“The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special” Animated by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is now streaming on Disney+. In it, the Guardians seek to give Peter Quill the best Christmas ever. Unsurprisingly, this leads to some unexpected hijinks that includes Kevin Bacon (read the Daps Magic review here). The holiday special also has a lovely story told in animated form that adds some context to the Guardians overall story. Today it was shared that the studio behind the animated segments was Stoopid Buddy Stoodios.

“Right from the start, James Gunn said he hoped to emulate the Ralph Bakshi style that was popular in the 1960s and ’70s, and there was no way to cheat it – it had to be hand-drawn rotoscoping,” explains Mac Whiting, lead animation supervisor on The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. “After seeing the animation test, Marvel arranged for us to be involved with the live-action shoot in Georgia. James and the Marvel team made the experience a real bucket-list item for any animator and fueled our desire to make the animation in this project as special as it deserved to be.”  

The live-action footage was used as referenced to draw each frame in the animation segments by hand. This was done in just over two months by Whiting and the Stoopid Buddy team.

Stoopid Buddy has worked on multiple different stop-motion animation work through the years, but The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special created a new challenge for Stoopid Buddy. Co-founder Matt Senreich shared how they couldn’t resist the challenge, however.

“James entrusted us with a tremendous vision,” Senreich says. “When we produced an initial eight seconds of test footage with Michael Rooker as Yondu, we knew we could match that vision, and, through animation, bring something entirely new to Guardians of the Galaxy. Stoopid Buddy is incredibly proud to be associated with it.”

The process for getting this special out on time had Stoopid Buddy producing the animation with Studio Moshi, from Victoria, Australia. This allowed for the production to continue around the clock so that it would be done on time.

“This has been one of the most exciting and creatively challenging projects I’ve ever been a part of, especially due to the demanding nature and high volume of hand-drawn animation, but the results are more than worth it,” Whiting says. “Fans are going to be watching this holiday special for many years to come, like so many of the specials we grew up with.” 

Stoopid Buddy has worked on many animated projects. This includes multi-Emmy® Award-winning Robot Chicken, Crossing Swords on Hulu, Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K., Ultra City Smiths on AMC, and others.

What did you think of the animation that Stoopid Buddy Stoodios did for The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special? Have you watched it yet? What did you think of the whole special? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!


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