Suzie Templeton’s Peter and the Wolf

There is something  deeply satisfying about a familiar story told from a new angle.  This is the case with Piotruś i Wilk – or Peter and the Wolf – a puppet animation adapted and directed by Suzie Templeton.  The story and music is the original Sergei Porkofiev’s Peter and the Wolf but in a contemporary setting and with a surprising twist in the end.

peter

You can watch the animation itself here – I’ve included the youtube versions below. It’s been separated into four sections.  Small warning – dont get too emotionally attached to that duck…

The puppets were made Se-ma-for Studios in Poland.  Click on the pictures below for more detailed (and larger) images from Suzie Templeton’s official web-site.  I’ve chosen just a few, but there are many more images of the puppets, the sets and the making of at that site.

studio

The making of reveals an intriguing blend of old and new technologies.  The characters are brought to life through old fashioned stop frame animation, but certain elements, like the crow’s balloon, have been added digitally.  I know that many people will  feel that this is not as “pure” as animation in which everything was created through stop frame with no digital intervention.  But I don’t agree.

duck

Part of the charm of stop frame animation is the knowledge of how difficult it is.  Its like watching somebody juggling or walking a tightrope – you cheer them on, knowing how difficult it is to sustain their illusion.   But this is the thing: a computer is a tool like any other.  I’ve heard people say that that working digitally is somehow a cop-out, “its done by computer” and therefore easier.  You only have to spend about 10 minutes trying to create animation on a computer to be thoroughly disabused of that idea.

You will find that some things – the things that can be calculated – are easier to do on a computer.  For example, lighting and shading of an object to make it appear three dimensional.  But the elements that add life to an animation – getting the timing and movement right, the ways the eyes blink or the hands twitch – is still in the hands of the animator.  They are still walking on the same tightrope.

peters

makingof

Then there is the idea that computer animation is without soul or “cold” , Peter and the Wolf is proof that if the story is strong and the aesthetics and techniques support the story – what does it matter what tools were used?

grandfather

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. racheldsc
    Nov 22, 2009 @ 15:27:13

    Wow, amazing animation – thanks for featuring these, would probably never have seen them otherwise. Love it.

  2. mashadutoit
    Nov 22, 2009 @ 21:03:34

    Great! Stay tuned, I have a whole list of amazing animations to share 🙂

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