A Yummy Yogurt Drink Claymation

Posted by Michael Pinto on Mar 4, 2010 in Animation, Japanese TV

I’ve got to admit that not that I’ve started to fall in love with Japanese stop motion animation that I can’t stop looking for it on YouTube. This latest advert that I came across is done with claymation and while it has a very kawaii quality to the animation the character designs (or what happens to them) don’t look too typical of what you’d associate with anime. The animation itself is selling a yogurt drink called Yakult mill mill (ヤクルト ミルミル) which uses bifidobacteria to clean your intestines. Another thing I like about this spot is that compared to American ads for similar products like Activa this spot seems so much more entertaining. Read more…

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Veggies Await Their Sad Ramen Fate

Posted by Michael Pinto on Feb 28, 2010 in Japanese TV

The old vegetarian admonishment is “never eat anything with a face” — so of course looking at these very kawaii veggies heading to their doom makes me feel a tad guilty. This spot was done for Acecook which makes a wide assortment of ramen. Read more…

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Samurai Cats Love Their Space Heaters

Posted by Michael Pinto on Feb 26, 2010 in Animation, Japanese TV

The quality of this Dainichi stop motion animation commercial for Blue Heaters from 1987 is amazing — keep in mind that this was done several years before Tim Burton did The Nightmare Before Christmas in 1993. And what blows me away is that the entire commercial had to have been done without any computer help, not to mention is that it looks like they’re using a replacement technique similar to George Pál with his Puppetoons. Yet for all technique the advert is funny and fluid — it makes me wish that I knew the studio and could give proper credits. Read more…

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Supermarionation Sugar Smacks from the Sixties

Posted by Michael Pinto on Feb 25, 2010 in Animation

Captain Scarlet Sugar SmacksShown here are three English adverts for Captain Scarlet and Thunderbirds themed Kellogg’s Sugar Smacks from the 60s. For me this represents a bit of double lost golden age: For starters this Gerry Anderson Supermarionation shows from the 60s had such a wonderful attention to detail that you just don’t see anywhere — and of course in our politically correct obesity obsessed society you’d never even dream of a breakfast cereal with the name “sugar” in the title being tied to a kids television show! By the way I love how the Thunderbirds cereal included those special collectors pins: Read more…

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Imagine Owning an Anime Studio

Posted by Michael Pinto on Feb 25, 2010 in Animation, Hobbies and Collections

The Anime Studio

Back in the day one of the best tools for teaching the principals of animation was to give a child a Super 8mm camera and let them shoot stop motion animation frame-by-frame using their collection of toys as models in motion. Later some video cameras would be able to do the same trick, however it was never quite as cool. So I’m glad to see a digital twist of this old idea with The Anime Studio which actually looks like a miniature version of an giant old school animation stand: Read more…

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Tasty Stop Motion Animation

Posted by Michael Pinto on Feb 7, 2010 in Animation, Japanese TV

For all of the advances with computer animation there’s something still charming about good old fashioned stop motion animation. This Honda advert from the year 2000 does a nice job of using candy to animate the typography for the ULTRA Step WGN. Although it should be noted that the candy in this spot isn’t mere decoration — it’s being used to emphasize both the range of colors the auto comes in and the fact that it’s a kid friendly mode of transportation. Read more…

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Domo’s Dad: An Interview with Tsuneo Goda

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jan 22, 2010 in Animation

Thank you Tokyopop — I had no idea that Tsuneo Goda, creator of Domo came to the United States and did an interview! It’s amazing to think that Domo-kun was created all the way back in 1998, he’s really taken on a life of his own these past few years. From my own point of view the thing I’ve always liked about Domo is that he’s a stop-motion character which sets him apart from anime yet gives him a quirky quality that you can’t quite capture in computer animation.

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Dancing Animated Rice Balls

Posted by Michael Pinto on Dec 31, 2009 in Animation, Japanese TV

This 1991 advert for rice balls features J-pop singer Arisa Mizuki (観月ありさ) who was just making her singing debut at the time this commercial was shown. Arisa had been modeling as a child since the age of four, but her big break came with the TV drama Mou dare mo Aisanai which was followed by her first single record Densetsu no Shoujo. In addition during this time she also provided vocals for the Sailor Moon song Kaze Mo, Sora Mo, Kitto.

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Clever Google Animation Showcasing Chrome OS

Posted by Michael Pinto on Dec 10, 2009 in Animation, Tech

I’ve got to say that when Google wants to they can be very creative, even doing things that are more interesting than Apple. This video is an example of this: It’s a stop motion animation to promote their Chrome operating system and it’s fun to look at even if you don’t care about the technology. Read more…

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The Original Fantastic Fox: Ladislas Starevich’s Le Roman de Renard

Posted by Nick Kent on Nov 25, 2009 in Animation

Ladislas StarevichCatching the trailer for Wes Anderson’s first animated Fantastic Mr. Fox brings to mind Ladislas Starevich’s 70+ year old animated feature film Le Roman de Renard, which I was unaware even existed as of a couple years ago. It was probably the second stop motion feature after Aleksandr Ptushko’s The New Gulliver (1935) though it his was in production and may have been shown years earlier in silent form. It was also likely the 3rd animated feature with sound. Read more…



