Friday, December 29, 2017

Nightmare Before Christmas Sally Puppet face FAKE...?

(left face is genuine, right is face is in question)

An auction popped up offering a replacement face for Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas, that caught my eye. Not in a good way. This face claims it's an original Prop, however I have my doubts.

I contacted the seller regarding my concerns, but my email went ignored. So, I put it to you. Do you think this is a fake?

Here are my tells that make me think this is a fake (or a recast off an original).

1. The eye lids are cast into the face. In the auction itself shows a photo of Sally next to her eye lids.
(original photo showing eye lids are cast separate)

They were ALL cast separate to provide more versatility in facial expressions when animating.

2. There are NO markings on the back to indicate where this face was to be used by the animator during filming. All faces should be marked so the animator knew when to use which face to line up with the dialogue.

3. The Paint colors and style doesn't match other genuine screen-used faces that have popped up.

4. The last thing that sticks out to me, is literally her tongue. I have watched that movie figuratively a million times, and have no recollection of Sally having a tongue. Now that doesn't mean she didn't. If this face is a recast of an original, then she would have somewhere. But for the life of me, I cannot think where she would have had this facial pose anywhere in the film.

Personally, I would save your money. I believe it's a replica.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review

I stayed away from all spoilers or information on the movie before it was released. I didn't want to know and mostly, I didn't care. However, after the movie was released I was very interested in reviews. Honest reviews. From fans. Not paid-for-critic reviews that one may find on RT. From what people where saying, it was a even split between "loved it" and "hated it". What I found interesting was all the reasons that were given for why someone "hated it", the same people who said "loved it" agreed, they didn't like that part either. That tells me everyone who watched the new movie didn't like all the exact same things. For some, all those things were deal breakers. Others were able to ignore and overlook all the bad things.

So, You ask me:
1. All-in-all was it a bad movie?
  Yes and no.
2. Was it entertaining?
  Yes, which is why I would say it wasn't a completely bad movie.
3. Did it disappoint?
  Yes and no. The action was great. Fun battles, fights, etc. Take all that away, and what is left is pretty disappointing.
4. Was it a rehash of ESB?
  For the most part, no. However, there were very obvious moments taken straight from ESB and ROTJ.

My overall impression of the movie was that it felt like I was watching a Disney Cartoon made for kids. I am not talking Pixar good, I mean, like, Wednesday mornings watching the Disney Channel. I was watching a bunch of people trying to play Star Wars and recorded it on their home video. Does that make sense? There were actors who are "over acting" their roles. Over-the-top, way passed realism-acting to Slapstick-comical-acting. Then on the other side of the spectrum, there was "under acting", where it was dry and stale, like you could tell the actor has no idea how to portray realism. With a few moments of "We're not taking this movie seriously" acting.
It was still better than the Prequels. However, the story and plot was a mess just like the Prequels. The pacing was off by how it was edited together. Lots of moments that should have been cut from the film. More than a few "WTF" moments (not to be confused with "disappointed because it didn't meet expectations", but genuine "that was really stupid, and nonsensical in any universe". I hate to say it, but I think I liked the Force Awakens better.

I didn't like Poe in TFA, and liked his character even less in this film. I cannot stand Finn's character, he's almost as pointless and annoying as Jar Jar Binks (but not as bad). I like Finn when he's being serious, but cannot stand him as the comedy relief. I liked Benicio Del Toro, despite that whole sub plot being totally pointless to the progression of the film. I liked Luke, Rey, Chewy, & Kylo. They all did great jobs and  really made the film stronger. Without them, this film would have not worked on any level. Yoda looked less like ESB Yoda and more like CG Clone Wars Yoda. It was great choice to use the puppet, but his sculpt was terrible and his little dance jig was ridiculous. Sure, it might be funny for three-year-olds, but just stupid for adults to watch in ANY movie.

The costumes were far less distracting, but still felt more out of the Star Trek universe than Star Wars. The weapons still looked like large clunky plastic toys. The ship designs were still boring and forgettable. The V-4X-D Ski Speeder was influenced by the B-Wing, but in its application on the salt planet, I could not for the life of me understand why they used an open cockpit speeder. All the salt the speeder was kicking up would just fly in their face, blinding them. I mean, they were not even wearing goggles! Even the Snowspeeder pilots had shields to protect their eyes, and they did have a closed cockpit...and..I sorry, when did Finn learn how to fly? Wasn't the whole point of TFA was that Finn was incapable of flying?

After reading and watching reviews and watching the film itself, I honestly don't have much hope or excitement for the remaining installments of the Star Wars movies that Disney has planned. It's going to be like the Transformers films. Everyone WANTS to see a good Star Wars film. The opening weekend box office numbers prove that. But to keep that gravy train on track, they need to put out GOOD movies, not just crap with the Star Wars Brand name on it. The powers that be thought Transformers must be a great movie 'cause the money is there. So they made more. All the fans wanted and hoped for a good Transformers movie hung in there. But slowly and surely, they dropped off from the franchise, because they were constantly given bad Transformer movies. Same principle applies to Star Wars. The fans are there. The loyalty is there. You can give us something different. You can be totally left field of our expectations. All you have to do is stay cannon to the previous films, and above all, make a good movie.

