Fans who have dreamed of stepping inside the surreal imagination of Guillermo del Toro now have their chance. Opening today at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters offers a rare look at more than six hundred pieces from the iconic Mexican filmmaker’s private collection of drawings, paintings, sculptures, and other artifacts.

Inside the Guillermo del Toro Collection


Old Hollywood Special Effects, Part Deux: The Revenge!

I had this one in the works for ages, and I finally pulled myself out of the old rut to finish it. I know the 70′s and beyond isn’t really “Old Hollywood”, but I had to be consistent.

Previous entries in my movie geekery quick guides-

Early Sound Film Systems

Early Animated Features

The Animation Process

Classic Animation Techniques and Special Effects (Our most popular post ever!)

Classic Special Effects (1920’s - 1940’s)

Things you probably didn't notice while watching your favorite stop-mo movies.

-The name of the piano “company” that “made” the Everglot’s piano is named after Ray Harryhausen (sorry, I probably spelled that wrong…)
-In the beginning credits, it states that the film is not only a Warner Brothers and a Tim Burton film, but also a LAIKA film as well. Many animators who now work full-time at LAIKA had gotten their start with this film and the animating and puppet/set design crew included some of LAIKA’s most treasured employees, such as Deborah Cook (costume designer) and Chris Butler (who later directed “ParaNorman”). So yes, it would be valid to call Victor (or Emily or Victoria) a “LAIKA Kid”.
-There are constant literary references hidden throughout the film. The keyword for returning to the Land of the Dead after a Ukrainian Haunting Spell had been casted, “hopscotch” is a reference to the novel “The Book Thief” and during the scene where the living meet up with their dead loved ones in the Land of the Living, a line from “Gone With the Wind” is used. (“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a da*n”)

-On the moving van at the one scene in the beginning of the movie when the Joneses move into the Pink Palace, the title of the moving company is “Ranft Brothers”. If you think back to “Corpse Bride”, you might recall a brief note at the very end of the credits saying that the film was dedicated to Joe Ranft- a beloved storyboard artist at Pixar who briefly worked on the film shortly before his sudden passing. The name could have been placed there on purpose to honor his memory or have been completely coincidental, however I thought I’d make the connection…
-Also on the moving van, there is some graphiti that reads “Stop-Mo Rlesz!” on the back doors of the van. (This is where I actually got my current blog title from so, kudos to LAIKA! And yes, indeed. “Stop-Mo” does in fact, “rule”.)

-In the scene where the Babcock family is in the car and they just arrived at the site where Agatha was located and saw the cyclone she had created hovering over the woods, there is a brief shot that features some buildings and an alley way. If you look to the left, you see a building with some white letters on the back. This building is known as the “Coraline Jones Building”.



Today’s the day! Our third annual Halloween spookfest is here, with even fewer cumbersome fleshy bits than ever. Cuz they’re all skeletons and shit! And you better believe they’re aping other successful career skeletons! HAPPY HALLOWEEN

  1. HELL BIKER: Hey. You know it. We know it. Hell Biker is just Ghost Rider. It’s shameless, but we don’t need to spend a minute more of our lives ruminating on it once we nod in its general direction with the acknowledgement that, yes, it is indeed something that happened over two decades ago now. There, that wasn’t so bad.
  2. SPARTOI: Sown from dragon’s teeth in Greek myth, the Spartoi were known as fierce warriors. However, they tended to be of the fleshy type. So why is Kaneko’s a skeleton? One need look no further than what is probably the most famous appearance of the Spartoi in pop culture, the Ray Harryhausen stop-motion skeletons from 1963’s Jason and the Argonauts.
  3. GASHADOKURO: He may be sporting a bit of a dye-job in his SH design, but otherwise we’re looking at some prime Gashadokuro here, right down to the obscured lower section. He’s even got a friendly reminder on his forehead in case he forgets!

Halloween ‘14: (1) Betelgeuse (2) Baphomet 

Halloween ‘15: (1) Season of the Crib, (2) Arachne 

The Signs as Iconic Monsters From 1980s Fantasy Films

Aries: the Skeksis

Taurus: the Red Bull

Gemini: the Eborsisk

Cancer: Beetlejuice

Leo: Ludo

Virgo: the Ohmu

Libra: the Luckdragon

Scorpio: the Horrible Will Vinton Claymation Nome King

Sagittarius: the Horned King

Capricorn: That Beholder-Thingy Lo Pan Used

Aquarius: the Darkness/Tim Curry Satan

Pices: the Ray Harryhausen Kraken

Ophiuchus: the Rodents of Unusual Size