“We Left the Door Ajar, and Christopher Nolan Slipped In:” An Interview With The Brothers Quay

Fans of stop-motion surrealism who haven’t been able to witness twin brothers Stephen and Timothy Quay’s fascinating short films currently on tour in 35mm, curated by Inception director Christopher Nolan, can now enjoy the films from the comfort of their own homes.

I spoke via email with the prolific American-born, London-based twin auteurs about Christopher Nolan’s cinematic analysis of their uncanny work, their exhaustive Blu-ray collection, and the still-underrated state of stop-motion animation.


Moth Collective’s Forest 500 Animates The Reality of Rainforest Destruction

Can an earnest but alarming cartoon help stop the 500 companies, investors and governments deforesting the Earth to crisis?

Yes or no, Moth Collective plans on giving it a shot with Forest 500, its animated short created for the Global Canopy Programme’s initiative of the same name, which has become Earth’s first rainforest rating agency.


Can Cartoon Saloon’s Eddie of the Realms Eternal Make It To Series?

The young heroes of director Paul O’Muiris’ self-aware Eddie of the Realms Eternal wormhole between reality and fantasy. One is a slacker elf called Hobi, and the other is a regular dude named Eddie. And together, they’re descended from (much more) mythic ancestors whose union for generations protected the Realms Eternal from evil — until now. It’s a perfect set-up for a buddy comedy adventure, with deep but accessible roots.

“I took this as an opportunity to make the kind of show I would have wanted to see as a kid,” added O’Muiris, whose current influences veer from Brad Bird and Satoshi Kon to David Cronenberg. “I was thinking about everything from Moebius to Teen Wolf, a little Miyazaki, some Chuck Jones. Hobi’s definitely got a little Bill Murray in him! It’s filmmaking Jenga.”


Kirsten Lepore Lends Stop-Motion Skill to Adventure Time

Adventure Time needed a long-awaited stop-motion episode, and a director.

So Cartoon Network called in award-winning Kirsten Lepore, whose CalArts thesis, Move Mountain, moved hearts and minds to ask her to guest-direct “Bad Jubies,” which marks the series’ first foray into stop-motion territory.


Niki Yang’s Empowered Yoyotoki Energizes Amazon

Refreshingly anchored by a girl adventurer, and written by that animation industry rarity — a woman — Yoyotoki: Happy Ears! is an Amazon Studios pilot worth voting and fighting for.

“I wanted to make a character who is vulnerable, but not a saggy tear bag,” Yoyotoki creator Niki Yang told me. “How many times have we stood in front of the mirror, wishing we were somebody else? Yoyotoki has, but she doesn’t let that overwhelm her. She would rather explore the world around her, and seek out who she really is.”


Brendan Hay’s Dawn of The Croods: A Kinder, Gentler Apocalypse

The Croods have arrived in series form, and death is still around the nearest rock. Dawn of the Croods, however, is playing imminent demise for laughs.

“We have to make sure death plays more funny than sad,” executive producer Brendan Hay (The Simpsons, The Daily Show) told me by phone, shortly before DreamWorks’ Christmas Eve premiere of Dawn of The Croods on Netflix.