My 6 year old Jasper has been observing me study animation for over a month now. He sits and watches Norman McLaren, Jan Svankmajer, and Jiri Barta films with me (the ones that are appropriate for his age). He knows who is who too. I put on Jabberwocky the other day and he looked at it and said, “This is Jan Svankmajer, huh mama.” I’d put on a Puppetoon and he’d know it’s George Pal. He looks at my library books and stands next to me when I’m animating my tests.
He’s into it, so naturally he wanted to make his own stop-motion animation. Yesterday he hung out with his dad in the basement and they recorded some songs. This morning he brings out a gallon sized zipock bag with stop-motion animation written on it in kindergarten handwriting. The bag was full of small toys that he intended to be his cast of characters.
Lava Man, the film, may be less than 2 minutes long but has a very deep plot.
Lava Man who is the star of our film is an Emo Skateboarder toy who is doing a “big trick” show for the rest of the toys. While he is skateboarding around the audience, a Zombie Pirate wanders onto the frame and trips Lava Man. Lava man dies and turns into a Pink Jelly Skeleton. An angel comes and so does the spirit of Death (Medieval Playmobile Guy). Everyone is sad. Then the Wizards of Hogwarts come to the rescue with their magic wands. The wizards bring Lava Man back to life. Lava Man skates away and is followed by the crowd. Then the spirit of Death chases Lava Man, but then in a twist of events Lava Man chases the spirit of Death, and that’s the end.
Jasper drew the cityscape background, created the story, performed the music and directed me as what he wanted me to animate. I did the movements and Jasper took the photos for the animation. I did the editing.
I hope you enjoy Lava Man, a collaboration between me and my 6 year old son Jasper.