Best Stop-Motion Animated Movies, Ranked

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Stop-motion films have impressed audiences for decades with their elaborately crafted sets and characters. The art form itself is almost as old as the film industry. While 2D animation largely dominated the early days of animation and computer-generated movies have taken over since then, stop-motion animation has been given its own little corner of the animation world. animation. This little corner has produced some of the best animated films of all time.

Given the rise of CG in animated films, stop-motion films have almost become its own special event film. Of course, creating a stop-motion animated film is already a daunting task to begin with, so when making one, the directors tend to give their best to create a story suitable for the stop motion support. Each of the films on this list was a special treat, which is not given as often as one would like. Through the use of puppets, clay or even dolls, these stop motion animated films have captured the imagination of audiences and left their indelible mark on the film industry. These are the best stop-motion animated movies, ranked.

Related: Best Studio Ghibli Movies, Ranked

8 Corpse bride


corpse-bride-stop-motion-animation
Tim Burton Productions

Believe it or not, Corpse bride is the first stop motion animated feature film directed by Tim Burton. A common misconception is that he led The Nightmare Before Christmas, but it was actually Henry Selick who was adapting Burton’s story. Burton finally took the reins of a stop-motion feature in 2005 when he co-directed alongside Mike Johnson.

The film featured familiar Burton collaborators Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter as the title character. The dark fantasy followed Victor (Depp) as he was unexpectedly engaged to a deceased woman named Emily (Bonham Carter) and taken to the land of the dead. Burton’s usual touch of dark and gloomy was used brilliantly in this film, which led to an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature.

seven Anomalised


1401x788-068-ANOMALISA-008R
Paramount Pictures

Charlie Kauffman brought his unique brand of storytelling to Anomalised alongside co-director Duke Johnson. The 2015 film was Kauffman’s first animated feature, and it was an instant hit. Anomalised was subsequently nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The nomination was notable as it was the first R-rated animated film to be nominated for Best Animated Feature.

Kauffman and Johnson told a thought-provoking story about a disillusioned motivational speaker who finds himself in love with the one woman who brings him joy. The lead roles were performed brilliantly by David Thewlis and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Anomalised was a visual achievement in animation using 3D-printed puppets that brought Thewlis and Leigh’s performances to life in this stop-motion adult film.

6 Kubo and the two ropes


Kubo and the Two Strings Blu-ray Preview Teases Epic Samurai Action |  EXCLUSIVE

Kubo and the two ropes was another critically acclaimed film from the stop-motion studio Laika. The fantasy film followed the adventures of a young boy named Kubo who accidentally summons a spirit for revenge. Laika’s unique animation was praised, as was the stellar cast including Charlize Theron and Matthew McConaughey. Despite his financial failure, Kubo and the two ropes was still praised for its story and animation.


5 James and the giant peach


James and the Giant Peach Live-Action Film Targets James Bond Director

Selick’s second feature film, James and the giant peach was an adaptation of the classic children’s book written by Roald Dahl. The book had been researched by various studios and directors before Selick and Disney finally secured the production rights to the film. One of the main issues was the bizarre story that made it difficult to produce on screen. However, Selick managed to create a gripping story that was largely stop-motion animated while ending in a live-action setting.

4 Coraline


Coraline, Pandemonium Films
pandemonium movies

The strange children’s tale by Neil Gaiman, Coraline was adapted by Henry Selick in 2009 with spectacular results. Selick and Laika collaborated to create an impressive stop-motion film that wowed audiences young and old. The sinister modern fairy tale followed Caroline as she plunged into a portal to another world where she met her “other family”. The stop-motion animation used by Laika and Selick perfectly complimented the chilling story written by Gaiman.

Related: 18 Best Scary Movies For Kids

3 Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit


Wallace & Gromit Studio Aardman Animations Gives Ownership to Employees

Few stop-motion characters are as durable as Wallace and Gromit. The British stop-motion series was created by Oscar nominee, Nick Park. The franchise has produced several specials and the critically acclaimed feature film Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Their feature debut followed the duo as they attempted to solve their town’s rabbit problem before facing off against the titular Were-Rabbit. The film went on to win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, making it the second non-American film to do so after Taken away as if by magic.

2 Fantastic Mr. Fox


The Fantastic Mr. Fox

Wes Anderson’s Eccentricity was a match made especially for stop-motion animation. His first animated feature, Fantastic Mr. Fox was an adaptation of a book by Roald Dahl. Anderson partnered with Noah Baumbach to write the film’s script. Fantastic Mr. Fox starred George Clooney as the cunning Mr. Fox, a fox who must break his promise to this woman (played by Meryl Streep) never to return to his thief ways. Anderson’s delightful directing coupled with the exceptional talents of its actors have made it one of Anderson’s best films and one of the best stop-motion animated films of all time.


1 The Nightmare Before Christmas


Jack Skellington holds a Christmas cookie in The Nightmare Before Christmas
Buena Vista Photos Cast

Is it a Halloween movie? Is it a Christmas movie? The debate is raging but one thing remains certain, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a beloved stop-motion classic. According to a story of Jim Burton and directed by Henry Selick, The Nightmare Before Christmas was a standard for stop-motion animation that led to several films in this same list. Selick’s direction paired with Burton’s tone of voice made it an instant classic. The story of Jack the Pumpkin King followed his attempt to take over Christmas after falling into a crisis surrounding his role as King of Halloween Town. The animation used by Selick alongside some classic musical numbers makes The Nightmare Before Christmas a memorable film and a triumph in stop-motion animation.


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