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A Stop Motion Tribute to Terminator 2, On Its 20th Anniversary

The Swedish chiptune band Rymdreglage celebrates the 20th anniversary of “the best movie in the world” with painstaking hand-drawn animation.

A Stop Motion Tribute to Terminator 2, On Its 20th Anniversary

If you love Terminator 2, love goofy animation, and love music based on 8-bit videogame noises, then a) you and I should be friends and b) you will love this video from Rymdreglage, celebrating the 20th anniversary of James Cameron’s epically awesome summer blockbuster. Make sure you watch all the way to the end — the kicker is a hoot.

[Make sure to watch in HD!]

Not to state the obvious, but what makes this video great is the animation style, which mashes up three equally painstaking techniques: stop-motion timelapse, in which we see piles of paper filling up the room where the video is set; pixilation, in which real people are “animated” onscreen instead of tiny clay models; and rotoscoping, in which photographs or video stills are re-animated by tracing or drawing over them. No wonder a YouTube commenter wonders if this tribute video itself took 20 years to make.

It takes a real kind of demented talent to render classic scenes from T2 (like Arnie cutting his arm open, or the T1000 shoving a spike through a dude’s face) in a childlike scrawl that still somehow still perfectly preserves their action-film essence. Hey Rymdreglage — release a making-of video too, please!

About the author

John Pavlus is a writer and filmmaker focusing on science, tech, and design topics. His writing has appeared in Wired, New York, Scientific American, Technology Review, BBC Future, and other outlets.