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Last Blast of Holiday Spirit

Uploaded by YouTuber MrSpyderman1979.

It’s not too late, is it? Not when it’s a wintry blast from the past featuring The Temptations, as the California Raisins, singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in this beautifully animated short. Originally broadcast on December 21, 1987 as part of Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas Celebration, this is bound to stir up some special memories for older stop motion fans. Enjoy these three minutes, then put Christmas in the rear-view for good.

Brett HughesComment
The Killers by Ernest Hemingway

Uploaded to Vimeo by Silleck Family Productions.

Silleck Family Productions has released the first of a series of films that can best be described as Stop Motion Noir. Their adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s minimalist short story The Killers beautifully captures the bleakly lit, gritty feel of a classic black-and-white noir film complete with extreme angles along with clever use of focus and foley that gives the genre its unique look and feel.

Sean Silleck describes SFP as “a small film company specializing in stop motion Lego films based on vintage, hardboiled short stories by American literary masters.” Their films are animated and shot in a basement studio in Hastings on Hudson, New York and post production is done with Adobe Premiere and After Effects.

We’re excited to see more of this unique vision come to life and will be sure to post when the next installment is released. SFP is currently in production on Nelson Algren's The Face on the Barroom Floor with future projects in the works to include Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Raymond Chandler's Pick Up on Noon Street.

Brett HughesComment

Uploaded to Vimeo by jriggity.

Justin Rasch is an artist, animator and storyteller who works in the CG and stop motion industry. Rasch also creates short films with his wife and family for fun.

“I love stop motion above all,” says Rasch.

Check out this flawless animation that he describes as a short test mixing video and stop motion as a fun button to the Overwatch short film {Trace and Bake}.

Brett HughesComment

Uploaded to Vimeo by Daniel Cloud Campos.

Without a single drop of blood - or puke - “Shiny” by Daniel Cloud Campos and Spencer Susser still manages to earn an “R” rating with a whirlwind animation that comes in just under four minutes. So many subtle movements such as gusts of wind, deep breaths and shoulder shrugs are accomplished with amazing realism and continuity.

A damsel in distress gets undressed when a man from the mid west puts to rest a world that's obsessed with the priceless, also know as "The Shiny."

Kind of NSFW so watch at the appropriate time and place.

Brett HughesComment
Dancing Can

Uploaded by YouTuber Kevin Parry.

On StopMotionPlanet, we love animators who reveal the tricks of the trade. Kevin Parry is a stop-motion animator who delightfully describes his job as “literally mov(ing) puppets around one frame at a time - 24 frames per second.” Parry has animated for movies like The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings (where it was his job to bring the Kubo vs. Moon Beast battle to life) and the upcoming Missing Link.

Parry animated a soda can as a way to test out a stop-motion animation setup in his house and uploaded the final product to YouTube. It serves as an excellent resource for aspiring animators since Parry includes a time lapse of the animation process as well as the raw footage.

Brett HughesComment
How Have you Been?

Uploaded to Vimeo by Heather Colbert.

“Hypnos is a solitary creature, creating happier dreams while people sleep, but there is something else living in his cave…”

The official music video for Tom Rosenthal’s for ‘How Have You Been?’ is a another stop-motion masterpiece by director Heather Colbert.

Colbert is an animator specializing in stop motion and drawn animation. Her widely acclaimed music videos for musicians Mark Nevin and Tom Rosenthal have been featured on Directors Notes, Dezeen, BOOOOOOOM, ZippyFrames and Dragonframe and screened at film festivals such as Montreal Stop Motion Festival and Fantoche in Switzerland.

Colbert works out the ideas of her characters through sketchbook doodles and more polished character paintings.

Colbert works out the ideas of her characters through sketchbook doodles and more polished character paintings.

Colbert’s latest film is a beautiful and moving fusion of stop motion and drawn animation about looking after all parts of oneself.  She provides a glimpse into her inspiration when she writes on that “Hypnos lives in fear of what he cannot see, but through tentative steps he realizes the shape in the darkness is just trying to help him, and the two characters gradually accept each other and comfort one another.”

“This story can be read as two beings finding each other,” she adds. “And also as a depiction of anxiety and depression, where the protagonist learns to accept and look with compassion at all sides of themselves.”

Colbert has turned a lifelong fascination into a successful career as an illustrator and animator. In an interview with Animated Women UK Colbert says, “I had always been fascinated by the unique charm that comes from the real light and textures in stop motion, growing up on all the programs made by Small Films. But through university and since graduating, it has been a gradual realization that I could be someone who makes films this way too.”

When the wire skeleton of Hypnos broke at the knees near the end of the shoot, Colbert had to make a replica to finish the final scenes.

When the wire skeleton of Hypnos broke at the knees near the end of the shoot, Colbert had to make a replica to finish the final scenes.

Today, Colbert has been featured on the website Great Women Animators and was named one of eight female filmmakers to watch by the American Stop Motion Magazine. So when she generously provides a fascinating and thorough look behind-the-scenes at her work on ‘How Have You Been’ at Hangar Animation Studios in Bristol, UK…it’s wise to take an opportunity to check it out.

You can see step-by-step how Colbert does her character design, storyboarding, character development, puppet making and shooting with an abundance of pictures and notes.

