - which manifests itself in a pair of angel wings that just won’t go away.

And in this short film, shot while he was promoting the film in Bordeaux, Plympton talks about Idiots and Angels.

The forgotten victims of the credit crunch

AHD168 is a computer generated robot who was written out of a TV advert due to credit crunched budgetary constraints. AHD168 now spends his days wandering the streets looking for a meaningful role in an animated TV project.

Via Downtime

The British Mars Exploration Programme

Marsipan is a stop motion series created and produced totally independently by Nikolay Moustakov and Liz Rosenthal with the help of a great team of collaborators, Nathaniel Tapley, Brian Kelly, Tom Russell, Nils Kloth and Lynne Pritchard, just to mention a few.

Their latest mission, Mission Striker is online now at aniboom and it manages to be both cute and funny. Go check it out.

Found at the StarWreck blog.

Tex Avery meets National Geographic

Minuscule is a fusion between the documentary style of National Geographic and the universe of Tex Avery in which animated insects experience their adventures against a background of real-world sets. The films are short, dialogue-free and very, very funny.

Inevitably enough, plenty of these films have turned up online and you can also subscribe to the sites RSS feed and download the much prettier MP4 clips. And dont forget to check out the DVD for over four hours of comedy genius.

Via BoingBoing

Gris Grimlys Pinocchio: The Movie

Heres a story to warm the heart of anyone who likes their animation a bit twisted. While talking to Bloody Disgusting (via Latefilm) Guillermo del Toro mentioned that he is involved in trying to get a full stop-motion version of Gris Grimly’s Pinocchio off the gound. Del Toro is planning to produce while Grimly - whose forst foray into film was the very well received Cannibal Flesh Riot! - is set to occupy the directors chair.

The idea came from Gris, and everybody loves his book about it. The original story is far more perverse and spooky and semi-necrophilia vibe to it in certain aspects. Gris certainly has that vein in him, he wants to do this with that original spookiness in it, we are trying to get it going. The Jim Henson Company is the behind it and we are currently working on the screenplay! Its not coming to a screen near you any time soon, even if it were to begin today it would be about three years in the making, but we are working to make it happen. A full-scale puppet universe takes time.

Its going to be a long time coming, but well worth the wait.

New Coraline Poster

Focus Features have just released a new poster for Coraline and added the tagline: Be careful what you wish for. There is a larger version under the fold, and it looks pretty damn impressive.

Directed by Henry Selick and based on the Neil gaiman novel of the same name, Coraline would probably be one of my most anticipated films of 2009 even if I knew nothing else about it. But from what Ive seen so far, it does look very much like this film will live up to all of my expectations.

2008 has proved to be a good year for animation. Heres hoping 2009 turns out to be even better.

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Raoul Servais

According to Flanders Today, the Ghent International Film Festival will be honouring Belgian animator Raoul Servais with an honorary doctorate next month in recognition of his contribution to both the art and teaching of animation in Flanders.

He was revolutionary in form – because he was far, far ahead of other people working in animation films – but also in content, explains Luc Deneulin of Brussels Free University (VUB). His political views, which were not that linked to the times, still have a message today.
And although his films often have an international feel, there is a fascinating relationship between Servais work and Belgian painters such as the Flemish expressionist Constant Permeke and surrealist Paul Delvaux.

I cant claim to be familiar with Servais work, but thanks to the convenience of the internet I have now watched a few of his animations and they are strikingly good. Check out Chromophobia and Harpya (after the fold) to see what I mean.

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