A Condensed History of Stop-Motion Animation

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With "Nightmare Before Christmas" director Henry Selick's new film Coraline opening this weekend, SlashFilm's Kevin Kelly atkes a retrospective look back at the history of stop-motion animation, a discipline that still requires delicate hands-on precision to make the scenes come to life, one frame at a time. In an era of CG effects, this analog realism is a breath of fresh air.

These films started appearing more and more frequently because in 1897 an art teacher in the UK had invented plasticine: a non-drying clay that was easily malleable and would retain its shape well. Since it was easy to sculpt and manipulate, filmmakers soon found themselves using this instead of simply moving objects around and photographing them for their subjects.

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