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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 7, 2013 | By Dennis McLellan
Ray Harryhausen, a stop-motion animation pioneer who became a cult figure for creating special effects for “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms,” “Jason and the Argonauts” and other science fiction and fantasy film classics, died Tuesday in London of natural causes. He was 92. His death was confirmed by Kenneth Kleinberg, his longtime legal representative in the United States. Harryhausen, a Los Angeles native who lived in London for more than four decades, inspired generations of filmmakers and special-effects artists.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 4, 2014 | Elaine Woo
More than five decades ago, Arthur Rankin Jr., a producer-director working in stop-motion animation, had an idea to develop a family-oriented TV special around a popular Christmas song. He hoped a network would like it enough to run it two or three times. But when "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" aired in 1964, he and partner Jules Bass found they had a blockbuster - one that launched them into TV history as pioneers of the animated holiday special. Fifty years later, "Rudolph," with its catchy tunes and charmingly misfit characters, remains the longest-running Christmas TV special, "one of only four 1960s Christmas specials still being telecast," according to the Archive of American Television . The others are "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and another Rankin-Bass creation, "Frosty the Snowman.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 19, 2010 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
What's your favorite animated movie? Chances are, the team behind it was influenced by stop-motion and visual effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen, with maybe a dash of Looney Tunes titan Chuck Jones thrown in. And now you can see why. Two exhibitions curated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — "The Fantastical Worlds of Ray Harryhausen" and "Chuck Jones: An Animator's Life From A to Z-Z-Z-Z" — will display sketches, animation...
ENTERTAINMENT
May 17, 2013 | By Susan King
The American Cinematheque and the Visual Effects Society are joining forces next month to pay homage to the pioneering stop-motion special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen, who died in London on May 7 at age 92. “The King of Stop-Motion: Ray Harryhausen Remembered” opens June 6 at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica with 1958's “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad,” directed by Nathan Juran and starring Kerwin Matthews and Kathryn Grant, who became...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 4, 2014 | Elaine Woo
More than five decades ago, Arthur Rankin Jr., a producer-director working in stop-motion animation, had an idea to develop a family-oriented TV special around a popular Christmas song. He hoped a network would like it enough to run it two or three times. But when "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" aired in 1964, he and partner Jules Bass found they had a blockbuster - one that launched them into TV history as pioneers of the animated holiday special. Fifty years later, "Rudolph," with its catchy tunes and charmingly misfit characters, remains the longest-running Christmas TV special, "one of only four 1960s Christmas specials still being telecast," according to the Archive of American Television . The others are "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and another Rankin-Bass creation, "Frosty the Snowman.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 29, 2010 | By Susan King
Growing up in Belgium, the animating duo of Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar loved to play with plastic toy figurines. "I had a neighbor who I was kind of jealous of because he had more," said Aubier on the phone from New York, speaking through a translator."
ENTERTAINMENT
October 11, 2009 | Chris Lee
To be clear, Wes Anderson did not set out to direct his new movie via e-mail. Even if that's precisely how the writer-director's stop-motion animation version of Roald Dahl's beloved children's book "Fantastic Mr. Fox" -- a jaunty visual joy ride that features voice characterizations by George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Jason Schwartzman -- ultimately came to be, Anderson never intended to become an in-box auteur. That choice was made all but inevitable, however, by the Oscar nominee's unorthodox decision to hole up in Paris for most of the shoot's one-year duration while principal photography commenced across the English Channel at London's venerable Three Mills Studios.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 17, 2013 | By Susan King
The American Cinematheque and the Visual Effects Society are joining forces next month to pay homage to the pioneering stop-motion special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen, who died in London on May 7 at age 92. “The King of Stop-Motion: Ray Harryhausen Remembered” opens June 6 at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica with 1958's “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad,” directed by Nathan Juran and starring Kerwin Matthews and Kathryn Grant, who became...
NEWS
December 9, 2009
Although the stop-motion technique Wes Anderson employs for "Fantastic Mr. Fox" is considered animation, producer Allison Abbate says the painstaking process has a lot more in common with live action than some might think. "Because it's real space, real light, real textures, it brings you into the world more," Abbate explains. "It looks familiar and like something that you've seen in your life, yet it's much smaller." Abbate, who has also worked on projects with Tim Burton and Brad Bird, says that longtime stop-motion fan Anderson was drawn to the artistry of the process.
NEWS
December 9, 2009
In what will be only the second time since the animated feature film category was created in 2001, there will be five nominees to root for at this Academy Awards, thanks to the 20 films submitted (a minimum of 16 is required to field a full slate of contenders). Among the submissions are "Ponyo," from Hayao Miyazaki, whose "Spirited Away" won the award in 2002, the last time there were five nominees. Other contenders include "Monsters vs. Aliens," "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" and the French film "A Town Called Panic."