If they continue to make sub-par Star Wars movies, the box office numbers will continue to drop, to the point of non-profitable, and people will come to hate Star Wars. But, that's just my opinion.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Stopmotion Puppet Armatures

I know there are a few animators who want a armature but don't know how to go about making on or getting one custom made for their puppet.

Here is a list on where you can get a armature for your puppet:

Kinetic Armatures:
   8" Armature 195.00€ ($231.00ish)
   6" Armature 185.00€ ($219.00ish)
or Custom sizes

Armaverse Armature:
    6" Armature $139.75

Animation Supplies:
    Animators Aluminum Wire
    9-7/16" Wire Armature £34.99 ($53.64ish)

Conversion Sizes (+/-)
14cm = 5-1/2"
15.2cm = 6"
16cm = 6-5/16"
18cm = 7-1/16"
19cm = 7-1/2"
20cm = 7-7/8"
21cm = 8-5/16"
22cm = 8-11/16"
22.5cm = 8-7/8"
23.9cm = 9-7/16"
25cm = 9-7/8"
28cm = 11"
45.7cm = 18"
60cm = 24"

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Nightmare Before Christmas Shock (Witch) Mask Prop

Propstore of London is offering a resin casting of Shocks mask. It was cast during production but ultimately never used/finished (Similar store of the Lock Mask).

Monday, November 13, 2017

My Life as a Zucchini

I just found this stop-motion film while shopping at Target. Think I may have to pick it up.

Aardman Early Man Movie

Director Nick Park is bad with another movie, Early Man by Aardman.
Looking forward to this film. I love the stuff that Aardman makes. Good stories, humor and lovable characters. 

Auntie Claus Stop-Motion Film begun a to film a stop-motion film based on the book with the same title. Unfortunately the film has been abandoned, but perhaps one day it will get picked back up. Either way, some awesome puppets were made and some really good animation. Worth a peek.

GhostGirl Stop-motion Book Trailer

Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I just came across a beautify Animated Trailer for the books Ghostgirl. At first I assumed it was a trailer for a short film, but instead it is a short film for a book. Anyways, check it out.
Victoria Rose helped with creating this short

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Fantastic Mr Fox 1:6 Doll Replica

If you are not familiar with the art talents of Scott Petterson, you really should check out his blog. Here he has recreated a 1:6 scale doll of the Fantastic Mr Fox. Beautiful doll, fantastic attention to detail. I cannot say enough to do justice to this piece.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Nightmare Before Christmas Production Lock (Devil) Mask Prop

Said to be a unused casting from the production molds. Hard to verify that it isn't a re-cast (i.e. mold created off an original piece and a resin copy made from that new mold). Best way to check would be to verify the age of the resin. The COA created by the previous owners doesn't assure me of its authenticity. However, emily007 has a lot of stop motion pieces in their ebay store (worth checking it out), so it's possible it's genuine.
Auction HERE, by emily007

Coraline Other Scoty Dog Puppet Prop

This is a piece I would love to own. A Other Scoty Dog Puppet.
Auction HERE, by jeigh44

Coraline Jumping Mouse Cast-&-Crew Gift

Cast and Crew gift from Coraline, little Jumping Mouse.
Ebay Auction HERE, by jeigh44

Kubo and the Two Strings Moon Beast Replacement Face

Ebay Auction HERE, by Harrysacz

Ebay Auctio HERE, by djcouscous

Chicken Run Ginger Maquette

An original Maquette, study model for Ginger from the movie Chicken Run. If you are familiar with the Aardman Study fire, you'll know that a lot of original art, props, sets, ect. were lost, making any surviving pieces hard to come by.
Being sold at Auction on eBay HERE, by emily007

Coraline Prototype Face Replacement Prop

Here is a rare find. A prototype of version of Coraline's face. This piece is said to be from before the decision was made to use two halves for Her face (i.e. Top eyes and brows, bottom mouth). Not screen used, but a part of Coraline's pre-production history.
Currently on Auction on eBay Here, being sold by Obliquitous

Monday, July 24, 2017

Kubo & the Two Strings Moon Beast Replacement Face Prop

Woot! Another Moon Beast Stopmotion Replacement mouth. A collector needs to pick all these Pieces up to keep the collection together.
Auction Here, sold by 99sputnik

Kubo & The Two Strings Replacement Face Prop

Stopmotion Kubo Replacement Face prop being sold Here by ME. Unfortunately, I have let this go. 

