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Academy Award winning (The Shape of Water) filmmaker Guillermo del Toro is making his animated feature film directorial debut at Netflix with his lifelong passion project, Pinocchio, which he will also write and produce as a stop motion musical. 

The film will be set in Italy during the 1930s, a particularly fraught historical moment and a time when fascism was on the rise and Benito Mussolini was consolidating control of the country. Production on “Pinocchio” will begin this fall.  Click here for the full story.

Animator Webster Colcord gave a 40 minute talk at the Santa Clara City LIbrary Comic Con this month. In the talk he discusses his history in the animation industry, from his stop motion beginnings, work in CGI and back to stop motion. You can see Websters Instagram account with photos and clips of his animations by clicking here.

Shawn 2

 

If you’re like me, you collect too much stuff you don’t really need.  But one thing I don’t have too much of is Aardman items.  That’s because there really hasn’t been much offered, especially in North America.   But there’s good news. With Brand Licensing Europe just around the corner, Aardman has announced some fantastic new licensing deals for Shaun the Sheep and Wallace & Gromit aficionados.

Aardman has agreed a new partnership with Aurora to produce plush items for Shaun the Sheep brand and the much anticipated feature film sequel ‘Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon’.  The deal spans multiple territories including UK, France and North America with lines being showcased at the upcoming trade fairs in Hong Kong, UK and Germany in January 2019.

I know I need more Shaun the Sheep in my life.  For details, click here.

WVinton

Will Vinton, a legend in the development of commercial stop motion animation in the United States, died yesterday at the age of 70. The cause of death was multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells, which he had battled for over a decade.

Vinton started making clay animation films in the 1970s, and won the Academy Award for his 1974 film Closed Mondays, that he co-directed with Bob Gardiner. He established Will Vinton Productions Portland, Oregon in the late 1970s.  The studio employed and trained hundreds of stop motion artists throughout the 1980s and ’90s.  In 2002, the studio reformed as Laika under the direction of Travis Knight, the four-time Oscar-nominated studio responsible for films like Coraline, The Boxtrolls and Kubo and the Two Strings.

Click here to learn more about Will Vinton’s extraordinary career.

Missing Link 

Laika Studios art director Alice Bird shares new details about Laika's 5th film, the upcoming movie "Missing Link," scheduled release date April 2019. Click here to read the online article over at KPTV.