Tag Archives: stop motion

There’s some Paleo in my Cup O’ Noodle

There is so much stuff I need to catch up on. I need to write about getting a full time position, how my dissertation work is shaping up, and how I finally wrapped up the Shead stuff.  But, a collected set of commercials came across my social media feed the other day and that pretty much has set everything else in the back seat.

The following stop-motion (I still call it clay-mation) #PaleoPopCulture brilliance is brought to you by Nissan Cup O’ Noodle. Kim Blanchette animated a series of these commercials in 1992 .

Blanchette’s CV is impressive, and has worked on just about everything recent in 3D animation from Toy Story to The PJ’s to Robot Chicken. It was these cavemen v. nature ads that gained him international acclaim according to the bio on Mandy.com Where they “won numerous awards and considered the Cinderella story at the 1992 Cannes International Advertising Festival where it won the Grand Prix Award.”

And now a word from our sponsor: all these ads follow the same format, but what is so great about the Tom and Jerry-esque takes is that the prehistoric beasts involved are beautifully rendered. Starting simple, with a mammoth.

There were technically four mammoth commercials, the last two (at least in the order I saw them) being the same animation for  the “Curry” flavored noodles.

and a little extra for the “Spicy Curry”

Another common ice age animal is the sabre-toothed tiger, it gets two spots.


The first clip of this series I ever saw was the one with the Megatherium. I was already thinking about a PaleoAd post before I found this treasure trove of 90s animation.

The Moa makes an appearance:

Then, as the fount of paleo animation began to runneth over, I started seeing creatures that I worked on from the Eocene.  The Brontothere (you’ll see this on youtube as a “Giant Warthog”)

and not to be outdone a Uintathere! This one is a top favorite of mine since my Paleontology studies started in the Uinta Basin in Utah.

This next one surprised the heck out of me. You almost never see this one get reconstructions. They show up in some paleoart, but I haven’t seen a mount of one yet. I think the strongest image I have of the syndyoceras antelope is from my copy of Zoobooks which, who knows, maybe that is where Kim saw it too. (You’ll find this one on Youtube as “saiga antelope.”


I am putting this one at the bottom, not just because it isn’t a mammal, but because it is part of that “we know it didn’t happen but it’s part of the trope” situation that is humans living with dinosaurs. I always think of Gary Larson’s intro to the collected Far Side where he says you almost feel like you should confess in the vein of “forgive me Father for I have sinned, I have drawn humans and dinosaurs together” (paraphrased).  That being said, it is still a great animation.


There are a couple of honorable mentions. Specifically to the theme of this post, not because they are in any way sub par animations. The Seafood flavorings of Cup-O-Noodles had some aquatic problems for the local, hungry heroes.


If you would rather watch most of these at once, you can see them all linked here:


I had never seen any of these commercials before and was only made aware of them when the Stan Winston School of Character Arts posted a video of them to advertise their stop-motion animation courses.

For the Birds: Part One

After a dreadfully long absence from the blogging scene, I return with something a bit out of character for the presets of this blog. At least on the surface.  As I have been writing and rewriting my Master’s Thesis, things have been a bit back burner lately.  However in todays riveting episode I will be talking about two movies that ARE NOT the Avengers.  Not that I am knocking the Avengers, I just never got up to the fever (okay, any) pitch to go see it. These two, however, did pique my interest some time ago. Shall we begin? Part I.

Firstly we went to see the latest in stop motion animation by the incomparable Peter Lord Aardman and co.  Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists (or “Band of misfits” as they dumbed it down for the states.*eye-roll*) The adventure is based loosely on the absolutely hilarious book by Gideon Defoe:

There are more as more or less a serial.  They are all literally laugh out loud funny. They are a bit more adult than the “family” movie portrays.  Not in a bad way, just more of the literature jokes are geared toward a high capacity of thought.  The take for the movie is quite good. Without revealing any of the secret nuances of the film I will stick with how it related to this blog: Polly.
She’s the one on the right.

Polly is a Dodo. The last one it seems. Hilarity ensues. To see the Victorian fascination with the extinct is part of the joy that is the movie.  It’s just a fun movie will all the wit and humour that make Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run so enjoyable.

There is also a bit of victorian fun poking going on as well. 
Here we see a young Charles Darwin aboard the Beagle. Baboon Kidneys and all.
 He shares a great interest in Polly, but does not love her the way the crew does.
The Pirate Captain commonly refers to his new friend as Chuck.  For some reason this is funnier than when Peppermint Patty does it to Charlie Brown.  As I chose the UK title more because I like scientists more than misfits, I will say as a historian of science I found the scientific references and underhandedness quite funny. 
Rampant monocle dropping ensued.

Another Americanism that made its way in differed from the trailer.  Don’t go to American theatres looking for the “complete pants” remark.  Instead, we get (and I quote:) “a load of crap.” Still funny when you find out what the reference is to, but I suppose people in the U.S. don’t get underwear jokes.
 Either way, there is a great and gallant crew (in the street sense, yo) always supporting the Pirate Captain. As well as an overly zealous Queen Victoria. The movie is worth going to see and the books are worth more to read. Just use care when reading on the bus or train as boisterous laughter may get you some stares.

Pretty sure they raided Keith Richards closet for the zebra print captain’s jacket.

If nothing I have said will help you fence sitters decide whether or not to go and see Aardman’s latest barrel of fun I will leave you with this small token from the Pirate King.