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]
One of this summer's most popular holiday activities in Bristol is Gromit Unleashed, the Gromit Trail. Wallace and Gromit were created by Nic Park for his graduation film A Grand Day Out from The National Film and Television School. He completed the film after joining Aardman Animations - they took him on before he finished the piece, allowing him to work on it part-time while still being funded by the school. Ever since then, Wallace and Gromit have continued their adventures, and Aardman have continued to document them. Wallace is a Yorkshireman (he was going to be a Lancastrian but the actor who voiced him could only do Yorkshire) who loves Wensleydale cheese, Gromit is his dog. Wallace is a dreamer, a creator of fabulous inventions, Gromit (though mute) his down-to-earth and capable rescuing sidekick. The Gromit Trail is a series of 80 model Gromits placed in and around Bristol, and the activity is to try and see them all. There's a map, toys, model Gromits and an auction at the end, in aid of Bristol Children's Hospital. [more inside]
Prototypes are usually the missing links in the evolution of human technology, the dead-ends of ideas that give way to the refinement of the final physical product. Prototypes aren't just for Darth Vader. While the legal back and forth between Apple and Samsung continues, a treasure trove of prototype designs for Apple devices has been released to the public, showing insights into various design approaches and feature enhancements, including larger form-factor iPads with and without kickstands and landscape ports and iPhones that parody the Sony logo, show a different layout for camera elements, and look remarkably like fourth-generation models, as far back as 2005. On the other hand, some have made prototypes into the end goal itself, such as the folks at Dangerous Prototypes, a site which features a new open-source electronic hardware project each month. Some are just gratuitous fun, while others are a bit more practical, such as one project that recycles old Nokia displays and another that provides access to infrared signal, useful for hacking together remote controls for all sorts of IR-based devices. Other prototypes of tomorrow's technology are less concerned with shrinking down the guts of the invention itself, to make it disappear, but rather on how we interact with and integrate physical representations of these ideas into our daily lives. Above all else, prototypes are always forward-looking and are therefore inherently optimistic expressions of human creativity: Even children are getting into imagining the world of tomorrow.
Aardman Animation has released the trailer for their upcoming feature: The Pirates! Band Of Misfits.
A Matter of Loaf and Death is the new BBC Christmas short from Nick Park and Aardman. In the mock murder mystery, Wallace and Gromit start a new bakery business, Top Bun. The short, Park's first since 1995, will introduce a new love interest for Wallace, Piella Bakewell, a bread enthusiast.
Oh My Stars-N-Garters! In addition to the Aardman Animations Wallace and Gromit films online here (previously MeFi-ed here), you can also view the Oscar and Academy Award winner Creature Comforts online! One of my all-time fave films. Joy!
New Wallace and Gromit movie ~ "Cracking Contraptions" from Atom Films and Shockwave... but $9.95 to download it? Oh, I don't think so! I guess I don't expect them to give it away for free, but who thought up this hair-brained scheme? I bet that dodgey lodger, the Penguin, is behind it somehow.
After the success of the first free online animated series Angry Kid, triple Oscar winning Aardman Animations announces 12 new Wallace & Gromit short films, delivered exclusively via CD/Web. (Also announced, the title of new W&G feature film and game)