Stop-Motion Explosion II - Even More Explosive! - Fri. Feb. 15 - 8PM

Oddball Films brings you Stop-Motion Explosion II- Even More Explosive!a program of mind-blowing stop-motion animation from every decade from the 1920s to the 1970’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.” Stop-motion provided the first opportunities to speculate on how the long extinct dinosaurs would look like in action, as seen in an excerpt from The Lost World (1925).   Pioneering puppet animator and Fantasy film legend, George Pal brings you the littlest big band with an incredible art-deco bandstand and beautiful hand-carved wooden puppets in the charming and eye-popping Cavalcade of Music (1934).   The first wire-framed puppets on film are featured in the endearing and triumphant tale Ferda the Ant (1941). Blast off with original 1957 Gumby Shorts, where our little green buddy gets launched into space and nearly eaten by pastries.   Polish director Tadeusz Wilcosz brings us an interesting and powerful allegory of totalitarianism in Bags (1967). Grant Munro's Toys (1966) brings to life your GI Joes, but as it turns out, that's not a good thing. Will Vinton, the creator of the California Raisins gives a lesson on the creation and endless possibilities of Claymation (1978) then applies his craft with an animated art gallery in the brilliant short Closed Mondays (1974). With more stop-motion madness for the early birds, it’s a night millions of minute movements in the making! 

Date: Friday, February 15th, 2013 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco (map)
Admission: $10.00 - Limited Seating RSVP to 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.

Cavalcade of Music (1934, B&W)
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.

Bags (Color, 1967)
Mysterious and creepy stop-motion film from Poland, directed by Tadeusz Wilcosz.  A burlap sack proceeds to consume everything in sight, until all the objects- scissors, sewing machines, etc. revolt, organize and subdue “him”. This may be a parable for something…

The Lost World (B&W, 1925)
In this scene from the film adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1912 novel of the same name, a group of explorers discover a world where dinosaurs still roam the earth. As they attempt to make a home amongst the dinosaurs, they fall victim to attacks by dinosaurs, big cats, and ape-men. The Lost World contains a wide variety of visual tricks, most notably stop-motion animation, to create a dazzling prehistoric world hidden within our own.  

Claymation (Color, 1978)
Filmmaker Will Vinton and his staff of animators discuss the processes of clay animation, showing the mixing of colors, creation of characters, production and editing of the guide film, music scoring and the actual clay sculpture techniques.
The winner of an Academy Award, numerous television Emmys, and international animation awards numbering in the hundreds, Vinton used Claymation, a term he trademarked, to great effect in his early career and later bringing to life iconic advertising characters the California Raisins and M&Ms.

Closed Mondays (Color, 1974)
This breakthrough film created by Will Vinton (The California Raisins) and Bob Gardiner won an Academy Award in 1975. In an after-hours visit to an art museum, a drunken man encounters the world of modern art. As he wanders through the gallery, paintings and sculptures shift from illusion to reality, an abstract painting explodes with rhythmic movement, a Rousseau jungle releases its captive images, a Dutch scrub woman talks about her plight, and a kinetic sculpture comes briefly and breathtakingly to life. A tour-de-force of clay animation that set the standard for Claymation as an art form.

Toys (Color, 1966)
Grant Munro, frequent Norman McLaren collaborator, directed this clever anti-war toy short using the stop-motion technique. It all starts innocently enough with kids coveting the toys in a store window with a groovy soundtrack.  But then the war toys come to life and the ensuing violence is quite less than playful.

Ferda The Ant (B+W, 1941)
Based on the popular children's book, this darling stop-motion short features the titular protagonist facing off against a vicious arachnid while attempting to finish a hard day of work.  When Ferda and his friend are caught in the spider's web, they must free themselves or be lunch.  Made by one of the founding mothers of Czech animation, Hermína Týrlová, this innovative and beautiful film features the first use of wire-frame puppets in stop-motion animation.

Stop Look and Listen (1967, Technicolor)
In the 1960s two friends, Charles David “Chuck” Menville and Len Janson revived the then-dead art of stop motion pixilation animation. Pixilation, the animation of living beings, and object animation, was nothing new to film, but Menville and Janson took the process to a whole new level both technically and creatively.

Their first collaboration, Stop, Look and Listen (1967), was nominated for an Academy Award. In this short film the main characters “drive” down city streets in invisible cars. It’s
 ostensibly a public safety film that informs the audience of the merits of following the rules of the road. Wildly inventive use of stop motion techniques-- use of human body as vehicles(!) make this eye-popping short a sensation.