Top 10 Stop-Motion Animation Movies

Script written by Craig Butler. Stop-motion animation has come a long way since Gumby rolled into the public consciousness – and these movies prove it. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 stop-motion animation movies. For this list, we’re focusing on full-length films that employ excellent and innovative stop-motion technique, in tandem with superior scripting, direction and design. We’re omitting movies that were not completely made with stop-motion, including "King Kong," "Beetlejuice" and "Jason and the Argonauts," as well as paper cut-out stop-motion like "South Park." Special thanks to our users jkellis, Jloves-pp, Germano Pontes, Moore7guardian, DunneNDusted, TheAidz64, rph, SteelCreme, snusmumris, Spideyfan-0913 and Andrew A. Dennison for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Craig Butler.

Top 10 Stop-Motion Animation Movies


Stop-motion animation has come a long way since Gumby rolled into the public consciousness – and these movies prove it. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 stop-motion animation movies.

For this list, we’re focusing on full-length films that employ excellent and innovative stop-motion technique, in tandem with superior scripting, direction and design. We’re omitting movies that were not completely made with stop-motion, including “King Kong,” “Beetlejuice” and “Jason and the Argonauts,” as well as paper cut-out stop-motion like “South Park.”

#10: “ParaNorman” (2012)

Featuring both stop-motion animation and 3D, “ParaNorman” is the ghoulishly delightful tale of a boy with a problem: he sees dead people. Also talks to them. This doesn’t make him very popular at school or at home – until one Halloween when all hell breaks loose. Literally. Deftly animated with a cast of lovably quirky characters, “ParaNorman” really raises the spirits – again, literally.

#9: “Mary and Max” (2009)

Not many animated films deal with depression, poverty, agoraphobia, autism, anxiety, obesity and soul-destroying loneliness. That “Mary and Max” focuses on these issues and manages to be uplifting, warm and really funny is a testament to the incredible skill that went into its making. The stop-motion animation in this Australian film is distinctively lovely – and provides just the right mixture of reality and stylization.

#8: “Corpse Bride” (2005)

Tim Burton co-directed this off-kilter beauty of a film, and it has his stamp all over it. After all, what other filmmaker would make a film about a Victorian-era man who accidentally marries a corpse? With Burton mainstays Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter providing voices, “Corpse Bride” is another Burton project that finds beauty in the unlikeliest places. Who knew dead bodies could be so enchanting?

#7: “James and the Giant Peach” (1996)

Tim Burton produced this adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach,” but director Henry Selick managed to put his own stamp on the material. The story of a little boy traveling in a giant peach with some equally giant bug friends, it’s a captivating little fable – with enough tartness to keep adults entertained. Selick brilliantly blends stop-motion animation with live action to create a unique motion picture experience.

#6: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1964)

A classic is a classic, and they don’t come more classic than “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Yes, the animation in this 1964 special is a little jerky when compared with modern films, but it has an endearing charm that overcomes this slight flaw. Throw in a tuneful score, truly lovable characters, a sweetly simple story and delightful design, and it’s no wonder generation after generation keeps falling in love with Rudolph and friends.

#5: “Chicken Run” (2000)

Peter Lord and Nick Park made the leap from short films to feature productions with the hysterical “Chicken Run.” These distinctively lumpy animated figures have a style all their own, and the characters are irresistible, from Mel Gibson’s braggart Rocky to Julia Sawalha’s ingenious Ginger to Miranda Richardson’s malicious Mrs. Tweedy. The screenplay is on-the-nose, with ample opportunity for both slapstick and excitement – and Lord and Park nail each and every opportunity.

#4: “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” (2005)

Nick Park’s delightful Wallace and Gromit characters won a following with their short films; but those were just a warm-up for the full-length “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.” Gently poking fun at British eccentricities, horror movies and small-town festivals, the film has a warmth and rosiness that doesn’t keep it from going for low laughs when it wants – and that’s all to the good.

#3: “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (2009)

There’s not a whisker out of place on the “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” Wes Anderson’s take on Roald Dahl’s children’s tale. Anderson’s keen eye for detail, whether in setting or in character, is in full force here. Yet it doesn’t overwhelm the story; it just serves to make it richer and fuller – aided by a knock-your-socks-off cast that includes George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray and Willem Dafoe.

#2: “Coraline” (2009)

“Coraline” is a near-perfect rendering of Neil Gaiman’s dark and disturbing children’s book. Director Henry Selick creates images and sequences that are both stunning and terrifying; the sense of menace at times is wonderfully palpable. “Coraline” is mesmerizing, wrapping the viewer up in its story and its universe; it’s a scary place to visit, but one you will always treasure.

Before we animate our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “A Town Called Panic” (2009)
- “The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!” (2012)
- “Frankenweenie” (2012)

#1: “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)

The one that started the modern wave of stop-motion animation, Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” was produced by Burton but directed by Henry Selick. The film is a glorious combination of their talents, with a dark, brooding surface that hides a sweet and beguiling tale of love, redemption and freaky characters. “Nightmare” brought attention and excitement to stop motion animation at a time when it had fallen into disfavor – and showed what skill, imagination and talent could do with the genre.

Do you agree with our choices? Which stop-motion movie do you think should’ve been on this list? For more enthralling top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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