Stop Motion Animation: You make me smile

I’m an animator. Unemployed to be sure, but it’s the thing I like best in the world. There’s nothing I enjoy doing more with my time than sitting at my animation desk and making things move. I love everything about animation; its potential, its artistry, its versatility. I love all the various forms of animation; classical, computer generated, stop motion and claymation. Today I want to talk about a series I love more than almost any other.

Back in the early 80s, Cosgrove Hall Films produced a gorgeous series for the British Thames television based on The Wind in the Willows. I doubt I’ve ever seen a more perfect adaptation ever, nor a more beautiful or skillfully created one. Wind in the Willows was an absolutely gorgeous series. The characters looked like master illustrations come to life. The series ran for 5 seasons and was a cornerstone of my childhood. This series, more than any other, truly cemented my love for stop motion animation and claymation.

Recently I’ve been re-reading the original Winnie the Pooh books, a common past time of mine since I’ve been able to read. I’ve always been a great fan of the original books, in opposition to the less than stellar (in my humble opinion) Disney adaptations which I have always felt fully failed to capture the spirit of the books. Not to say I don’t appreciate the Disney films, but they’re not the Winnie the Pooh that I know and love, and I’m thankful that they were not my first exposure to that world. I’d hate for the Disney versions to pollute my view of Pooh and company.

Why do I bring up Winnie the Pooh? Well, as I was reading it occurred to me the other night that what would really be a brilliant approach to adapting the material would be to go the same route as the classic Wind in the Willows series. The denizens of the Hundred Acre Wood would suit that style perfectly. Alas, I’m no sculptor. Nor am I a talented stop motion animator, so this will forever remain in the realm of my imagination. Still, I felt the desire to put the idea out there, for whatever it’s worth.

I’ll leave you tonight with a clip of the Wind in the Willows, to refresh your memories of how impressive this series truly was.

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~ by Pagz on January 21, 2008.

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