Making of Early Man

Even though Black Panther is the talk of Hollywood right now, there’s another movie that opened last weekend that deserves our attention, and that’s Aardman Animation’s latest production Early Man.

In an age when computer animation is so prominent, stop-motion animated has gone by the wayside. But thankfully studios like Aardman Animation are keeping it alive be creating fantastic feature length adventures using clay models that move frame-by-frame. Early Man is one of those films, and you can take a look at the step-by-step process of how this film is made with an extensive batch of behind the scenes featurettes below. Read More »

Early Man Featurettes - Morning Watch

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this special Early Man edition, Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston and Maisie Williams make their own models for a certain character in the Aardman Animation film. Plus, watch as they record their dialogue and tour the various intricate sets used for the stop-motion adventure. Read More »

early man trailer

In an era where we’re inundated with mostly identical CG animation, it’s always a breath of fresh air when Nick Park arrives back on the scene. The creator of Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run, Park’s distinct stop-motion style of animation is always something we welcome with open arms.

This is the third trailer we’ve seen for Early Man, but it’s a treat for the eyes once more. Not just in the painstaking detail given to each character and piece of animation, but for the new gags that are scattered throughout the latest international trailer.

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early man trailer

While hand-drawn animation seems to be all but extinct in the feature film business, claymation will make one last gasp for relevancy with a new film by the talented creators and animation studio behind the still-great Wallace and Gromit.

Lo and behold Early Man, the stop-motion animated film from Aardman Studios about a caveman who discovers that civilization has quickly advanced all around him — immediately making him and his tribe endangered. Wow, it sounds like they’re sending some kind of message here…

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early man trailer

Aardman Animations may have entered the crowded CG animation world with films like Flushed Away and Arthur Christmas, but the creators of Chicken Run, Shaun the Sheep, and Wallace and Gromit will forever be known for their stop-motion movies. Their latest project, Early Man, looks to be very much in line with their most popular work, taking their instantly identifiable style and applying it to a tribe of none-too-sharp prehistoric people. The film doesn’t hit theaters until next year, but the first trailer has arrived to announce the film’s existence to the world.

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Aardman Studios Early Man

Even though Walt Disney, Pixar, Illumination Entertainment and DreamWorks seem to have the animation market cornered, there’s still plenty of room for some lovely work from stop-motion animated houses like Laika and Aardman Animation. And the latter has a new movie in the works called Early Man. The film is being backed by StudioCanal and Aardman Studios and the story will have some added appeal to international sports fans. Read More »

Briefly: Aardman Animation has a big presence in movie theaters this year and next, as the company is prepping two animated features for release. There’s the CGI family holiday film Arthur Christmas, for which we just saw a pair of new trailers. And then there’s Pirates!, which is a stop-motion picture that looks like quite a bit of fun.

And now Aardman’s Nick Park, the man most famously responsible for Wallace & Gromit, is reportedly writing a new feature that does not feature his famous inventor/canine duo. Read More »

wallace_gromit_urs

I’m a sucker for the animation of Nick Park. Though it was good to see him working in features, I think that Wallace and Gromit are much better off anchoring short films. Park’s most recent short with the man and dog pair, his first film project with the characters since 2005’s Curse of the Were-Rabbit and their first new short since 1995(!), is A Matter of Loaf and Death. The short aired in the UK and Europe over the last Christmas (i.e., if you’re not in the US this is old stuff) but will finally be getting a real US release via DVD next week.

We’ve got a clip from that, and for something new, check out the trailer for a very pretty German short film called Urs, after the break. Read More »

GeekBomb: A Brief History of Stop-Motion Animation

Editor’s Note: This is the debut post by Kevin Kelly, who will be offering his expertise in geekdom in a new /Film daily blog feature called GeekBomb. Welcome Kevin to /Film!

Neil Gaiman’s Coraline opens this weekend, and it’s directed by Henry Selick, one of the few modern masters of stop-motion animation. Although he was trained as a traditional animator, he really came to fame with stop-motion, having directed The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, and Monkeybone. In the day and age of everything being whipped up in CGI, it’s really a testament to see people work in a medium that requires hours of tedious work on films that can take an extremely long time to produce. Which is why the Sundance opening night film Mary & Max was such a treat.

Whenever someone mentions stop-motion, most people tend to think of one of the above movies, or the equally excellent Chicken Run or Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, both co-directed by the amazing Nick Park. And just to be clear, I’m not calling Monkeybone excellent… but the stop-motion moments are pretty damned awesome. You just have to love a naughty monkey sometimes. Even though most of those films are fairly recent, stop-motion animation has been around in one form or another for more than one hundred years. Click through for the highlights and milestones of this under appreciated art form.

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