The 27 greatest stop motion movies of all time

Sean Wilson Sep 16, 2016

With Kubo & The Two Strings now playing, we salute some of our favourite stop motion animated movies...

With Laika's visually sumptuous and breathtaking stop motion masterpiece Kubo And The Two Strings dazzling audiences throughout the country, what better time to celebrate this singular and remarkable art form?

The effect is created when an on-screen character or object is carefully manipulated one frame at a time, leading to an illusion of movement during playback - and such fiendishly intricate work, which takes years of dedication, deserves to be honoured. Here are the greatest examples of stop motion movie mastery.

The Humpty Dumpty Circus (1898)

What defines the elusive appeal of stop motion? Surely a great deal of it is down to the blend of the recognisable and the uncanny: an simulation of recognisably human movement that still has a touch of the fantastical about it. These contradictions were put
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25 underappreciated family movies of the last 20 years




From Flushed Away and Hunchback to Titan A.E. and Sky High - the family movies that don't get the love they deserve...

When I sit through a film such as Zootropolis, Rango, Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, Eddie The Eagle or Coraline, I can’t help but be thankful somebody has bothered. As a parent as well as a movie lover, I’ve grown to really dislike family movies that just turn up to act as a surrogate babysitter for 90 minutes, with no intention of becoming anybody’s favourite film. The films I'm going to talk about are the family movies therefore that I think both try and do something a bit more, yet continue to fly under many people's radar.

A bonus mention before we get going, and number 26 in the list, much to my surprise: Alvin & The Chipmunks 4. I was expecting next to zero from it, courtesy
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Peter Lord interview: Shaun The Sheep, being big in Minsk

  • Den of Geek
Aardman co-founder Peter Lord talks Shaun The Sheep, making family movies, and wearing the same shirt for a long time...

He might have had a small cold when he spoke to us, and he might have been reaching for a box of Lemsip, but Aardman co-founder Peter Lord was on fine form when we got to chat to him last week. He was chatting about Aardman's latest feature, the lovely Shaun The Sheep: The Movie. But we talked about a lot more than that...

My favourite Tweet on your Twitter feed of late. Can we start there? Someone sent you a picture from China. And it showed the lift in her apartment complex, that had Shaun The Sheep imagery on the hotel's posters. I think many of us in the UK aren't aware of just how huge Shaun The Sheep has become outside of the UK, and how he's
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Gollancz to publish three tie-in Elite: Dangerous novels

For those of you old enough to remember the greatness of the game Elite – one of the best-selling computer games of the 1980s – on your favourite computer (mine was the Zx Spectrum and I still have my boxed copy) you are no doubt extremely excited for the forthcoming game Elite: Dangerous. Even if you’re not that old you’ve more than likely seen the rather amazing images of Elite: Dangerous, perhaps caught a video or two of what’s to come and now you rabidly want in on this Universe.

Well to keep you going until it finally hits the shelves from Frontier Developments plc and Gollancz comes three tie-in novels set in the world of Elite: Dangerous. Frontier has been actively involved to ensure in-game continuity within these three tie-in novels. Each will have a different style and tone but will all feature subtle links for the fans.
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'Wreck-It Ralph' Tops the 2013 Annie Awards

I really don't put much stock in the International Animated Film Society's 2013 Annie Awards, which is why I didn't rush to report on their results on Saturday. One year Disney and Pixar boycott the event, feeling there was an unfair advantage paid to larger contributing sponsors, DreamWorks being the primary example. So with such a nasty stench over the event what good does it do to pay it much mind? That said, I'll be brief in mentioning Wreck-It Ralph topped Saturday night's winners with five awards, including Best Animated Picture. The awards have something like a 75% streak when it comes to helping predict the eventual Oscar winner for Best Animated Feature and as the days have gone on, it's looking more and more like Ralph will be this year's winner (see my predictions here). Pixar's Brave, Laika's ParaNorman and DreamWorks' Rise of the Guardians each took home two awards in lesser,
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"Wreck-It-Ralph" Dominates Annie Awards!

