What are your favourite stop motion animations? Are you passionate about Pingu, crazy for Coraline or a full-on Farmageddon fan?
Here at HUE we couldn’t pick just one so we have curated a cream of the crop list of our top-stop-motion movie picks.
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
Jason and the Argonauts mixes live action film and stop motion animation to dazzling effect in this mythological fantasy film. The impressive animation sequences, including the spine-tingling skeleton battle, were brought to life by stop motion pioneer Ray Harryhausen. Harryhausen’s work has inspired generations of filmmakers and SFX artists, including the legendary George Lucas, who once said, “Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no Star Wars”!
Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (1964)
Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, based on the Johnny Marks song by the same name, is a stop motion animated holiday classic. Produced by Rankin/Bass Productions in 1964, it has aired on TV every year since, making it the longest running Christmas TV special ever! The festive film is such an institution the US Postal Service released a series of postage stamps to mark Rudolph’s 50th anniversary in 2014.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Tim Burton’s classic stop motion film The Nightmare Before Christmas has become a modern classic since it was first released. The movie tells the story of the ‘Pumpkin King’ Jack Skellington and his attempt to blend his town’s Halloween theme with a traditional Christmas celebration. The music of The Nightmare Before Christmas adds a delightfully creepy feel to the story. Fans of The Nightmare Before Christmas will probably also enjoy Tim Burton’s other projects: James and the Giant Peach, Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie.
Chicken Run (2000)
No list of prominent stop motion animations would be complete without an entry from Aardman Animations. Famous for Creature Comforts, Morph, Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep and The Pirates!, Aardman Animations have made a name for themselves thanks to their distinctive claymation style and reputation for high quality. Chicken Run was their very first foray into the field of feature-length movies and an instant hit with kids all over the world. The story follows a group of chickens trying to escape from their farm to avoid being eaten. Their comical mishaps and adventures ensure that this film is a great watch from start to finish.
Western Spaghetti (2008)
The original (and best) stop motion cooking video! Animator PES (Adam Pesapane) whips up a pasta al pomodoro from everyday household items in this mouthwatering masterpiece. The multi-award winning marvel was voted #2 Viral Video of The Year 2008 by TIME Magazine and scooped up the Audience Award at Annecy Animation Festival in 2009. A visual feast for the eyes!
Hungry for more? Then watch Fresh Guacamole, the Oscar nominated follow-up to Western Spaghetti. Bon appetit!
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Fantastic Mr. Fox, directed by Wes Anderson, was based on a book by famous author Roald Dahl about a family of foxes and their struggles with their local farmers. The original Fantastic Mr. Fox novel was published way back in 1970, yet thanks to the film’s clever blend of different animation techniques it’s become popular all over again with children today. Wes Anderson has since created another stop motion picture in 2018’s canine caper Isle of Dogs.
Tim Burton can’t take all of the credit for The Nightmare Before Christmas; its director Henry Selick had a huge influence on the creation of the film. This is obvious as soon as you watch Coraline, a whimsical movie about a girl who discovers a secret ‘Other’ world in her new home. Laika, the studio behind Coraline, have since released ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings and Missing Link.
Dot, made by Aardman Animations, is a stop motion short film acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records, featuring the world’s smallest stop motion character at just 9mm tall! The animation was filmed using a Nokia N8 mobile phone and a special microscope attachment called a CellScope to bring little Dot to the big screen!
Take a closer look at how the animation was made in the behind the scenes video, The Making of Dot.
Grab the Kleenex and watch this tear-jerking animation from acclaimed filmmaker Kirsten Lepore. Bottle is a poetic film that tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a pile of sand and a clump of snow. Animated on location at a beach, in snow and underwater this film will stir your senses and melt your heart.
My Life As A Courgette (2016)
Directed by Claude Barras and based on the book Autobiographie d’une courgette by Gilles Paris, My Life as a Courgette is a French-Swiss, Oscar nominated, stop motion masterpiece. After losing his mother, a young boy called Courgette is sent to a children’s home where he begins to learn the meaning of trust and love as he searches for a new family of his own. This critically acclaimed film is a beauty to behold that will make you laugh and cry.
Negative Space (2017)
Find some space in your heart for the puppetry perfection that is Negative Space. Based on a poem by Ron Koetge, directors Max Porter and Ru Kuwuhata’s film packs an emotional punch that reminds us that the most memorable moments in life can be found in the mundane.
Lost & Found (2018)
This Oscar Shortlisted film by Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe really pulls at the heartstrings. Lost and Found is a charming yarn about a crocheted dinosaur who must completely unravel to save the love of his life.
In Farmageddon, Shaun the Sheep is back; this time for a space mission, when an adorable alien with amazing powers crash-lands near Mossy Bottom Farm. Shaun vows to help the cute creature find a way home while a sinister team of operatives try to trace him down.
Aardman Animations , the famous four times Academy Award® winning studio, creators of Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Creature Comforts and 2018’s Early Man, delight the old and new fans with this ingenious without words movie.