[Advent Calendar 2013] "A Claymation Christmas" (1987)



The infamous A Claymation Christmas, aka "the one with the California Raisins". This variation of stop-motion animation is, obviously, called "claymation", because instead of custom armature puppets, the figurines used are made of malleable clay. Rather than being moved between frames, they're resculpted by the animator. The technique allows for more fluid -- and in this case, way more psychedelic -- movement than the traditional model-based stop-motion techniques, but at a price: If you manage to damage a figure or miscalculate a manipulation, you can't just put it back. You have to remake it. Hope you have steady hands.

Claymation was more or less a fad in the 1980s, although in the mid-1990s there was an SNES game called ClayFighters released that used a hybrid of claymation and digital photography to capture the sprites for a quirky 2D fighting game. A similar method was used for its N64 sequel, ClayFighter 63 1/3.

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