Manchester Animation Festival 2016 (Day 3)

The third and final day of Manchester Animation Festival! The stars of the show were, of course, the Ray Harryhausen puppets on display during the day. In the morning, John Walsh and Connor Heaney gave a talk on the lost treasures of Harryhausen and an insight into his world of stop-motion creature effects. Other highlights included the live recording of the Skwigly podcast, which included interviews with some of the filmmakers from the festival.

In between events I was able to watch the short film programme “Student Films 2,” my personal highlights were Ama by Emilie Almaida, Liang Huang, Mansoureh Kamari, Julie Robert, Juliette Peuportier and Tony Unser. Perched directed by Liam Harris and Mr Madila by Rory Waudby-Tolley which although I had seen before at a This Is Not a Cartoon screening a few months ago it’s still a fantastic and funny film.

Overall, this was a fantastic event to photograph and attend. I wish I could’ve stayed for the award ceremony right at the end but unfortunately, I had to set off.

I hope to come back next year and I hope anyone reading this gets the opportunity to attend next year also!

Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) Review.

It’s no secret that I absolutely adore stop-motion animation and Laika Studios (Coraline, The Box Trolls)  is in my opinion the best out there at this style. Kubo and the Two Strings, follows young one-eyed Japanese boy named Kubo who is hunted from birth by his grandfather, known as the  Moon King. Armed with a shamisen Kubo is forced to flee the home he shares with his mother and winds up on a scavenger trail-esque adventure with a talking monkey and a samurai beetle.

The film has a fantastic balance of comedy, emotional scenes and genuinely scary moments throughout (that probably would have terrified me as a child!) and it definitely had surprising moments that emotionally cut you right to your core. The animation was fantastic as expected, and even exceeded my expectations. Laika Studios really seem to be pushing what is possible with this medium and it’s absolutely fantastic to watch.kubopuppet

If that hasn’t sold you yet the film features what is believed to be the largest stop motion puppet ever made (pictured above, it’s 16 feet tall!)

Overall, if you haven’t seen this magical adventure film yet please do go buy a ticket to support this amazing animation studio who just keep getting better and better with their storytelling style and I can’t wait to see what they do next!