ENTERTAINMENT
May 7, 2013 | By Oliver Gettell
Over the course of his imaginative and painstaking career, the stop-motion animation wizard Ray Harryhausen created some of the most dazzling effects to grace the silver screen, and all without the benefit of computer-generated imagery. Following are but a few of Harryhausen's memorable creations. "Mighty Joe Young" (1949) As a teenage boy, Harryhausen had been awestruck by the original "King Kong," which was released in 1933, so the opportunity to work alongside that film's animation guru, Willis O'Brien, on another giant-ape movie was something of a dream come true.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 7, 2013 | By Dennis McLellan
Ray Harryhausen, a stop-motion animation pioneer who became a cult figure for creating special effects for “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms,” “Jason and the Argonauts” and other science fiction and fantasy film classics, died Tuesday in London of natural causes. He was 92. His death was confirmed by Kenneth Kleinberg, his longtime legal representative in the United States. Harryhausen, a Los Angeles native who lived in London for more than four decades, inspired generations of filmmakers and special-effects artists.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 7, 2013 | By Dennis McLellan, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Ray Harryhausen, the stop-motion animation legend whose work on "The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms," "Jason and the Argonauts" and other science fiction and fantasy film classics made him a cult figure who inspired later generations of filmmakers and special-effects artists, has died. He was 92. Harryhausen died Tuesday in London, where he had lived for decades. His death was confirmed by Kenneth Kleinberg, his longtime legal representative in the United States. In the pre-computer-generated-imagery era in which he worked, Harryhausen used the painstaking process of making slight adjustments to the position of his three-dimensional, ball-and-socket-jointed scale models and then shooting them frame-by-frame to create the illusion of movement.
SCIENCE
May 1, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn, This post has been corrected. Please see note at bottom for details.
Talk about some tiny pixels: Researchers at IBM have created the world's tiniest stop-motion animation film by using single atoms to tell the story of a boy named Atom and his friend, an atom. The story is cute - Atom and his friend dance together, jump together, get separated and then reunite - but you will watch it in awe because each of the 242 frames has been magnified more than 100 million times, and what you are really seeing are scientists manipulating one of the squeensiest elements in the universe.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 20, 2013 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
In May 2005, DreamWorks Animation SKG and Aardman Animations announced that, following their collaborations on "Chicken Run," "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" and "Flushed Away," their next joint venture would be "Crood Awakening," a stop-motion comedy about a caveman living in a small village with a prehistoric genius. John Cleese of Monty Python fame and Kirk DeMicco ("Racing Stripes") were hired to write the script. And now nearly eight years later, a vastly different version of the tale is opening Friday.
BUSINESS
January 15, 2013 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
When singer-songwriter Alicia Keys wanted to create an animated children's television series about the exploration of music, she turned to Burbank animation firm Bento Box for ideas. Bento's producers suggested an alternative: Instead of a TV show, how about an interactive storytelling app? That idea became "The Journals of Mama Mae and LeeLee," which was released through the iTunes store last fall for $3.99 and expands to Android mobile devices and tablets this month. Featuring original compositions from Keys, the animated series uses music, games, rewards and a journal to tell the story of a relationship between a young girl and a mystical grandmother.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 30, 2009 | KENNETH TURAN, FILM CRITIC
To be a film critic at the end of August is to be a high diver poised at the end of the board. Behind you is the overheated cacophony of the hectic summer months, ahead is the cool comfort of theaters filled with the fall's smart and sophisticated offerings. Or so it's tempting to think. But what if the fall films, for all their promise, let us down? (It's happened before.) And what if movies from those earlier months turn out to be some of the best we'll see all year? It's in that spirit that some of the best of 2009 so far have been selected for your consideration.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 28, 2010 | By Charles Solomon
For decades, it was easy to tell the two media apart: There were real people in live-action movies; animated films had drawn characters or stop-motion figures. But as filmmaking technology has grown more complex, it's not clear if a single term can encompass movies as different as the five Oscar nominees for best animated feature, the additional 15 films that qualified for the category and the visual effects in movies such as "Avatar." An often heated debate over what is -- and isn't -- animation rages among animators, filmmakers, critics and fans.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 10, 2013 | By Rebecca Keegan
In a golden age for computer-generated animation, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has rewarded a comparably antique technique - stop-motion animation - with three of its five Oscar nominations for animated feature. "Frankenweenie," directed by Tim Burton, "ParaNorman," directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell, and "The Pirates! Band of Misfits," directed by Peter Lord, were all made using stop-motion, a homespun, arduous process that requires animators to adjust a puppet's movement frame-by-frame to tell a story.
NEWS
December 6, 2012 | By Gina McIntyre, Los Angeles Times
When Tim Burton next steps behind the camera, it appears he'll likely be directing a live-action adaptation of the classic fairy tale "Pinocchio" for Walt Disney Co. Although the film is still taking shape, it's a perfect fit for Burton: He not only delivered a $1-billion hit for the studio with his lavish fantasy "Alice in Wonderland" in 2010, but he's also been animating puppets with sentience and spirit since his college days at CalArts with films...
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