The 50 Best Animated Films of the 21st Century Thus Far from The Film Stage is the kind of list that will raise discussions about whether certain films deserved to be at the top of the list and whether some near the bottom deserved to be on the list at all, but it shows the impressive diversity of quality recent animation: 2D, 3D, stop-motion, and even rotoscopes and supermarianation, from American studios other than Pixar, Japanese studios other than Ghibli, other countries entirely, animation auteurs and filmmakers best known for NOT animation. Argue away about specifics, but just see how cool it is that at least 50 great animated films have just gotten made in the last 15 years. [more inside]
"It’s very nice to have my story go out there, and if it’s in a different form, I want the thing to mutate slightly." Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro discuss genre, escapism, copyright and how stories expand over time at The New Statesman. (via io9)
Neil Gaiman: Why Disney's Sleeping Beauty doesn't work (Gaby Wood for The Guardian):
"I feel like some kind of alchemist," Gaiman suggests. "I have to go to the cupboard and take one ounce of Snow White and two ounces of Sleeping Beauty, and heat the Sleeping Beauty and froth the Snow White and mix them together: it's kind of like fusion cuisine. It tastes like both of them but it's actually a new dish."
Are fairy tales back in fashion? Certainly, the recent success of Disney's films Frozen and Maleficent seems to point to something. But most of the fairy tales we know have come to us via 17th century France or 19th century Germany, and have since been subject to so many retellings and rebellions that trends are difficult to map.
If you take your knitting everywhere and you're getting tired of stuffing the back of an adult-sized sweater and a 100g skein of worsted into your already bulging shoulder bag or backpack, you might try scaling down your knitting projects, as Althea Crome has done. Crome is a miniature knitter, and her projects are so tiny they'd fit into your pocket and still leave room for your cellphone. Her work is not only miniature but amazingly complex and detailed. She makes replicas of historical costumes such as a Queen Elizabeth I sweater, recreates famous paintings or other works of art, or depicts entire scenes, such as an underwater seascape, or Santa and all his eight tiny reindeer flying over a house. You can visit Crome's website, Bug Knits, to see galleries of her work. Crome also knitted some items for the 2009 3D stop-motion movie Coraline, including a sweater for the title character, and she talks about her work and demonstrates her "extreme knitting" in this promotional video for Coraline. If you want to give miniature knitting a shot yourself, you can buy some of Crome's patterns to help you get started, and I wish you the best. All I can think of when I see Crome in action is the time I decided to make ten Barbie outfits as part of a Christmas present for one of my nieces. I got four items done before I cracked and COULDN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE. Crome's patience and self-control are astounding, and I bet her children have the most exquisitely dressed Barbies ever.
Xanga user Criscoh is a talented concept artist who is kind enough to share his work on recent films, including: Fantastic Mr Fox, Coraline, Hotel for Dogs, and City of Ember.
They Might Be Giants is conducting a video contest for the first single from their upcoming 15th studio album. [more inside]
Neil Gaiman on what it's like to be invisible at the Oscars
Jon Klassen is an illustrator and designer, with a blog and a lovely website full of artwork, including The Miser (3:53, 2004, made with Kyle McQueen and Dan Rodrigues), An Eye for Annai (5:27, 2005, previously, also made with Dan Rodrigues, .MOV video link), an interpretation of a Mayan folktale (available in full in Flight vol 4, previously), The Adventures of Ship, a family art project, visual development and drawings for sets and props for the movie adaptation of Coraline (a couple previous), amongst other bits and bobs. Illustration Mundo had an interview with Klassen earlier this year.
The makers of the soon to be released movie Coraline put together 50 unique boxes that were mailed to 50 different bloggers. Each box contained items that were used in the making of the movie along with letters and photographs. [more inside]
A film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Hugo Award winning novella, Coraline will be out (in 3D) in early 2009. [Previously] [more inside]