By Andrew Liszewski
With a digital camera, a PC and a little know-how you can easily make your own stop-motion movies. Even easier though, particularly for the younger set is this Marvel Ani-Movie kit. It comes with 4 interchangeable backgrounds set in the Marvel universe as well as 4 flat cardboard characters including Spiderman, Hulk, Green Goblin and Dr. Doom that are hinged together at the joints making them easy to pose.
You can set up your own scenarios on the small table and then use the overhead camera to record the exciting battles at a less than exciting one frame at a time. But if you find the cardboard characters are a bit too ‘2-dimensional’ for your tastes you can swivel the camera around and use it to shoot your own action figures in hi-larious Robot Chicken-esque situations. The movies are stored on the Ani-Movie’s built-in memory and can be played back through a connected TV. There’s also an SD slot allowing you to backup the animations since it’s still trendy to include ridiculously small amounts of memory with kid’s toys.
The Ani-Movie is currently available from Amazon for $48. And don’t be dismayed if your kid isn’t immediately spitting out Pixar-quality movies. If they dream of becoming an animator one day this is actually not a bad place to start learning things like timing and motion.