Knowledge and Background of the Multimedia Culture: A Study of the Spatio-Temporal Context in Claymation and Computer Animation for Children and Adults

Knowledge and Background of the Multimedia Culture: A Study of the Spatio-Temporal Context in Claymation and Computer Animation for Children and Adults

Francisco V. Cipolla-Ficarra (ALAIPO – AINCI, Spain and Italy), Miguel Cipolla-Ficarra (ALAIPO – AINCI, Spain and Italy), and Jacqueline Alma (Electronic Arts – Vancouver, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4490-8.ch041
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The chapter compares three digital and analogical animation series from the referential and contextual space-temporal point of view, which are mainly aimed at the infantile audience. The study detects the key elements that make these series acceptable by the adult audience. The results of the experiments with children, teenagers, young, and adults establish trends in the contents of interactive systems for new supports such as multimedia in mobile phones.
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Currently there is a trend of commercial marketing of not differentiating digital animations from the analogical ones. That is, 2D, 3D animations, etc. computer-made, from those analogical based on stop motion animation. In the current work and inside analogical animation –stop motion (we focus on claymation – Murphy, 2008). That is, that carried out with modeling clay or any other malleable material. Now the advantage of working with malleable materials like modeling clay is that not only can be applied the principles of sculpture, at the moment of creating the main characters, the scenery and its components, etc., but it also admits a free style. In other words, the characters undergo a transformation during the animation process as in the series Pingu ( or rather use structures, skeletons or articulated armories like all those used in the Shaun the Sheep series (one of the series analyzed in the current work), where these articulated structures are coated with clay.

Figure 1.

Shaun the Sheep: Characters and context

Figure 2.

Articulated structures

Figure 3.

Official website with the main and secondary characters of the television series “Shaun the Sheep” (


Although there are many procedures of stop motion animation, this is due to the fact that this animation technique is an animation procedure, where imagination and creativity are literally in the hands of every author who suits this technique for that he/she wants to express. That’s why the stop motion possesses a great richness of methods and variations. Briefly, the origins of this technique blend with the history of cinematography itself. One of its pioneers was Segundo de Chomón, who resorted to this technique in pictures of the early 20th century (Tharrats, 2009), such as “The Haunted House” (1906) and “The Electric Hotel” (1908). In Eastern Europe it was and still remains very used to tell stories to the infantile and adult audiences. In the late 70s and early 80s it comes back to the US great screen thanks to a Californian firm specialized in special effects such as “Industrial Light & Magic” (Glintenkam, 2011). In this company it was applied for the first time a variant to the stop motion inventing the go motion for the film Star Wars Episode V- The Empire Strikes Back –1980 (Glintenkam, 2011).

In the stop motion the objects or models are photographed while they are motionless. In contrast, in the go motion a movement is applied to the model or object which is being animated while it is being photographed. In this way a distortion is obtained in the photogram by motion blur which is present in the conventional animations of objects in movement.

The illusion of movement of the object or animated model through go motion, once the scene is projected on the screen, gains in visual realism. Since the 80s some US productions kept on using it and perfection it for the movies such as “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. In Europe, the British company Aardman Animations has also made important films since the start of the new millennium, such as “Chicken Run” (2000), Wallace & Gromit. The Curse of the Were-Rabbbit (2005), the short-length Wallace & Gromit. A Grand Day Out (1989), The Wrong Trousers (1993), A Close Shave (1995) and A Matter of Loaf and Death (2008), Shaun the Sheep (2007) among others.

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