While two-dimensional hand-drawn animation that once ruled the cartoon world has mostly vanished on the big-screen, stop-motion’s puppets and miniature sets are a natural in today’s world of digital 3-D cinema.
“It’s a great marriage,” said “ParaNorman” co-director Sam Fell. “It’s always been so tactile, stop-frame. I remember being young and watching Harryhausen. I always wanted to take one of those skeletons home and just reach in and touch the stuff inside. The 3-D just makes it even more tangible and invites you in even more. You become more immersed in the craft of it.”
Along with digital 3-D photography, stop-motion films now are peppered with computer-animated visual effects to add to the spectacle.
Yet the basic idea is the same as it ever was.
“It’s a guy behind a black curtain, pushing a puppet one frame at a time. So it really hasn’t changed in a hundred years,” said “Frankenweenie” producer Allison Abbate. “It’s still embracing that old-school, handmade, handcrafted technology that I think you feel when you watch the movie. It feels like a labor of love, and you can see it on screen.”
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