Stop motion films have come a long way since its inception in the late 1800s. Initially used to show a magical element, stop motion animation is now used to produce entire movies. The first ever documented stop motion animated film is The Humpty Dumpty Circus released in 1898, which is credited to J. Stuart Blackton and Albert E. Smith. The plot was simple, it showed the life of toy circus.
So, how long does it take to make one of these films? According to Forbes, it took the production team of Boxtrolls one week to complete one to two minutes of footage. The running time of the movie is around one hour and 40 minutes so you do the math.
It is a tedious job but one that is worth it, producer Travis Knight said, “It’s the worst way to make a movie. It makes no sense. You’re cutting your hands and contorting your body. But it’s an incredible art form that is so rare and so beautiful.”
It might not be the easiest way to make a movie but we do hope that people keep making them. To honor these people and the art form, try watching our picks below.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
If you’re a fan of Wes Anderson’s work, add this film to your must-watch list. With characters voiced by George Clooney and Meryl Streep, follow the adventures of Fantastic Mr. Fox. Just like all Wes Anderson movies, you’ll be treated with great color palettes and interesting dialogue.
Stop motion movies don’t always have childlike themes. Anomalisa tells the story of a man who is “crippled by the mundanity of his life [and] experiences something out of the ordinary.” Watch this to see life-like looking figures exchange dark humor.
Kubo and the Two Strings
You’ve probably seen behind the scenes footage of this movie being made. Released last year, Kubo and the Two Strings is a fantasy, action film that involves samurai, spirits, and a stringed instrument.
The Little Prince
This remake of The Little Prince follows several timelines. There’s one that follows a little girl in the present and another that focuses on The Little Prince. The movie also mixes different mediums. The scenes that take place in the past with The Little Prince are the ones that were filmed in stop motion. Treat yourself to this film when you need a boost in your mood.
Based on dark fantasy children’s novel by Neil Gaiman, Coraline explores the life of a young girl who moves into a new house and an alternate universe. Coraline is also faced with the choice of staying in her own world or leaving it for something seemingly better.