The Walt Disney Family Museum has announced its newest special exhibition, ‘Between Frames: The Magic Behind Stop Motion Animation,’ on view from September 27, 2012 to April 28, 2013 in the Museum’s Theater Gallery. Curated by WDFM Registrar and Curatorial Assistant Anel Muller, the exhibition explores the evolution of stop motion animation in the United States — especially in special effects, television, and film — while examining some of the key milestones and innovators including Willis O’ Brien (King Kong), Tim Burton (The Nightmare Before Christmas), Art Clokey (‘Gumby’), Ray Harryhausen (It Came From Beneath the Sea), Henry Selick (Coraline and James and the Giant Peach), Phil Tippett (Star Wars and Jurassic Park) and more.
‘Between Frames’ tells the story of a 100-year-old art form that has been used in special effects, television and film and launched Walt Disney’s career in animation. The exhibition includes behind-the-scenes photographs from films such as The Lost World (1925) and Jason and the Argonauts (1963), replicas of the original armatures from King Kong (1933) and Mighty Joe Young (1949), along with a Digital Input Device (DID) created just for Jurassic Park (1993). Puppets from the ‘Robot Chicken’ (2005) opening sequence and a puppet mold from Gumby, as well as original armatures from The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Coraline (2009) and original storyboards from James and the Giant Peach (1996) will also be on view.
Visitors will be invited to manipulate and touch armatures at a special interactive station. A film loop of great moments in stop motion animation will also be running in the gallery.
The origins of stop motion animation are rooted in special effects. Discovered accidentally, stop motion was the key for filmmakers to open the door to fantastical realities. Stop motion animation enabled films like The Lost World (1925), King Kong (1933), It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955) and the original Star Wars (1977) trilogy to transport the audience into worlds where anything was possible and the unexpected was certain.
Before The Nightmare Before Christmas, stop motion animated features were a huge gamble for movie studios. Hansel and Gretel: An Opera Fantasy, released in 1949 and distributed by RKO, was the first American stop motion feature film, and had only modest success at the box office. After Hansel and Gretel, the lackluster success of stop motion features continued in the United States for many years. The success of The Nightmare Before Christmas sparked a renaissance in stop motion features with productions, in the last 20 years, such as James and the Giant Peach (1996) and Coraline as well as the creation of stop motion studios like Laika and Cinderbiter.
Shorts were and still are the laboratories for most stop motion animators to test out new tools and techniques to improve the art form. Not only has this format launched the careers of many filmmakers like Tim Burton but it is has been the only format of stop motion animation to be awarded an Academy Award® for Closed Mondays (1974).
Commercials and television series have both made use of stop motion animation. Commercials from cigarettes to band-aids and even memorable characters like the California Raisins (1986) were all brought to life with stop motion. Stop motion animated television series in the United States are limited in comparison to Europe and Asia; it remains a great platform for the art form with characters like Gumby, which appeared in over 234 episodes over four decades beginning in the 1950s. While more recently, ‘Robot Chicken’ (2005) has revived interest in stop motion animated series while sparking the imaginations of a new television generation.
‘Between Frames: The Magic Behind Stop Motion Animation’ was organized by The Walt Disney Family Museum.
In conjunction with ;Between Frames: The Magic Behind Stop Motion Animation,’ the Museum is hosting a suite of special programs, screenings, and events:
Puppet Masters: Stop Motion Animation in Visual Effects Filmmaking Panel – Saturday, October 20 at 3 pm – General: $12 adult, $9 youth | Members: $10 adult; $7 youth
Visual effects legend Ray Harryhausen inspired a generation of visual effects artists with his pioneering work in stop motion animation. Four of Harryhausen’s “kids,”—Dennis Muren, Phil Tippett, Tom St. Amand, and Jon Berg—all masters of this technique, will gather to discuss stop motion animation and its use in creating characters and creatures for movies. Join moderator Hal Hickel in a discussion of their work with stop motion, its history as a visual effects technique, and the transition into computer-generated animation.
Muren, Tippett, St. Amand, and Berg have created visual effects using stop motion in some of the most famous films of the last three decades. The holographic chess pieces in the original Star Wars, the Hoth snow battle in The Empire Strikes Back, the dragon Vermithrax in Dragonslayer, the mine car chase in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the flying rocket man in Rocketeer, and the deadly ED 209 robot in Robocop are just a few examples of their amazing craft.
Animate Your Night: Where it’s AT-AT™ – Friday, September 28, 7–10pm | Museum-wide – Members: $5 | General: $10
Join us as we celebrate the opening of ‘Between Frames: The Magic Behind Stop Motion Animation,’ which reveals the magic behind movie creatures such as King Kong, the Jurassic Park Velociraptors, and the revered Star Wars AT-AT! Experience the galleries in a whole new light and illuminate your imagination with music, performance, film screenings, and hands-on art activities. Complimentary bites, a cash bar featuring a thematic signature cocktail, and much, much more.