This Fox Becomes Less Fantastic With Every New Trailer

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 1, 2009 in Animation

I so want it to be good: Wes Andrson is brilliant and stop motion animation is an amazing medium. But alas the more I see of Fantastic Mr. Fox the less I like it — and the rave review my Rolling Stone convinces me that print is dead too when it comes to film reviews. The first thing you notice with this trailer is that the voice actors are indeed famous movie starts, but that doesn’t mean that they can voice act. And next there is the quality of the animation; if you want to see A+ stop motion animation look at Wallace and Gromit and then tell me what you think of this Mr. Rolling Stone film critic…

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Google’s Amazing Stop Motion Anime

Posted by Michael Pinto on Sep 15, 2009 in Animation, Tech

Google Japan is serious about privacyThe stop motion animated spots above and below are for Google Japan and I’m just blown away by the quality of craftsmanship and creativity shown here. The spots are explaining how Google street maps will help ensure privacy by blurring out people’s faces and the like. In my humble opinion Google should tap the creative team behind these ads to enliven their branding in the United States which is a tad too dull for such an innovative company. Read more…

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In Soviet Union Stop Motion Cartoon Stops You!

Posted by Michael Pinto on Sep 5, 2009 in Animation

Shown above is the beautiful Soviet propaganda film Mister Twister from the height of the Cold War in 1963. I really love how they’ve done so much here with such a little budget and no technology by modern standards. And of course my favorite shot is the opening scenes showing a decadent New York City which is cluttered with vintage ads. What’s also interesting to me about this cartoon is you can really see how Jim Crow really hurt the image of America abroad during that era: Read more…

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Wes Anderson is a Cinematic Genius, Except for Animated Films

Posted by Michael Pinto on Sep 3, 2009 in Animation

I loved The Royal Tenenbaums and I can see some of Wes Anderson’s touches on this film, but there’s a major problem looking at this trailer. What Anderson is great at is getting emotion out of actors on a screen, so a small nuance can communicate volumes of emotion and storytelling. But every frame of an animated film demands painful planning to achieve that spontaneous feeling. And what I’m seeing in the trailer above is a very stiff looking film which is bad news for an animated film. Read more…



A Century Ago Today: Le Voyage sur Jupiter Premieres in the United States

Posted by Michael Pinto on Aug 13, 2009 in Animation, Cinema

We like to think of sci fi films as something new, but the fact of the matter is that the genre is now over a century old. On this day in 1909 the French film Le Voyage sur Jupiter opened in the United States. Directed by Spanish filmmaker Segundo de Chomón in 1907 the movie is quite similar to Le voyage dans la lune from 1902 by Georges Méliès. Although to his credit Chomón was very good at special effects and shows off a few new tricks here. Read more…

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Mighty Joe Young: King Kong’s Little Brother Turns 60

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 27, 2009 in Animation, Cinema

Mighty Joe Young 1949

On this date in 1949 — yes that’s exactly sixty years ago — the film Mighty Joe Young was released in the United States. I grew up with this film because it was always paired up as the double feature with King Kong during holidays on ancient broadcast television (this wasn’t the major networks by the way, something you’d see on an independent  channel like WOR-TV here in NYC). King Kong was of course an iconic film made in 1933 and even watching in the 21st Century it still is a powerful film — but sadly like a lesser little brother Mighty Joe Young never quite measured up in my book. Read more…

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Clockwork: A Homebrewed Stop Motion Robot Animation from Japan

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jun 19, 2009 in Animation

Clockwork is a short animated film that stars a cute robot girl named Hina. Being a caffeine addict the idea of robot making a morning brew caught my attention right away, but I have to say that the design of the robot is great and the animator did a great job of picking a refreshing soundtrack for this sweet little short. Here are some wonderful photos of Hina: Read more…

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A Surrealistic Stop Motion Vintage Crime Fighting Cartoon from 1940

Posted by Michael Pinto on May 14, 2009 in Animation, Design

Saint Paul Police Detectives and Their Work was a public service color stop motion cartoon produced in 1940. The quality of the animation is itself quite crude and done on tabletop, although the design of each scene which represents a criminal activity is fascinating as each screen is well designed and uses everyday objects. The added touch of the art deco lettering gives you a Dick Tracy feeling offset by an almost surreal sounding soundtrack: Read more…

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A Gigantor Action Figure Goes Skateboarding

Posted by Michael Pinto on Dec 1, 2008 in Animation

Animator Patrick Boivin hails from Montreal, Canada and he seems to love toys and robots as evidenced from this other video:

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Robotto Paruta: Quirky Cardboard Robot Anime

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 29, 2008 in Animation, Japanese TV

I always love discovering anime that isn’t what you’d expect — there’s a real wealth of amazing kids cartoons that many fanboys just don’t know about: Robotto Paruta (ロボットパルタ) got started as a segment within the 1994 NHK show Cartoon Bubble Wrap. The series was directed by Katsushi Yasuda and in 2005 Pony Canyon released a four volume DVD set (which I couldn’t find, however you can buy quite a few DVDs from the series at Amazon.jp).

Robotto Paruta ロボットパルタ

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