Update: After wins at BANFF, Shanghai and British Animation Awards, Stick Man has won Le Cristal at Annecy 2016, the top prize for a TV production at the world’s premier animation festival.
Stick Man lives in the family tree with Stick Lady Love and their three stick children, until he’s taken further and further away from home on an epic adventure across the seasons and has to make his way home in time for Christmas. This animated tale, based on the much-loved children’s picture book, premiered on BBC One on 25 December, 2015, reaching an audience close to 10 million.
Produced by UK based Magic Light Pictures, Stick Man was brought to life by Triggerfish – the same Cape Town animation studio behind Adventures in Zambezia and Khumba, two of the highest-grossing South African films of all time. The 26-minute film was directed by Londoner Jeroen Jaspaert and co-directed by South African Daniel Snaddon and features the voices of Martin Freeman as Stick Man, Hugh Bonneville as Santa, and Jennifer Saunders as the narrator.
Mike Buckland, head of production at Triggerfish, lets us in on the animation process:
“Maintaining the beautiful stop-motion inspired look that was developed on the previous films was a challenge for the team. Because of the complexity and range of different sets in the film, the decision was made to create the world and characters entirely in CGI. Painstaking detailing was applied to each character, prop and set in order to avoid the clean, computer-generated look that is typical of CG animation. Little kinks, knicks and bumps were deliberately built into the surface of every object, using slightly oversized hand-painted textures that emulated the ‘hand-made’ look of stop-motion animation. The character animation style required a hybrid approach that calls to mind the charming, slightly jerky movement of hand-animated puppets animated on 2’s while taking advantage of the smoothness and flexibility of CG animation for fast moving action.”
Next in line, Triggerfish Animation Studios and Magic Light Pictures are collaborating on a new project, Revolting Rhymes, based on Roald Dahl’s classic poems. Keep up to date with Triggerfish on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.