One of the oldest forms of animation in film is the technique of stop motion animation. Whether you are familiar with the term or not, you’ve no doubt seen plenty of it in films, television, and online. The technique of stop motion animation involves posing an object, taking a still image, moving the object slightly, and taking another image, giving the viewer the impression that the object is moving when played back.
Some of the most famous examples are the old Christmas movies like Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, and the Wallace and Gromit movies. But there are tons of great examples to choose from. We’ve gathered some here that you definitely need to see.
Stellar Stop Motion Animations to Check Out
Michel Gondry is a pioneer when it comes to creating innovative music videos. In fact, we’ve previously featured him in a blog post called 10 Awesome Single Take Music Videos.
For this video, featuring a then up and coming White Stripes, Gondry turned to stop motion animation and Legos. Lego animations have become quite popular amongst animators, even spawning the popular Lego branded movies of the past few years.
But Gondry made a go of it when we weren’t seeing Lego stop motion on a daily basis. He also took a slightly different approach, choosing to animate largely from a side perspective as if the bricks were flat to the screen.
The result is frenetic and fast-paced animation, with large color blocking and a unique style that served the White Stripes well in their quest for rock dominance. Not many people could pull off such a successful video with just some colored blocks and imagination. But then, not many people are Michel Gondry.
PES is the pseudonym of director and animator Adam Pesapane. PES has been making quirky and inventive stop motion shorts since around 2001. And he’s been incredibly successful at it. This short called Fresh Guacamole was even nominated for an Academy Award in 2013 and it has over 50 million views since being added to the PES YouTube Channel.
Where PES excels is in his imaginative approach to often simple animation concepts. This short is simply about making guacamole, but PES replaces the standard objects like avocado and onion with grenades and baseballs.
The result is a fun and whimsical look at a mundane task where you are constantly anticipating what the next replaced object will be. We won’t give away all of the secrets. Watch it for yourself and enjoy the simple pleasures that it generates.
The stop motion animation studio Laika is world-famous for the amazing animated features they have created. These include films like Coraline and ParaNorman. Their lasted master creation is Kubo And The Two Strings.
Kubo follows the story of a young boy searching for a suit of magical armor, so he can defeat an evil spirit. And the armor isn’t the only thing that is magical. Everything about the animation is magical.
It’s easy to forget when watching this, that it is stop motion animation. Watch it once just to take in all of the beauty that it projects. And then watch it again to take note of the phenomenal attention to detail, fine craftsmanship, and painstaking work that went into this feature-length film.
You’ve likely seen some sort of stop motion animation where people lay on the floor and act out movements to make it appear that they are walking along and doing various activities. Amazon did a series of commercials like this.
But about a year ago, Daniel Cloud Campos & Spencer Susser took this concept to a whole new level. For their stunning animation, they ditched the actual people and just used the clothes. But you’d never even notice after a few seconds.
The animation is so clever and well-executed, that you don’t even notice you are just watching clothes and a few props being pushed around a floor. This 3 and a half minute short has it all. From fight scenes to wild “stunts” and from music interludes to a little hanky panky, you’ve never seen clothes with so much character.
It’s a must-watch for the story alone, but the stop motion technique is well worth appreciating on its own.
Here’s one more stop motion animated music video from the genius mind of Michel Gondry. This time, he’s opted for yarn as an animation device. He even managed to get the band involved.
The animation is light and feels like something a child might create, but with flawless execution. As the music kicks in, and entire music studio full of instruments is generated out of yarn and some top-level knitwork.
The band is at one point overtaken by the neverending yarn, and eventually, all hell breaks loose, giving us another example of what the inside of Gondry’s mind must look like.
Stop motion animation is a labor of love. There is no way to execute it quickly, and you have to be dedicated and disciplined to pull it off. But for those talented artists and directors that take it on, the results can be stunning. If you have a favorite stop motion video, add a link in the comments below.