The main reason you should go to this tiny exhibition is to make your own stop-motion video. With a miniature platform area providing the set for your movie, complete with a set of blocks (or anything you happen to have in your bag), a large mounted screen that instantly plays back your creation and a handy-sized camera button that you press to snapshot each of the 12 frames of your animation, you’ll be there ‘til closing time. Trust me. I personally chose to make my pen appear as if moving around on its own (which I perfected time after time until I was standing there hands on hips basking in the praise I received from the spectating crowd of 3 very impressed fellow MOSI visitors. If you manage to tear yourself away from that little treat however, you will notice that the exhibition somewhat sidesteps our current undergrad generation. Looking at animation in the North West, the exhibition displays nostalgic insights into the makings of our parents’ favourite characters (Dangermouse, Bill and Ben ) and then skips ahead to the our younger cousins’ beloved friends (Bob the Builder). There are some familiar characters though: if you thought the Miss Spider form James and the Giant Peach was creepy – wait ‘til you see her puppet’s interchangeable faces. And if you thought Wind in the Willows’ badger was a wise and cuddly guy, his puppet skeleton stripped down to its mechanical core might just ruin your childhood memories of him.
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