Stop Motion Part II: The World Moves Around You

Part II of our series on stop motion animation at the archive features commercials, industrials and innovative shorts from both the early years of cinema and from recent years.

Commercials and Industrial Films using stop motion:

saintpau1941_00000009.jpgSaint Paul Police Detectives and Their Work: A Color Chartoon (ca. 1941): This clever informational short contains lots of stop motion, to illustrate the daily activities of the Saint Paul police force.

luckystr1948_2_00000003.jpgLucky Strike Tobacco Commercials (1948): Who doesn’t like dancing cigarettes telling them to smoke? The archive has them, courtesy of Lucky Strike, both marching cigarettes and square dancing cigarettes. *NOTE* The archive does not recommend smoking dancing cigarettes.

cocacola2001_00000004.jpgJapanese Coca Cola commercial (2001): Although the archive does not endorse feeding your infant child sugar soft drinks, it does endorse watching great miniature model animation like this.

autolite1940_00000021.jpgAuto-Lite on Parade (1940): Auto parts have never been this exciting! The climax of this sponsored film features various auto parts (as well as pots, pans and other consumer goods) in a miniature town parade.
(animation begins approximately 19:37)

steel-foreman.jpgAluminum on the March (Part I) (1956): In a strange way, this film heralds the onset of factory automation with its portrayal of marching steel, even including a foreman character made of steel who “directs” small blocks of steel to go forward to their “specific fabricating sequences.”

Other great stop motion films in the archive:

checkmate.jpgCheckmate (2003): In this independent short film, some random soundstage inhabitants mix up their daily routine with a short game of chess and various other shenanigans involving boxes and laptops.

Mud animation by Joseph Sunn (1926): The archive has three films by stop motion pioneer Joseph Sunn. Very little is available online about Sunn, who may or may not be the same man featured in this San Francisco Weekly article. Either way, the films are a joy to watch:
The Penwiper
Green Pastures
Long Live the Bull


Written by: Stephanie Sapienza

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