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Stop Motion

Designer Nelson Lowry on ParaNorman

The producers at Laika created a series of brief behind-the-scenes virals to communicate the handmade production details that went into making ParaNorman – which went on sale on DVD and blu-ray yesterday. Here’s the one I like best, and it was just posted online today: production designer Nelson Lowry walking us through the intricate process of bringing the handmade world of ParaNorman to life, one frame at a time.

  • eeteed

    laika has turned out some of the best and most important animated films of the past 5 years, but has not received the public support that it richly deserves.

    perhaps it is time for a new marketing and promotions team.

    • Mike

      Coraline was tremendous visually but a little shaky on the story. Now, with ParaNorman, I think Laika’s firing on all cylinders. Completely agree with you; these folks deserve all sorts of attention and I’ll be first in line for their next film.

  • Toby

    This looks great, I cant wait to see this movie, but in Australia we will have to wait until January until this movie is released in cinemas. Or I could just buy the blu ray from amazon and see it now. What a joke.

  • Andrew R

    As long as they keep making awesome films, I think they’ll be just fine. You can’t argue with the quality of movies produced by Laika; they put their heart and souls into them.

  • I’m sure Laika will get more press and more recognition if they try stories that are not “creepy”. Hopefully. Another good story from them for ParaNorman, have to see what they do next.

  • Pegbar

    Great stuff, wonderful movie ,keeping the techniques and mastery of the great harryhausen,at the fore in the 21st century.

  • Doug

    I agree with the “creepy” comment above. I love stopmo animation but would love to see it come from behind the dark shadows and step into the light. Enough of the emulating Tim Burton already. There has to be more to stopmo’s life.

    • Nic

      Stop motion seems to lend itself very well to creepiness. It may just be that it’s easier to exaggerate the creepy feeling a moving doll can give, rather than try to fight it by making it more realistic.

      CG is quite like this, too. If you try to create something too real you fall right into the uncanny valley. But if you play up a more cartoonish style? It works.

      • GW

        I agree with Doug that stop motion goes for creepy themes too often. Stop motion tends to lean towards a couple themes, particularly in longer form. There’s the sentimental holiday specials, high literature adaptations, horror, morbid humor, and fantastic journeys. And of course, mix and matches between those different themes. Stop motion is niche enough though that films don’t get criticized for their lack of thematic variety.

        Personally, I don’t mind realistic looking stop motion characters. It worked in the short film In the Fall of Gravity in a slightly stylized way and in many Russian stop motion films.

      • Yeah, but I wouldn’t mind for example a stop-mo version of Spittin’ image or let’s say… Labyrinth, which would follow the “girl gets lost in a weird fantasy story”- but I think the difference between Coraline and Labyrinth is that Cor is “creepy-creepy” and Lab is “creepy-funny”. I wouldn’t mind more of that.
        Besides, that “puppets scare me” comment is complete bullshit. It’s not the first time I hear that and it won’t be the last. It’s unavoidable not to read “this scared me as a kid” on the “Land of Confusion” + “Sledgehammer” videos or “I couldn’t watch that” from a friend over Dinosaurs.

        If people in Laika keep writing good stories like they are doing now the audience will forget about shakiness and actually will enjoy a good film. The other day I saw “The Cat in the Hat” and it was surprisingly hilarious, to a point were I could forget Mike Myers’ creepy make-up.

  • Charles M.

    I’ve already placed my order! But I have to disagree about the “creepiness” comment. I find most CG films creepy within themselves trying to emulate human expression or life for that matter. Stopmo is reminder that even though animation has evolved in technique and visuals it still shows signs of limitation but maybe Laika will try something alittle “cheerier” in the near future.