I love stop motion animation. For whatever reason, despite having seen countless shorts and features using the technique, it blows me away almost on principle. Everything, from the Brothers Quay and Terry Gilliam to Wallace and Gromit and that episode of Community, sends me into awe as I think about the process. These little movements, each artfully choreographed down to the slightest detail, are suddenly stacked together for kinetic experiences that often feel much more alive than regular live-action filmmaking. It takes you back to the very basics of cinema.
And of course new technology has only sent creativity through the roof. People can now make shorts with their phones, like that Aardman video set on the beach that was released this summer. Shorts are being made everywhere, inspired by our new world of technology in unexpected and delightful ways. Address Is Approximate is a shining example of this exciting trend. Put on the web just a few days ago by The Theory films, this delightful distraction uses Google Maps to show just how small the world can be these days.
A lonely office toy wants something more. It’s a familiar concept, a character that we’ve come to know and love both through Pixar (Wall-E, Toy Story, etc) and some really clever short films (Terminus and REACH both come to mind). Yet with the world at his fingertips, he can grab a toy car and take a journey across the country. Filmmaker Tom Jenkins, who directed, animated, edited, lit and produced this video, has painstakingly captured a great number of Google Maps images and turned them into a clever narrative. At one moment we even see this toy jumping up and down on the mouse, clicking over and over again as Jenkins must have done himself. It’s both an adorable little story and a stunning show of what can be done with stop motion animation.
Also, the music is pretty great. The only component that Jenkins seems not to have done himself, the track is by The Cinematic Orchestra. They’ve also done scores for the early experimental films Entr’acte and Manhatta, which are both excellent and can be seen on YouTube.