This 2 minute stop-motion animated toy version of ‘STAR WARS The Force Awakens’, made by animator Damon Wellner, brings the toys to life, and at the same time, brings out the kid inside all Star Wars fans who might feel too old to play like they used to.
Retelling scenes from Star Wars Episode VII, mostly from the trailers, and with not too many spoilers, Wellner uses stop-motion animation and home-made special effects to recreate the cinematography and effects from the film, using several of Hasbro’s new 3 ¾” action figures.
“Here’s the ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Stop-Motion Toy Tribute You’ve Been Waiting For” – Yahoo
“The stop-motion animation is incredibly well-executed” – Bonnie Burton CNET
ABOUT “STAR WARS The TOYS Awaken”
This video was made in about 10 days with a micro-budget, the bulk of which was for the toys themselves. Filmmaker Damon Wellner shot the stop-motion animation with a Nikon D700 and DragonFrame animation software. Wellner edited the video and synced his animation to audio clips mostly from available trailers. While most of the scenes recreate specific shots from the film, one extended sequence shows a scene inspired by the toys that we didn’t see in the film, of the droid BB-8 being captured by scavengers on the dunes of Jakku.
Another detail added by Wellner that was not from the film, but that fans of the video seem to enjoy nonetheless, is the painting of Grand Moff Tarkin displayed prominently at the First Order Starkiller Base, painted by artist Heather Morgan.
ABOUT DAMON WELLNER and PROBOT TOY CINEMA
Filmmaker Damon Wellner has been creating what he calls “Toy Cinema” since 1998 with his first toy videos, “ALIEN 5” and “Farrah!” made for cable access TV in Cambridge, MA. In 2000, Wellner was commissioned by Hasbro to make a 3 minute toy remake of STAR WARS: A New Hope for the Hasbro website. Since then he has released dozens of Toy Cinema videos on the internet under the name Probot Productions. For many years Wellner used puppetry to tell his toy stories, but in 2014 took a stop-motion class at Stoopid Buddy Stoodios (makers of ‘Robot Chicken’) and since then has shifted to mostly stop-motion animation. Wellner’s 30 minute fan-film “ALIEN 5²” won Best Fan Film at the Radcon Fan Film Festival in 2008, and his shot-for-shot homage to The Empire Strikes Back (with a twist) was a finalist in the 2015 Star Wars Fan Film Contest.