MOMAKIN: Stop-motion Animation Gets A Comeback

MOMAKIN: Stop-motion Animation Gets A Comeback
Even Mice Belong in Heaven, Fresh Films / Animoon / Cinemart

MOMAKIN experts, the Polish company which supports production and distribution of international film projects (and organizes Animarkt Stop-Motion Forum),  share their thoughts on the stop-motion animation future in 2020.

.The time of computer-generated animations craze is passing, and stop-motion productions are making a comeback in the movie world, strongly marking their presence in the world of advertising. They are receiving awards and Oscar nominations, and with the help of Netflix series they are reaching the mainstream. There is a good time ahead for animation and puppets in particular - predicts the Polish company MOMAKIN, supporting the production and distribution of international film projects.

Although the year 2020 has just started, puppet animation has already recorded significant successes. The Golden Globe for the best feature-length animated film has been awarded to "Missing Link", a production from the Laika studio, which makes mainly stop-motion films and celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. We can already state that the February gala at Dolby Theatre will go down in the history of animation, because apart from the prospective Oscar for the aforementioned "Missing Link", as many as 3 out of 5 nominations in the category of best one-reeler production were given to films made using the puppet technique.

-Among them is the film Daughter by Daria Kashcheeva, which we have partnered with from the very beginning, since the first idea of this project was presented at the ANIMARKT Stop Motion Forum held by us in 2017  We are also having high hopes in connection with last year's edition of the event. There were some really great projects in pitching, Katarzyna Gromadzka, MOMAKIN. 

Among the awarded films there is also a Polish project "Au" by Katarzyna Majsner - announces Gromadzka, and adds that national finalists from previous years are also entering production, including: "Astra" by Michał Łubiński (produced by Centre for Audiovisual Technology in Wrocław), "Bridge" by Izumi Yoshida (prod. WJTeam/Likaon) and "The Forgotten Book" by Agata Gorządek (prod. Likaon). Moreover, this year should see the end of work on the adaptation of Leszek Kołakowski's fairy tale directed by Zbigniew Kotecki "The Great Sorrow", produced by TV Studio of Animated Films, as well as the Polish-Czech co-production "Even Mice Belong In Heaven" dir. Jan Bubeniček, Denisa Grimmova (dir. Fresh Films/Animoon).

The biggest players on the world film market also invest in stop-motion animation. A few days ago, Marvel Studios announced a casting for the voices of the "M.O.D.O.K" series produced in stop-motion animation. In turn, Netflix, which has just triumphed during the Annie awards ceremony (7 statuettes, including those for Szymon Biernacki and Marcin Jakubowski), in April 2019 showed the premiere, the first season of the puppet series "Rilakkuma and Kaoru", produced in Japan.

This year, the production of "Pinocchio" by Guillermo del Toro will also start under the platform's brand. Some of the shooting will be done in the newly created stop motion animation center in Guadalajara, Mexico, the director's hometown. Work on Henry Selick's (director of "Coraline and the Secret Door") project - "Wendell and Wild" is still in progress.

For 2020, Netflix has also announced the production of the dark comedy "House" in cooperation with Nexus Studios, whose individual segments will be directed by young but already established stop motion animation artists: Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels ("Oh Willy...", "This Magnificent Cake"), Niki Lindroth von Bahr ("Bath House", "Tord och Tord", "The Burden") and Paloma Baez ("Poles Apart").

 Since November 2019, a production with Aardman Animations studio is also underway - a 30-minute animated musical about a mouse-raised chick "Robin Robin" will be created. We will see Christmas animation in December.

Stop motion has also penetrated the world of advertising for good: We all remember the successful campaigns of Biedronka and Browar Książęcy, the viral-returning spot with Nokia 8 or Aardman's realizations for the British furniture producer DFS, for whom Wallace and Gromit advertised last year's winter sale.

We see here a huge area of application of animation, so we intend to support its presence in Polish commercial projects. The stop-motion technique will also be used by independent artists who presented their ideas in 2019 at the most important pitching events in the world. Among original short films during CEE Animation Forum there were as many as 5 such projects. At Cartoon Forum, some of the most important animation studios, such as Pedri in cooperation with Submarine, Vivement Lundi! or Nukufilm, talked about their series plans. Half of the young artists who take part in the Berlinale Talents programme during this year's jubilee edition of the festival use stop motion technique in their projects.

What will be the trend in puppet animation this year and the following years? First of all, a change in thinking about the way of making films in the context of equality and environmental issues. There is a growing awareness of the use of natural materials in the production of puppets, costumes and decorations. Hence, the use of wool or felt is becoming increasingly common.

An interesting change is also the general trend of sustainable film production. This is already visible in the activities of the Łódź Film Commission, which for the first time this year, as part of a pilot for nationwide activities, in its application for funding from the Łódź Film Fund, requires producers to declare and subsequently evaluate the activities aimed at reducing the amount of rubbish, energy used or carbon footprint, accompanying the shooting -Katarzyna Gromadzka. 

contributed by: Momakin

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