Animate Your Night: Halloweentown! – Friday, October 26, 7–10pm | Museum-wide – Members: $5 | General: $10
Experience the galleries in a whole new light and illuminate your imagination with music, performance, film screenings, and hands-on art activities. Complimentary bites, a cash bar featuring a thematic signature cocktail, and much, much more.
Hallowscreen – Monday, October 29 and Wednesday, October 31 – 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm | Theater | Free with Museum admission
Celebrate Halloween with our special selection of haunted cartoon shorts such as The Skeleton Dance, The Mad Doctor, Pluto’s Judgment Day and more.
The Walt Disney Family Museum is located at the Presidio in San Francisco, California.
Earlier this week, the iconic Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, CA unveiled its latest exhibit, ‘From Silver Screen to Die-cast: Disney/Pixar Cars Imagined by Mattel.’
Since the launch of the first Cars film in June 2006, Mattel has produced more than 200 million die-cast Cars vehicles featuring more than 500 unique designs that represent the many beloved characters from the films. This special exhibit, part of the Petersen Automotive Museum’s ‘Hollywood Gallery,’ includes a comprehensive collection of the Disney/Pixar Cars die-cast vehicles and gives Cars fans and collectors alike an entertaining and informative glimpse into the history of Mattel’s blockbuster toy line.
Exhibit highlights include:
- Diorama Movie Scene Recreations Featuring Cars Vehicles: Hundreds of die-cast vehicles representing the many beloved characters from Cars and Cars 2 – from the popular Lightning McQueen and Mater to the big-wheeled Haulers and their corresponding racers. Each display showcases the character’s distinct automobile model and design bringing their personalities and storylines to life.
- Rare and Never-Before-Seen Cars Vehicles: Highlights of some of the most exclusive and never released Cars die-cast vehicles such as the elusive ‘Apple Car’ from the Speedway of the South set, to special collections never released to the general public including Trev Diesel and others. Each display also features the behind-the-scenes stories that make these collectibles so rare.
- Evolution of Cars Die-cast Packaging: Display features the evolution of the Mattel product packaging from the original Cars design introducing fans to Radiator Springs in 2006, to how the franchise’s unique merchandising revolutionized the die-cast packaging category.
- Cars Super Chase Die-cast Collection: For the die-hard collector, a first look at Mattel’s ultra-exclusive 2012 line of die-cast cars that will feature one-time only, limited-run vehicles of very special Cars 2 characters. Display will include first Super Chase vehicle to launch – Flash – inspired by the real-life race car driver featured exclusively in the Swedish version of Cars 2.
- Lightning McQueen Alive Showcase: A celebration of the innovative technology used to authentically bring the big personality of Lightning McQueen from the film screen into the playroom in miniature 1:55 scale. Product design highlights the cutting-edge micro-technology developed to create the life-like mouth, eye and shoulder movements of this little electronic vehicle that will be sure to top wish lists this coming holiday season!
Photos courtesy of Disney Consumer Products
Photo Gallery: Opening Night Gala, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Exhibit at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
In celebration of the Blu-ray™ & DVD release of Alice in Wonderland on June 1, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (WDSHE), in partnership with Disney Consumer Products (DCP), unveiled a first-of-its-kind Alice In Wonderland Exhibition in the FIDM Museum & Galleries at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in downtown Los Angeles.
Colleen Atwood (Academy Award® winning designer; Best Achievement in Costume Design for Memoirs of a Geisha in 2005 and Best Costume Design for Chicago in 2002) was in attendance along with Nick Verreos (star of “Project Runway”, graduate and instructor at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and NIKOLAKI owner/designer) and Kerli (singer/songwriter of “Strange” and “Tea Party”, featured on the film’s soundtrack).
The opening night gala featured a fashion show of Alice in Wonderland inspired red carpet gown couture by FIDM grads, a special live performance by Kerli and a “sneak peek” at Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Costume Exhibition at FIDM before it opened the doors to the general public on Thursday, May 27th.
The exhibition includes Colleen Atwood’s original costume designs from the film, including Johnny Depp’s original Mad Hatter fighter garment, several of Mia Wasikowska’s Alice dresses and Helena Bonham Carter’s Red Queen Dress; The “Edgier Side of Alice” inspired clothing and products by Sue Wong, Tom Binns, Avril Lavigne and FIDM grads; SuperLab gowns and more.
Photos © Berliner Photography/BEImages, courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A big show of animation art from the Walt Disney studio will open in November at the New Orleans Museum of Art, a month before the release of an animated movie set in New Orleans that features Disney’s first African-American princess. Read more…