Disney's "Wreck-It-Ralph" was the big winner at the 40th Annie Awards held Saturday taking home the Best Animated Feature award. It is now officially the Oscar frontrunner in the Best Animated Film category.

Here's the complete list of winners/nominees; for winners/nominees of other award-giving bodies this season, click here:

Animated Feature

"Brave" . Pixar Animation Studios

"Frankenweenie" . Walt Disney Studios

"Hotel Transylvania" . Sony Pictures Animation

"ParaNorman" . Focus Features

"Rise of the Guardians" . DreamWorks Animation

"The Pirates! Band of Misfits" . Aardman Animations

"The Rabbi.s Cat ". Gkids

Winner "Wreck-It Ralph" . Walt Disney Animation Studios

Animated Special Production

"Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1" . Warner Bros. Animation

"Before Orel" . Trust . Starburns Industries, Inc.

Winner "Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem" . Illumination Entertainment

"Disney Tron: Uprising . Beck.s Beginning" . Disney TV Animation

"Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury" . DreamWorks Animation

"Justice League: Doom" . Warner Bros. Animation

Animated Short Subject

"Brad and Gary" . Illumination
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The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists!

Avast ye, as the crew behind Wallace & Gromit set a course for skulduggery and animated anarchy with author Gideon Defoe’s underachieving Pirate Captain (here voiced by Hugh Grant). Determined - if unlikely - to win the coveted Pirate of the Year award, the hapless buccaneer's fortunes change when he runs into the young Charles Darwin (David Tennant). But while Lady Luck may be with him, pirate-hating Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton) most certainly is not.
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Walt Disney Pictures Dominates Annie Awards Nominees

The International Animated Film Society (Asifa-Hollywood) has announced the nominees for the 40th Annie Awards also known as Animation's Highest Honor. Disney/Pixar led the nominees with "Brave," "Frankenweenie," and "Wreck-It-Ralph" getting Best Picture nods. The 40th Annual Annie Awards will take place on February 2, 2013 at UCLA.s Royce Hall, in Los Angeles, California.

And the nominees for the 40th Annual Annie Awards are:

Best Picture nominees:

Brave - Disney/Pixar)

Frankenweenie -The Walt Disney Studios

Hotel Transylvania - Sony Pictures Animation

ParaNorman - Focus Features

Rise of the Guardians - DreamWorks Animation

The Pirates! Band of Misfits - Aardman Animations

The Rabbi.s Cat - Gkids

Wreck-It Ralph - Walt Disney Animation Studios

Annie Award for Best Animated Special Production

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1 . Warner Bros. Animation

Best General Audience Animated Television Production

Archer .Space Race, Part 1. . Weissman Markovitz Communications for FX

Bob.S Burgers .Earsy Rider
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2012 Annie Award nominees, honoring the best in animation, announced

2012 Annie Award nominees, honoring the best in animation, announced
Which of 2012′s animated films drew the most applause? According to the International Animated Film Society, Asifa-Hollywood, the options include Pixar’s Brave, Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph, and DreamWorks’s Rise of the Guardians. All three — among others — were nominated for animation’s highest honor today when the group named the contenders for its 40th annual Annie Awards. The prizes will be distributed Saturday, Feb. 2 in Los Angeles.

See who else made the cartoon cut with this list of nominees for the Annie Awards’ biggest honors. A full list of nominees can be found at the awards’ website.

