I’m a longtime fan of the incredible (and overlooked) stop motion paper cut-out animation sequences created by Bill Justice and Xavier Atencio for the Disney Studios in the late 1950s and early 60s. These remarkable little films have escaped wide attention by appearing in some of the least of Disney’s efforts during this period (their titles for The Parent Trap (1961) being an exception). The design and direction are top notch – and remember, these were created completely by hand, and animated frame by frame under a camera. None of the computer shortcuts employed by South Park here.
It’s hard to get the Sherman Brothers tune out of your head from the opening titles to The Mis-Adventures of Merlin Jones (1964):
This one is a little un-P.C., from the featurette A Symposium Of Popular Songs (1962):
Disney designer Kevin Kidney has posted his own tribute to these works on his blog, showcasing his own intricate recreations of these paper puppets (created with partner Jody Daily). Check it out here.