Oddball Films and guest curator Kat Shuchter bring you Stop-Motion Explosion!, a program of mind-blowing stop-motion animation from the 1930s to the 1980’s. In a world saturated with CGI, Oddball Films opens the vaults to celebrate when historical, fantastical and anthropomorphic creatures were hand-sculpted and manipulated into “life.” Blast off with original 1957 Gumby shorts, in which our little clay buddy goes to Space, nearly gets eaten by a chocolate éclair and trampled by a giant glob. Frog and Toad Together (1987) brings to life the classic children’s book with the adventures of the beloved green life partners. Sink your teeth into The Munchers (1973), a psychedelic oral hygiene rock opera that will educate your sweet tooth. Then, get ready for epic battle on small-scale and mild historical-inaccuracies in Dinosaurs: The Terrible Lizards (1986). And the Japanese once again outcute the world in The Ant and the Grasshopper (1967). With jazzy and stylish George Pal Puppetoon Cavalcade of Music (1934) and so much more! It’s a night millions of minute movements in the making!
Date: Saturday, March 3rd, 2012 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 558-8117
Gumby Shorts (B&W, 1957)
Everybody’s favorite little green shape shifter, Gumby and his B.F.F. Pokey go on a number of fantastical and charming adventures in these rare original shorts by Claymation Master, Art Clokey. In The Small Planets, Gumby runs away from home by flying into space and encountering individual planets run by other little runaways. In The Dough, Gumby bakes up some blood-thirsty pastries. And Gumby has to save the day when a town is terrorized by The Glob.
Dinosaurs: The Terrible Lizards (Color, 1986)
Sci-Fi special effects master, Wah Chang, after working on such seminal shows as The Outer Limits and Star Trek, went back to working out of his home and explored his interest in educational films. The first edition of the film, was made in 1970 and rife with historical inaccuracies. This revised edition still has the fleshy puppets (that went on to star in Land of the Lost) and projected backdrops, like the low-fi Walking With Dinosaurs.
Frog and Toad Together (Color, 1987)
This adaptation of Arnold Lobel’s classic children’s book, brings to life the slimy green life partners, Frog and Toad, in several short, domestic adventures. In The Garden, Toad screams at some seeds he’s trying to grow, then must make amends by singing and dancing and fiddling, through the rain and thunder, until they begin to grow on their own. In Cookies, the duo test their willpower with a batch of delicious baked goods.
The Ant and the Grasshopper (Color, 1967)
Leave it to the Japanese in the 60s to create the cutest colony of ants you’ve ever seen. In this adaptation of the Aesop’s Fable, a family of busy ants work hard all summer long, gathering delicious pies and cakes, while a dapper, but lazy grasshopper enjoys himself, sleeping in the sun, dancing with his friends. But when winter comes and the ants’ pantry is fully stocked and their log is warm and inviting, who’s dancing now?
The Munchers (Color, 1973)
Like the California Raisins of Oral Hygiene, The Munchers is a trippy, psychedelic rockucational film for all tastes. Dancing and singing on some kind of a mouthy bandstand, the Munchers fall victim to the Pusherman Jack Sweet, a masked demon that has an endless supply of delicious candy. Can the peg-legged, metal-skulled old toothman convince the young Munchers to stay clean and candy free? If not him, then maybe the conga-line of anthropomorphic healthy foods can do the trick.
Cavalcade of Music (B&W, 1934)
Creative force behind some of the most creative monsters in Fantasy film, Hungarian exile George Pal began his career pioneering a method of stop-motion used in his series of Puppetoons, earning him seven consecutive Oscar nominations. In one of his earliest
Puppetoons, Cavalcade of Music, Pal creates an epic spectacle of music and dance all with carved wooden puppets. From the chic Art Deco bandstand, to an entire puppet jazz orchestra, to a puppet can-can, this film overwhelms with its imagination and scope.
And Tons More Clay and Puppet Action!
Kat Shuchter is a graduate of UC Berkeley in Film Studies. She is a filmmaker, artist
and esoteric film hoarder. She has helped program shows at the PFA, The Nuart and
Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater and was crowned “Found Footage Queen” of
Los Angeles, 2009.