Animated plasticine. Talking chickens. Dancing Cossacks. Plus old favourites bro'Town, Hairy Maclary and Footrot Flats. From Len Lye to Gollum, feast on the talents of Kiwi animators. In his backgrounder to the Animation Collection, NZ On Screen's Ian Pryor provides handy pathways through the frogs, dogs and stop motion shenanigans.
Presented by an animated pencil, but no less authoritative for it, From Len Lye to Gollum traces the history of Kiwi animation from birth in 1929, to the triumphs of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The interviews and animated footage cover every base, from early pioneers (Len Lye, Disney import John Ewing) to the possibilities opened by computers (Weta Digital, Ian Taylor’s Animation Research). Along the way Euan Frizzell remembers the dog he found hardest to animate and the famous blue pencil; and Andrew Adamson speculates on how ignorance helped keep Shrek fresh.
This TV2 promo is a cover of Sonny and Cher classic ‘I Got You Babe’. A roll call of turn of the century Kiwi celebrities take turns performing, starting with late actor Kevin Smith and actor/sometime Strawpeople singer Stephanie Tauevihi. Other stars include Jay Laga’aia, Havoc and Newsboy, Erika Takacs from band True Bliss, What Now? hosts, Shortland Street's Katrina Devine, and Spike the penguin from Squirt. Also popping by are Bart and Lisa from The Simpsons, and Aussie Portia de Rossi (then appearing on American show Ally McBeal). The promo was made by Saatchi & Saatchi.
Thomas Robins has acted alongside digital penguins, dodgy teachers, and a ring forged in the fires of Mount Doom. Off-screen, his directing work has won a bag of awards, thanks to 2009's Reservoir Hill. He created the International Emmy-winning web series with David Stubbs, his partner at KHF Media. Robins was also behind TV series The Killian Curse, and directed 2017 telemovie Catching the Black Widow.
Gisborne-born Kanoa Lloyd got early screen experience as a presenter on Saturday morning kids slot Squirt, while she was still at high school in Dunedin. In 2009 she traded in stints as a university student and massage therapist to join the presenting team on after school show Sticky TV. From 2014 Lloyd was a weather presenter for 3 News at 6pm, where she won headlines for daring to introduce some te reo. In February 2017 Lloyd became one of the three inaugural presenters of 7pm current affairs/entertainment show The Project. Lloyd also read the news on radio's Mai FM, from 2012 to 2014.
A background in Christchurch improv theatre prepared Matt Gibb for roles presenting long-running TVNZ kids shows Squirt and Studio 2 Live. He has gone on to host slots for youth channel TVNZ U (which he also produced), Good Morning, the live Lotto draw, and Heartland’s There and Back. A familiar face in a series of ads for Spark (formerly Telecom), in 2015 Gibb began fronting travel and homes segments for Kiwi Living.
First ensnared by acting while training to be a teacher in Dunedin, Jane Waddell began her long stage career even before she graduated from New Zealand Drama School. On-screen, she has starred as real-life safe sex campaigner Ettie Rout (Pioneer Women), voiced a parrot (on BBC series Grandad) and directed for youth TV shows Squirt and Oi. Waddell has been a council member of Wellington’s Circa theatre since 1985.
Since joining children’s TV show Squirt in 2000, Dominic Bowden’s jet-setting career has included time in the New Zealand, the United States, and Australian radio — plus three seasons hosting ratings-topper, NZ Idol. Signed to US agency William Morris Endeavor, Bowden broke into US broadcasting in 2007 as host of talent show The Next Great American Band, after relocating to Los Angeles. He then went behind the scenes on The X Factor USA, and in 2013 began presenting The X Factor (NZ). In 2017 Bowden began hosting the Kiwi version of dating show The Bachelor.
Former Spot On presenter Ian Taylor, CNZM, is the founder of computer graphics company Animation Research Limited. ARL made its name providing real-time sports graphics at the 1992 America's Cup, and has gone on to apply their technology to golf, cricket, tennis and Formula One car-racing around the globe.
Janine Morrell-Gunn is one of New Zealand's leading children's television producers. She began her TV career in 1985 as a trainee director and producer at TVNZ, working on programmes such as Spot On and Fast Forward. Morrell-Gunn spent seven years as executive producer of TVNZ's Children's Unit. In the late 1990s she formed Whitebait Productions (now Whitebait Media) with her husband Jason Gunn.