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A Century of Stop-Motion Animation

Century of Stop Motion

Has anybody gotten their hands on this book yet? A Century of Stop-Motion Animation: From Melies to Aardman is co-authored by animation legend Ray Harryhausen and film historian Tony Dalton. It looks very comprehensive both text-wise and image-wise. A potentially valuable addition to animation libraries.

(Thanks, Ken Priebe)

  • David Cuny

    I looked through it at my local bookstore the other day. Unsurprisingly, most of the book is devoted to Willis O’Brien and Ray Harryhausen (pgs. 36-175) with the remainder of the book (pgs. 176-231) devoted to other animators.

    Since I’ve already got the prior Harryhausen/Dalton books, I would have liked to see the balance weighted in the other direction. Most of the Harryhausen isn’t in the prior books, so having the other books probably won’t deter you from getting this one, too.

    With over 80 pages devoted to other animators, I probably shouldn’t complain. But the field is so broad, going through that section just got me wanting more. There’s a lot of good photos that I haven’t seen in other books, or simply haven’t seen for years.

    Don’t let my complaints put you off. The Amazon preview doesn’t really show any of the “good stuff”, but basically it’s laid out very much like the other Dalton/Harryhausen books: big glossy pages, lots of color pictures. It’s on my (short) Christmas list.

  • Thanks for sharing Amid….I am itching to get my hands on it myself but since Christmas is coming I have been warned to avoid buying whatever I want for a couple weeks. Very…difficult….

    A few people are already discussing it on stopmotionanimation.com.

  • That looks great . Must have.

  • Since when is Melies a stop motion animator? It should have begun with Arthur Melbourne Cooper, or at least Starevitch, but I guess they didn’t have good enough press agents.

    Quibbles aside, I love Harryhausen and Aardman; I hope there is a healthy amount of George Pal, Jan Svankmajer, Jeri Trnka and Henry Selick.

  • Blasko

    I was quite disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two Harryhausen volumes, but had hoped that the third would focus on, as the title suggests, a broader view of stop-motion animators. What we get is even more lengthy discussions of Harryhausen’s work, bolstered with more background on Willis O’Brien’s career, but only a paragraph here and there on Pal, Pojar and Trnka. The focus of this book really seems to be stop-motion animated creatures in film, and perhaps that should have been the singular thrust of this volume. In short, there’s still a great need for a comprehensive overview of stop-motion animation beyond fantasy film special effects. But, sadly, I still haven’t read Ken’s last book, so maybe it’s already out there.

  • Blasko-
    The first chapter of my book covers the history of stop-motion, briefly but more broadly across both “puppet films” and “creature effects” for film and TV.