Thursday, 12 April 2012

Rony Oren

British viewers may recall seeing one or two of the following programmes below at some point of the '90s, at a time when Channel 4 used to show animation at reasonable hours. They all have one thing in common - they were created by one person.

Rony Oren is pretty big in his part of the world. Once he opened shop with FrameByFrame Productions, went on to animate and produce thousands of stop-motion productions in his lifetime, from adverts / commercials to kids shows and short films - as well as writing and drawing children's books of his own. He's pretty much the Nick Park of Israeli!

What makes Rony's animation work noticeable is how rubbery and bouncy his technique is. Something that's quite reminiscent of Pingu or Morph or Mio Mao.

Although all of his works have been broadcast worldwide, three of his shows have been showcased vastly in the UK - all which I recall watching, whether it was 6am or 12am.

Foxy Fables was one of his earliest works in 1987. Co-written and voiced by Andy Seacombe and Teddy Kempner, the series adapted a number of Aesop and Uncle Remus fables often ending with a moral - while still delivering hilarious dialogue all the way.

Andy and Teddy would collaborate again for Rony's next series, Tales of a Wise King - again, each episode sharing a moral from adapted stories of mythology, fantasy and magic, all teaching viewers about using your brains.

The last of Rony's series I recall Channel 4 showing was Grabbit the Rabbit - and as with the two above, this also adapts stories from Jean de la Fontaine and Joel Chandler Harris, although by this time Rony's style seem to have more spit and polish involved.

Rony is still animating and writing to this day - so anyone interested in how to create their own claymation characters should keep an eye out for his useful selection of books to add to your library!


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