Autodidact: self-taught


Slow Derek and Why the World is Flat

by V. L. Craven

That’s Slow Derek by Dan Ojari. It’s about a man who can’t keep up with the spinning of the Earth.

It reminds me of this map of our flat and stationary earth from 1893:

Click to giganticise.

See those nattily dressed fellows on the right?

Slow down, mate!

Stop the world, I want to get off!

I love that they’re only flying on the earth that fast ‘in their minds’. Clearly, the earth must not be moving (not just because the Bible said so, which we all know is an accurate scientific and historical document but) because we’d fly off if it was moving. And if Professor Orlando Ferguson doesn’t understand the forces at work then those forces don’t exist.

Good to know people no longer cite random passages from the Bible to defend their irrational beliefs. (And if they do, it only takes a hundred years for them to look like idiots!)



by V. L. Craven

If Tim Burton directed a Tool video and turned the disturbing level up to 11, this is probably what you’d get.

Neomorphus from Animatorio on Vimeo .

And there’s a making-of video.

Neomorphus Making Of from Animatorio on Vimeo .


The Man of the Week

by V. L. Craven

Saturday next is the 204th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s birth so this week’s posts will be focusing on Mr Poe, the person who first opened my eyes to the wonderful darkness within.

Today, animations.

First up, ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’, narrated by James Mason, released in 1953.

Next is the trailer for a stop-motion animation of ‘The Pit and Pendulum.’ The full film can be purchased here .

An animation of the Alan Parson’s Project song ‘The Raven’, which uses some of the poem as its lyrics.

Another Alan Parson’s Project song. This one is for ‘The Cask of Amontillado.’ (It’s a little annoying that they mispronounce ‘ Amontillado ,’ but the song is still good and the animation is nice.)

This is ‘The Raven’ read by James Earl Jones, set to ‘Moonlight Sonata’ and includes evocative photography as a slideshow.

Tim Burton’s ‘Vincent’, which references several of Poe’s works and is narrated by Vincent Price, who was an enormous fan of Poe.

And finally, this clever animation of Poe, attempting to shoot the introduction to his show ‘Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination.’



by V. L. Craven

Stop motion, face paint: Each frame was hand-painted on the model’s face.

Rot from Erica Luke on Vimeo .


Mad Monster Party

by V. L. Craven

My last tattoo was Tim Burton-esque, and my tattooer recommended Mad Monster Party, a stop-motion film released in 1967.

What a trippy, fun time.

Dr Frankenstein needs someone to succeed him upon his retirement, so he calls a weekend-long party/conference to choose his successor. Included in this group is Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde, the Invisible Man, Frankenstein, Dracula, a werewolf, the Mummy, the creature from the Black Lagoon and other monsters. Also invited is the doctor’s nebbish nephew Felix.

Dr Frankenstein is voiced by Boris Karloff and Frankenstein’s mate is voiced by Phyllis Diller. I cannot tell you how fantastic that is. There’s also Dr Frankenstein’s helper, Yetch, who is based on Peter Lorre. The impression was so well done I was surprised to learn the character wasn’t voiced by Lorre himself.

And my tattooer was right about the Tim Burton connection. According to Wikipedia:

The stop motion cute/ghastly look of the creatures in this film was very influential on Tim Burton’s Vincent, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride; in particular, Burton creations strongly resemble the little monsters seen in the Stay One Step Ahead number.

And the end was a genuine surprise.

Powered by WordPress