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!