Kubo & The Two Strings Monkey Totem Cast & Crew Gift

Monkey Totem Cast & Crew Gift. My personal favorite. I am guessing this is a 3D printed replica of the miniature Totem seen on screen, enlarged to be life-size so it could be passed out as gifts, but don't quote me on that. Anyways, it's available Here, being sold by djcouscous

Auction HERE, by grizzybrice

Kubo & the Two Strings Moon Beast Cast & Crew Gift Prop

The Third Moon Beast Replacement mouth I've seen sell on eBay.
Grab this one Here, being sold by Timoia0

ParaNorman Cast & Crew Gift Stopmotion Face

Norman's head mounted on a mini plaque. This cast & crew gift differs from the three heads in one box. definitely unique.
eBay Auction Here, being sold by 99sputnik

ParaNorman Cast & Crew Gift Replacement Faces

Another opportunity to get your hands on three stopmotion replacement faces from ParaNorman
eBay Auction Here, being sold by 99sputnik

Kubo & the Two Strings Cast & Crew Gift

Cast & Crew Gift of the Moon Beast Mouth.
eBay Auction Here being sold by grizzlybrice

ParaNorman Norman Stopmotion Puppet Prop

Norman Stopmotion Puppet being Auctioned off on eBay. Photos have come from Heritage Auctions where it is currently available as a BIN $45,000
I am suspect that the eBay seller is the same individual who is selling it on, but it's possible.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Star Wars Han Solo Independent Movie Speeders

Just saw the article about the new Han Solo movie on that published some photos of new speeders.
I gotta say, I am continually disappointed with the new designs of the vehicles/ships in the Disney Star Wars films (Prequels too to be honest, but not going there). They do not have a "Star Wars" feel to them, but still look like flying bricks. There is nothing aesthetically pleasing about these designs. I've said it before, function needs to drive the design. These speeders do not look like someone actually built them or designed them to function as speeders in the real world. No aerodynamics, restraints, proper seating, visibility, etc. In addition to boring designs, it would be nice to see something new instead of mish-mash of other ships to make new ones. Using X-Wing engines on Han's speeder doesn't automatically make it "Star Wars". Just feels lazy and safe. I know the design team is using Ralph McQuarrie designs as their bible for all things Star Wars, but I would argue that his designs were an inspiration for the final designs. His designs never made it to screen AS-IS. They are more 60's Sci-Fi like Flash Gordon, or Buck Rogers style and don't really match the lived-in feel that George wanted for A New Hope. I am also unsure why the-powers-that-be feel that the main characters need to wear the same clothes they had been wearing since the beginning. I mean, why cannot we see Han Solo wearing something different than is traditional white button shirt, stripped pants, and jacket/vest? Don't people change clothes/styles, throughout their lives? Look at Nien Nunb, wearing the exact same thing in The Force Awakens that he wore in Return of the Jedi.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Cherry City Comic-Con

Saturday April 8th through Sunday April 9th at the Oregon State Fair & Expo Center! Any employees / artists from Laika who will be attending? I would love to meet up!

Kubo and the Two Strings Cast & Crew Gifts

First Auction is from tron-ja-307020 offering a Cast and Crew Gift from Kubo. I like this set as it offers a replacement face for the three main characters.

Next, Propabilia has a Moon King mouth piece from when he turns into a giant Beast.

Lastly, we have another Cast & Crew Gift from Kubo offered by movieheaven1968

ParaNorman Cast & Crew Gift Face Replacements

Box dimensions are 11.5" x 4" x 2"

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Pokemon Go "New" Tracking Rant

The tacking in the olden days worked...for most people. It has since been retooled to what it is now, after months of testing in San Francisco. With that said, I am surprised that the Tracking is still broken.

Tracking now shows near-by Pokestops and the Pokemon that is near them. When you click the Pokemon you want, it tells you which Pokestop that the Pokemon is at. This feature works great and is extremely helpful in tracking Pokemon now.

What doesn't work about this:
1. It will show Pokemon up to a mile away from your position who will have fled by the time you walk to their position.
2. It shows all same species Pokemon Near-by. I am not really sure why Nianitc when back to this style when players complained so much about it already. When the Tracker showed ONE Rattata to represent all four that where Near-by is a much better way of organizing them. No need to show each one.
3. It is more likely to show Pokemon a mile away than all ones that are in 50 feet of your location. A little story to make my point. I was tracking a Magikarp with the tracker. It took me 700 feet from my current location to find it at a near-by Pokestop. Only 7 of the 9 positions where filled with near-by Pokemon. A mix of Pedgey's, Rattata's, Spearrows, and Venonats. I walked another 10 feet from where I caught the Magikarp, and a Snorlax spawned in front of me. A rare and highly desirable Pokemon, within feet of my original position, and it was no where to be found on my Tracker that still had spots open. This alone tells me that the tracker is still broken.

I have seen the Tracker sometimes show both Near-by and Sightings, however the Sightings doesn't show up as often as I believe it should. I know for a fact that there are Pokemon all over the Parking lot at my work, but with this new Tracker, none of them show up. None.

For people who are in more rural areas, where Pokestops are far in between (unlike a heavily populated area like San Francisco) I cannot see this new tracker to work for them at all.