The 3D paper cutout animation of Co Hoedeman’s ‘Charles et François’.

I recently discovered the stop-motion work of French-Canadian animator Co Hoedeman. One of his earlier animations, Charles et François, made use of paper cutouts mounted upright in a fully 3-dimensional set. He employed the technique of “substitution” — where different paper drawings are swapped in, frame to frame, to indicate movement — rather than rely on jointed or “articulated” paper puppets. The effect is quite breathtaking.

"Charles et François", by Co Hoedeman, 1987, 15 min 24 s.

Here is the synopsis as it is given in French on the NFB/ONF web site, followed by a predictably clumsy Google Translate English version:

Film d’animation dévoilant le récit d’une relation hors de l’ordinaire, toute de tendresse et de complicité. Ce film témoigne des bouleversements physiques et psychologiques qui se vivent, pour un grand-papa et son petit-fils, au fil des ans. Voilà ainsi posée une douce réflexion sur le caractère changeant des choses et de la vie.

Animation revealing the story of an extraordinary relationship, full of tenderness and complicity. This film reflects the physical and psychological changes that live for agrandfather and his grand-son, over the years. This is a gentle and laid reflection on the changing nature of things and of life.

Unfortunately, I can’t embed the video from the NFB web site. However, if you click on the following link you can view this animation: