Phil Tippett’s “Mad God”

Stop motion animator Phil Tippett (Ewoks, Robocop) was one of the first to embrace CG creature effects and is now head of one of the most successful special effects shops in Hollywood (Jurassic Park, Enchanted, The Twilight Saga, etc.). Apparently Tippet has decided to return to his roots, posting this teaser trailer for a decidely old-school stop-mo film, Mad God, he now has in production. Not sure if this is to be a short or a feature, but it would sure be a refreshing change.

(via Animate Clay)


  • Jerold

    Looks Awesome! Nice work! Can’t wait to see more.

  • davidbfain

    Awesome. Glad to see Tippet doing Stop-Mo again.

  • http://www.theAMIGOunit.com bone

    so sick!

  • http://thatssokraven.livejournal.com/ Kelly Tindall

    I love Tippett’s work and I’m pleased to learn about this.

  • Chris P. Bacon

    I wanted to like it, but the animation really isn’t very good. I mean look at the weight shift on the man when he goes to take a step. His center of gravity is WAY over on the side of the leg that is lifting up. You see that happen in both shots of the man walking/stepping down. Also that Monkey creature…the head turn on that thing is really awkward….I mean you try and act that head turn out and see if you don’t kill your neck. I’m not trying to be mean, but the animation looks like students were hired to do this…which very well might be the case.

    I Like Phil Tippett and I am kinda surprised this has his name attached to it:/

    • http://www.theAMIGOunit.com nelson

      if you want smooth put on a stupid burton film and be bored to tears – if you want real raw and fun watch the above – in the mean time get back to your lame text books

    • http://hunteachother.com Max W.

      As far as I’ve come to understand, it’s a personal film, not a pixar – type, pre – feature short or anything, so I don’t expect it to go by the usual animation conventions that you’d see on TV, etc. I think it looks great and have been wanting to see it for years now… can’t wait!

  • Chris P. Bacon

    Hey Nelson,

    So I didn’t say I wanted “smooth” animation. I want skillfully executed animation…animation that is inspiring and awesome. The kind of animation that is synonymous with Phil Tippett. This is not that. I know that they can’t all be winners, but come on…this is not up to snuff. Do you not see that? I love stop motion as much as the next guy, but the body mechanics and timing are all out of whack. What you call “raw”, I call sloppy and unskilled. Maybe you’re not an animator and I’m just over analyzing this….or maybe you ARE an animator who just needs to dust off some of his “lame text books” and freshen up a bit.

    • Spencer Morin

      By no means should any animation be pitted into a “conventional” category. Animation’s the one form of cinema that allows the artist to defy physics and what we typically experience. Animation directors get to play God and create a completely new universe, if not pay homage to another.

      Consider this, Bacon:

      Without the entire film in context, you may not understand what Phil was doing by obviously offsetting the balance of his humans and the performance of the monkey creature thing. He could be creating a new mood, and in doing so offsetting your mood in watching the film. Perhaps there’s something else in his universe that he’s instilled that causes these characters to act this way.

      I was not deterred by his performance choices. I was more interested and aroused. I was also mesmerized by the subtleties of the performance and the unique physicalities.

      Nobody puts that much work into an animation and doesn’t notice those details. It’s deliberate. It’s not poor craftsmanship or a screwup. It was meant to be.

  • Spencer Morin

    PS. I’d LOVE to see some of your work!

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com Frank Panucci

    Looks great. Now that CG has made everything so easy, it’s cool to see animators banging their heads on the wall using unnecessarily difficult methods involving physical artifacts that are made of rubber and hand-machined armatures for no damn reason. It’s like carving the large hadron supercollider from balsa at 1/12 scale, including individual protons.

    • http://roboshmup.blogspot.com/ Lanigan

      Using techniques that are unconventional is HAAAARD. We should all stop trying to be unique and conform to the standards. It’s not like stop motion animation, you know, a whole different artistic medium of animation, offers anything different that CG can’t offer.

      And stop motion animation is like SUPER HARD. Anyone willing to put up with the inherent inconveniences of any unique art form must be CRAAAZY.

      • http://www.frankpanucci.com Frank Panucci

        I tripped over/bumped into and wrecked too many tabletop setups mid-shot to feel good about creating stop motion animation, but I love to watch it. Computer animation favors the clumsy and allows infinite do-overs, so it’s the best choice for me.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        I still wouldn’t mind trying that myself if I have the patience to wastes months and months on achieving something like this.

    • Warhead

      Hey, some people do like using “unnecessarily difficult” forms of art to tell stories.
      If it isn’t that difficult to pull off, it’s not as satisfying.

  • Spencer Morin

    I think it looks better than CG altogether and offers a completely different experience. Much more personal feel to it. Professional, maybe not, but if you can make it look as effortless as Phil did, you’re 20 steps above CG, artistically.

  • Liesje

    Hey all you H8TERS: there’s a post about the CG Tintin just below this one for you to rag on.

    As for Tippet: WOO-HOO!!!

  • http://somebodyelseslightbox.blogspot.com/ Dani Boy

    I like it. And the ape-like creature looks like Frank Zappa.

  • Paul N

    The audio over the end reminds me of the ambient monster noises in Doom…

  • http://www.lifelikefilms.com Francis

    Jerry no disrespect intended to you but Phil’s special effects shop (studio) is in West Berkeley, CA not Hollywood.