'Tokri,' a gorgeous stop-motion short 8 years in the making

Tokri (The Basket) is a beautifully crafted 15-minute claymation short that took India-based Studio Eeksaurus eight years to complete. Give it a watch, you'll see that it was worth the effort. It certainly has earned every single one of the numerous awards it's won.

The story was inspired by a real-life encounter Eeksaurus' Suresh Eriyat had:

Traversing the crowded streets of Mumbai in his car, animator Suresh Eriyat was approached by a young girl selling baskets. Eriyat shooed her away—it is assumed by most that the hordes of children who pounce upon motorists at the stoplights of the city are organized by gangs, thus any charity exhibited directly rewards the practice of putting children to work as beggars. Yet, despite the unremarkable nature of this occurrence, Eriyat was struck by guilt. Describing the thoughts that circled his mind, he writes, “What if she was in a precarious situation where she had to sell baskets to bring peace to her home? What if she needed some help from Me? How insensitive of me?” The premise of a story was born, one that would take 8 years to bring to completion.

Get a feel for what it took to bring this film to the world in these behind-the-scenes videos:

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Absolutely wonderful stop motion Super Mario with refrigerator magnets

Videogame developer Phil Compile and 4-year-old son Ollie made this absolutely wonderful Super Mario stop motion animation using refrigerator magnets.

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Amazing Rubik's Cube Pac-Man stop motion animation

Big Wendy makes stop motion animation films by placing Rubik's Cubes onto a large square frame, taking a shot, changing the cubes, taking another shot, again and again. Big Wendy said it took her about a week to make this video commemorating the 40th anniversary of Pac-Man and Rubik's Cube. Amazing!

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Watch this award-winning stop-motion short film about the second oldest man in the world

Second To None is a new short film by Irish writer/director Vincent Gallagher that I can best describe as "What if the first 20 minutes of UP was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino?" Here's the official synopsis:

Frederick Butterfield has always been runner up to his twin brother Herman. When Herman, the older by a mere minute, becomes the world’s oldest man, Frederick finally sees an opportunity to be first place.

Frederick will stop at nothing to claim the top spot in the most inventive way possible.

It's a delightfully bleak dark comedy. I found myself actually laughing out loud numerous times as the children's book-like characters moved silently from adorable ultraviolence to adorable ultraviolence, while still being delightfully crotchety old man. On a technical level, the intricate stop-motion work is truly impressive as well; it took them six months just to make a 7 minute short film.

If you're still not convinced to spare those seven minutes of your time, Second To None has already garnered a ton of awards, including "Best Animation" at the Irish Film and Television Awards, as well as recognition at the Austin Film Festival, Newport Beach Film Festival, and even Whoopi Goldberg’s specially curated animated shorts program at Tribeca. It's currently a Staff Pick at Vimeo as well.

Second To None [Written and directed by Vincent Gallagher; animated by jason Watts; character design and fabrication by Pierre Butler; sets by Aoife Noonan of Bowsie Workshop]

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Supercut of every stop-motion monster Ray Harryhausen ever animated

Ray Harryhausen was a pioneer of stop-motion animation who won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects in 1949 for his work on Mighty Joe Young with Willis H. O'Brien. Read the rest

Terrific stop motion animation made from pancakes

Wriggles & Robins's "Max's Journey to the Moon" is a delightful stop motion animation created from 600 pancakes. They released it today in celebration of National Pancake Day, aka Shrove Tuesday. Read the rest

Harvesting eyeballs from discarded doll heads for a stop-motion film

"I got all these doll heads from a scrap market in Cairo," says artist Dinaa Amin, "collected by sellers who collect them from garbage bins." She took out the eyes to make a stop motion movie.

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A stop-motion animator breathes life into Russian nesting dolls

Charmingly simple, and simply charming, Co Hoedeman's stop-motion short, "Matrioska," (1970) gives life and humor to eight wooden nesting dolls. I couldn't help smiling at a few parts of the film.

[via The Kid Should See This] Read the rest

Revealing the innards of fruits and vegetables with stop-motion animation

From Kevin Parry:

Using my stop-motion animation know-how to explore the patterns inside of various fruits and vegetables! This looks super tedious, but I actually had a lot of fun slicing them frame by frame and seeing the results come to life. I've included a bit of behind-the-scenes footage to show how I created the effect. Hope you enjoy!

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Watch this marvelous animation that summarizes humanity in five minutes

Director Fabio Friedli animated 3,000 images to tell the story of humanity "from a seed to war, from meat to love, from indifference to apocalypse."

“It is such an excessive amount of things, shown in such a short time, you are never able to perceive everything,” Friedli told Vimeo. “I like to believe it’s one’s subconscious that chooses what you see, hear and feel, depending on what is occupying your head and heart at the moment. No one has the same first ‘In A Nutshell’ experience.”

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LEGO Bowie contemplates post-Ziggy Stardust character ideas: Cobbler Bob? A Mad Deus? Viscount Jizzmark?

Yesterday, we paid tribute to the 42nd anniversary of David Bowie's iconic album Low by featuring The Brothers McLeod animation of comedian Adam Buxton's hysterical radio tribute to Bowie from 2013. We follow it up with another animation done from Buxton's radio show, this time with Chris Salt of Oblong Pictures using LEGO stop-motion to lovingly lampoon our favorite alien rock god.

In the video, David pitches his wife, Angie Bowie, on new character ideas after deciding to "kill off Ziggy." After running through a series of candidates: Cobbler Bob ("I could have giant shoes, with massive platforms big enough for the band to fit inside of"), A Mad Deus ("A composer of classical music who comes to believe that he's God"), The Groovy Gardener, Viscount Jizzmark, finally, he shows Angie Aladdin Sane. "Who is Aladdin Sane?," she coos. "Well, he's like Ziggy, but with a different name, and some sort of strange fluid leaking out of his collarbone," David replies.

This cute little bit does make you wonder what other characters David may have contemplated but ultimately rejected. Read the rest

LEGO stop-motion short film by 8-year-old girl animator

This 8 year old is a lot more patient and creative than most adults I know. What a cool little kid-made short film. Read the rest

Little Timo's Christmas Tree

A seasonal Russian animation from 1966. Directed by Vladimir Degtyarev, it's 10 minutes long and you won't need subtitles 'cause there ain't no dialogue. [via Metafilter] Read the rest

No digital effects were used to animate this indie band's stop-motion music video

Vancouver indie rock band Said The Whale spent over 80 hours putting together the music video for their song "UnAmerican." Impressively, zero digital effects were used to stop-motion animate the 2,250 different photos. The band painstakingly did that all by hand. Wow!

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Watch "The Frog," a deeply weird short film from 1908

Spanish film director and cinematographer Segundo Chomón (1871-1929) was a pioneer of movie special effects, camera tricks, and optical illusions at the intersection of technology, art, and magic. See more of his surreal work at the Internet Archive's "Segundo de Chomón Collection."

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This is how you dance (without moving)

YouTuber Ryan Higa admits that he can't dance. When one of his viewers asked if he could dance without moving, he put together this amazing stop-motion video with his friends.

This is how it was made:

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Watch this incredible stop-motion animated with carved pumpkins

Sean Ohlenkamp and Rob Popkin spent years creating this remarkable stop-motion animation made of carved pumpkins. Even the soundtrack is made of pumpkins. Read the rest

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