‘How Have You Been’ is Colbert’s second Vimeo Staff Pick following the stop-motion music video for Nevin’s ‘Dolly Said No To Elvis’.

Stop Motion Magazine calls ‘How Have You Been’ a beautiful work of art and declares Colbert “a talent who has brought a blend of digital painting, hand drawn animation and stop motion together to produce a story that brings us into a fantasy world filled with mystery, shadow, and light.”

Kudos to Colbert for lifting the curtain on the mystery a bit and opening up her world to other artists.

Brett HughesComment
When the lights Are Low

Uploaded to Vimeo by Tom Roppelt

Tom Roppelt is a singer, songwriter, independent musician…and stop-motion animator. In addition to writing, performing and recording his new song “When the Lights Are Low,” Roppelt recently wrapped production on a stop-motion music video for the track.

“I wanted to create a video that followed the theme of the song, without being too literal,” said Roppelt. “Essentially, it is about how our imagination has the ability to manifest different identities (and) how our minds can wander into being someone we wouldn't normally be or doing things we wouldn't normally do.”

Once the song was finished, the video took about a year to complete.  Roppelt first developed a storyboard for each shot.  His wife, Johanna, assisted with props and backgrounds. “After rummaging through several antique shops, (we) made any of the props or backgrounds we were unable to locate,” said Tom.  “For example, after scrolling through pages of old Chevy radios, we recreated the image using various craft materials.”  

One of the most difficult shots was the perspective shot of the two characters driving. “(That) was tricky to pull off, however I am pleased with how it came out,” said Roppelt.

The video was produced using Vegas Movie Studio Platinum.  Each photo was individually edited to create the 16:9 aspect ratio.

We’ll keep an eye on the Roppelt’s future stop-motion work here on the Planet. In the meantime, look for Tom in the Boston band The Daily Pravda. The group’s next full length album is set for release in the spring of 2019.

Brett HughesComment
Hi Five the Cactus

Uploaded by YouTuber Nobody is Watching the Children

Released in 2018, Hi Five the Cactus is billed as "The World's First Stop-Frame Animated Western." Directed and Animated by Chris Thomas, Hi Five is inspired by a song written by a former folk band in Philly called the Extraordinaires. Thomas expanded the story of the song into a five-act stop-frame animation that contains contains 12,984 individual frames.

Thomas is a self-taught animator from West Virginia. He says he “mistakenly ended up in Philadelphia after dropping out of Temple University and found shelter in an old-warehouse that had no windows to the outside world.” It was here where he animated his first film, Hi-Five the Cactus.

The puppets are generally all wire and epoxy armatures with fabric bodies and clay faces and extremities.  The background started as a painted backdrop and eventually evolved into a digital projection.  “I preferred the projection over the painting,” said Thomas. “I learned I could transform the set easier and actually composite the vultures in the background and shoot them in sequence to the animation.”  

The lightning strike, however, was actually sculpted.  For this Thomas wrapped a stick with tinfoil and moved a couple spotlights around to achieve the effect.  “The nearby storm cloud was actually glued to a sheet of plexiglass which hid most of the lighting rigs,” added Thomas.

When asked about the incredible camera movements throughout the film, Thomas eagerly noted, “I feel as though animating the camera is almost as important as animating the characters.  I want to feel like I am the same size as the puppet or I am actually moving with the puppets while I'm watching the animation.  This to me, is most exciting!”

The camera movements were all created with a couple rigs modified by Thomas over the years.  “One was a lighting boom which I mounted to a tripod head to and the other was a linear slide that also had a connecting tripod head.  The ‘hand-held’ scene inside the shack before Hi-Five returns was shot on the linear slide by pivoting the camera head the opposite direction I moved the camera.  I suppose its the same concept as the ‘vertigo-shot’ just on a pivot.  For the POV scene where the cowboy pulls his revolver out and points it at Hi-Five, I actually zip-tied two really long puppet arms to the camera.”

Thomas’ debut production is a must-watch. Story written by Jay Purdy. Original score by Crooked Tooth and the Story Tellers. Winner of 4 Awards, 7 nominations and + 30 Festival screenings (5 international)…so far. Learn more at

Scott CulpepperComment
Submit Your Entry to the Neum Animated Film Festival
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Neum, a town on the Adriatic Sea in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is hosting its 14th edition of the Neum Animated Film Festival, or NEFF, from June 29 through July 5, 2019.

StopMotionPlanet encourages animators and students from around the globe to take advantage of this opportunity to submit up to three films for consideration. The deadline for submission is April 15, 2019. Films must be produced after January 1, 2016. Visit the NAFF website for more information or view the entry form and rules here. Be sure to let us know if your film is selected for projection and/or recognition!

Scott CulpepperComment
Anteloper - Summertime

Uploaded by YouTuber Anteloper

This mesmerizing music video for Summertime by Anteloper was made by artists Jill Frost and Phil Lewis. They were interested in using nature in a surrealistic way to express the human emotions suggested by the Summertime lyrics. 

The film is comprised of approximately 1500 individual frames and took about 60 hours to make. Frost and Lewis used simple paper cutouts and filmed with an iPad using a homemade rig hooked up to a selfie-stick clicker to take shots remotely.   

See more work by Jill Frost here:

Check out the newly-released Anteloper debut self-titled EP at

Scott CulpepperComment