Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Frog and Toad Are Charming!

One of the surprises of watching some of my new copy of the Frog and Toad films mentioned (after seeing a clip of it at the recent ASIFA expo, scroll to last third of post) was that the main film, Curious George Comes to America, is also a well done stop motion. It was only listed as "animated" and the cover art is line drawn. (Photos are snapshots taken of my computer screen as it ran the disk as I didn't know how else to capture the stills I wanted.)

A new stop motion discovery and now one of my all time favorites. All but hidden on a 1994 dvd release ($7.99 on Amazon) comes several short 4-5 minute vignettes featuring the delightful Frog and Toad characters. I hadn't heard about the series made waaaaaaay back in 1985-87, written and directed by John Clark Matthews, with Jim Aupperle creating the lighting and doing some of the wonderful animation. The difficulty-dauntless filmmakers produced these treasures of the art before computers, framegrabbers (how did they erase the puppet rigs?!), etc. with just good old-fashion, lovingly crafted, sweet stop motion stories for youngsters (Although, I enjoyed these tales myself.)

Look for the inventive beautiful lighting design especially. Each scene takes on the perfect theatrical visual dimension because of Jim's inspired work. The rotating sets are a wonder. I would never have known how the makers achieved the enchanted effect of the Toad riding his bicycle through a hilly garden as we follow along, for example, if Jim hadn't shown some of his own behind the scenes/making of footage at the recent expo.

I can't wait to watch the rest of the stories on the disk. Something to reward myself with after I have completed converting two of the books I've designed into Spanish over the next day or two.

Hope to be back on Thursday to show a nice step having been made on my film's set.

Take Good Care!

16 comments:

  1. I love the still of the Snail , by the Way you mentioned how toad road his bycicle, Look on Harryhausen, The Early Years Collection!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good stuff on there, eh, Ben? I'll have to check it out. Did Uncle Ray make it dimensional by having lots of landscape moves?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I remember they had special tie downs and other cool stuff in the Bike!

    And yea there were plenty of moves!

    DISK ONE, SPECIAL FEATURES

    Go Go Go Go!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Netflix had the Harryhousen Chronicles (1998), is that the one you saw? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  5. No, It was Harryhausen, The Early Years Collection on The Tortoise and the Hare's Behind the Scenes.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Ben, if that's the actual title of the disk? It doesn't seem to be available on Netflix. I'l have to keep an eye out for it. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yep, Thats the actuall title:

    http://www.amazon.com/Ray-Harryhausen-Early-Years-Collection/dp/B00079RC00

    It has his old shorts on it and The Tort and Hare Documentary!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Holy COW!

    You have Frog and Toad: Behind the Scenes! I practically have that entire 10 minute making-of segment memorized, word for word!

    Thanks for mentioning what DVD it's on, I've been looking all over for it, and I never would have thought that it would be on Curious George!

    ReplyDelete
  9. ......now I got check out this dvd too!

    thanks for the link.

    jriggity

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Pram, Noooooo! I haven't watched the entire disk yet, but I think the Curious George dvd only has the F&T films on it--not any behind the scenes.

    In another post I talked about seeing a snippet of the FABULOUS behind the scene action in Jim Aupperle reel at the expo. That about blew my mind.

    Where did you get to see it?! Film school?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Justin, you want me to bring it over?

    ReplyDelete
  12. yeah sure!!!

    Id love to see it.

    jriggity

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for the link. I love stop-motion animation. Will definitely check this out!

    Rustin Allison

    ReplyDelete
  14. I hope you enjoy it, Rustin! Thanks for commenting!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love watching and learning about how this project is becoming, transforming...breathing.

    The escargot has a french cousin!

    ReplyDelete
  16. heehee. I've got the garlic already made!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...