Welcome to Respawning’s Film & TV Club! The purpose of this is to get a bunch of us together every Wednesday and allow us the chance to chat shit about whatever takes our fancy in the world of Films & TV!
To celebrate the widely positive opinions of Isle of Dogs, we talk about our favourite Non-CGI animated movies!
When I think about non CGI animated films I end up thinking of the creators of Wallis and Grommit, created by Ardman. Wallace and Gromit is filmed using a method called stop motion, and could be said to have popularised the format – This is where each frame is a standard picture taken with a digital camera, and between each frame you move the character a minute amount; Ardman tended to use putty figurines for many of their films, lending to the unique style.
My favourite film within this style though is Chicken Run, also created by Ardman and filmed using stop motion; I remember watching this film for the first time as a kid sat around my grandmother’s TV with the entire extended family around during a Christmas long ago… Now it holds the position of one of my favourite films as a child and continues to be one of my favourites to this day.
I like animation. A lot. In fact, if I were to re-choose my degree today, I’d probably end up studying it right now.
And that’s why modern cartoons frustrate me so much- in the digital age, it’s so easy to just copy and paste, and there’s such a low bar set, that we don’t usually see anything as beautiful as we used to get in the good old days. Not even Disney’s recent hand-drawn efforts come even close, which is saying something.
Which is why I feel it’s my duty to spread the word of Max Fleischer’s Superman serials, from way back when.
Yep, that’s right- the creator of Betty Boop oversaw the creation of a Superman cartoon, and to this day it’s some of the best animation ever put to a saturday morning cartoon. (Or, more accurately, a serial. People didn’t have TVs back in the day, these were shown in cinemas.) They still hold up as some of the purest, smoothest, and most beautiful animations around, I’ve ever seen, even though they’re over 80 years old.
Inventing everything from the “Is it a bird? Is it a plane?” catchphrase to the fact that superheroes could fly, Fleisher’s superman was perhaps the most influential comic book adaptation ever. More important than the MCU can ever hope to be.
Plus, it’s a shining example of how smooth and beautiful even cartoon animation can be when we give it time and effort.
Well this isn’t for the faint hearted, but for me when it comes to non-CGI animated films I think of some of the shorts in ABCs Of Death, both one and two. This film is about 26 different horror themed directors who came together to fill the letters of the alphabet with horrific and disturbing images. It’s full of fucked up imagery from an evil toilet eating people to some weird Asian farting scene, and chances are the gifs you see on “Late Night” Imgur are from the ABCs Of Death. Let’s talk about the evil toilet scene for an example – The title for this is quite simply ‘T is for Toilet’ and it’s a clay animation about a toilet devouring a child’s family in a gruesome manner… But spoilers it was just a dream! But similar to final destination, the dream came true…
Except for the fact the child died in an hilarious way, I have stated this is NOT for the faint hearted
The clay animation is not the best looking nor is it the best sculpted but I feel as this was the point, but one thing they got right was the gore and the humour around this dark twisted tail on potty training… It’s extremely unique, and deserves a place in this Club along the other animated oddities that stray from the norm.
PLEASE NOTE. THE BELOW VIDEO SHOULD BE CONSIDERED NSFW. VIEW AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION.
I have a ton of favourite animated movies, from shorts to long, long epics. But if I were to talk about something off the top of my head, it’d probably be too obscure and hard to explain. So instead of talking about Japanese shorts or Tout en haut du monde, let me do you a solid and recommend something a little easier to digest – Coraline.
It’s easy to dismiss Coraline as “yet-another-Tim-Burtonesque” generic movie, but there’s so much more going on under the surface. I won’t spoil it for you, but expect an interesting and charming story filled with interesting characters, beautiful hand crafted stop-motion animation, and a pleasant soundtrack. What’s more, it’s written by Neil Gaiman (Stardust, The Sandman, American Gods, Doctor Who, the list goes on)
Check it out, you won’t be disappointed. If you’ve already seen it, my alternative recommendation would be to check out Fantastic Mr. Fox, it’s an older Wes Anderson film, sir, but it checks out. Suitable for kids and adults alike, it’s rare to find such universally appealing charm these days.
It’s a shock that no one has taken this film so far. The Night Before Christmas is a classic Tim Burton with some really catchy tracks and a very spooky vibe. A lot of people I know personally don’t like that film but I feel its something either for the emo’s or people that watched it when they were younger. Stop motion animation like this has always got me excited and it makes the whole vibe of the movie that much more spooky and disturbing.
While it is a risky film to watch as a newcomer there is always a chance that you will recognise at least 2 of the songs and you can dig on the rest of the movie. But I mainly appreciate this film for its atmosphere, narrative and animation quality. God those stop motion animators are really out there doing God’s work.
I LOVE animation, ever since I was a kid I was glued to the TV screen watching Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and sometimes the Disney Channel. Later one of those late nights I came across something magical. Something so different and out there and mature that I was glued to the screen and I couldn’t stop watching. It was anime, and not just any anime it was Princess Mononoke. A studio Ghibli movie and what I consider to be his best work. Princess Mononoke is pretty much my favourite animated film. Mulan, Lion King and all those are fantastic as well. 2D animation has a lot of capabilities and if you give talented animators time, money and creative freedom you also get films like Redline. A futuristic film about racin’ fast and bitching haircuts. I think the first time I saw South Park was through the film as well and I’ve always been a huge fan of the animation. It takes a lotta skill and creativity to create an endearing art style and South Parks is absolutely iconic. I mean hell its all animated in Maya which is a goddamn 3D animation software.