Best Animated
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2013 Annie Award Nominations Announced

Disney withdrew from the International Animated Film Society, Asifa-Hollywood back in 2010 and even before then it was hard to put much stock in the Annie Awards. Now it's just sort of a blip on the overall award season radar that manages headlines twice a year, once for their nominees and again for their winners, which this year will be announced on Saturday, February 2, 2013. That said, the org announced their 2013 nominees this morning and their Best Feature Film list was made up of eight nominees (a large list considering the lack of quality animated films I've seen this year) including Brave, Frankenweenie, Hotel Transylvania, ParaNorman, Rise of the Guardians, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, The Rabbi's Cat and Wreck-It Ralph. It is nice not to see something like The Lorax among that list, but I still think this was a year in which the field could have easily been limited to five nominees.
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The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists Blu-ray Review

Director: Peter Lord

Cast: Hugh Grant, Imelda Staunton, David Tennant, Martin Freeman, Salma Hayek

Running Time: 87 minutes

Certificate: U

Extra Features: Filmmakers’ commentary, ‘From Stop to Motion’ featurette, ‘Creating the Bath Chase Sequence’ featurette

Synopsis: When The Pirate Captain (Grant) sets out to become Pirate of the Year, he and his band of swashbuckling misfits find themselves crossing the seven seas from Blood Island to foggy London town, and getting mixed up with Charles Darwin and an evil Queen Victoria. But will the quest for booty (and ham) sever the bonds of friendship forever?

From the wonderfully screwball pre-credits sequence (with a brilliant sight gag about location captioning) to the glorious tones of Desmond Dekker over the end titles, The Pirates! is riotous fun throughout. There are more gags per minute than any film in recent memory and no doubt plenty we missed (eagle-eyed viewers may spot a specimen jar
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Blu-ray Review: The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists

The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists

Stars (the voices of): Hugh Grant, David Tennant, Imelda Staunton, Ashley Jensen, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven, Martin Freeman, Lenny Henry, Brendan Gleeson and Brian Blessed | Written by Gideon Defoe | Directed by Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt

There are a few things in cinema that can be described as a safe bet. One is a Chris Nolan film is probably going to be pretty good. Another is Jeff Bridges being extremely watchable in anything he’s in. You can also add an Aardman production almost always being a good thing to that list.

The folks who brought you Wallace and Gromit andChicken Run have opened their plasticine kit once more to bring us a nautical but nice pirate adventure, with added scientists. Hugh Grant voices the logically named Pirate Captain, whose sole ambition is to at last win the coveted Pirate of the Year Award.
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Blu-ray Review: Great Release For ‘The Pirates! A Band of Misfits’

Chicago – Aardman’s Animation “The Pirates! A Band of Misfits” is a wonderfully clever slice of family entertainment that’s probably second to only “ParaNorman” when it comes to the best animated cinema of 2012. Sony has treated the film and its fans very well with an extras-packed special edition of the Peter Lord film that comes with a spectacular short film, 3D version, UltraViolet edition, and more. It’s one of the best family Blu-rays on New Releases shelves right now.

The logical place to start with “The Pirates!” is with the smart, clever movie itself. Check out my theatrical review for my thoughts on the movie but know that it plays even better the second time than it does the first. Like so much great animation, there are jokes and references that you don’t even catch the first time. It’s such a creative piece, never once feeling
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New on DVD and Blu-ray: 'Battleship' and More

  • NextMovie
This week: Will "Battleship" sink or swim on DVD and Blu-ray? The mega-budget summer flop about a naval fleet fighting off alien invaders had a reported budget of about $209 million but had to rely on the foreign box office to keep it afloat.

Also new this week is the romantic drama "The Lucky One" and the stop-motion animated adventure "The Pirates! Band of Misfits."


Box Office: $65 million

Rotten Tomatoes: 34% Rotten

Storyline: Peter Berg directs this epic blockbuster wannabe inspired by the Hasbro board game. Taylor Kitsch, Rihanna, Alexander Skarsgard, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson and many more take on a hostile extraterrestrial spacecraft armada over Hawaii and try to thwart the aliens' destructive plans before all hope is lost.

Extras! Exclusive to the Blu-ray version is a guided tour of the "USS Missouri" — also known as "The Mighty Mo" — with Berg, senior tour guide Reginald H. Johnson and Michael Carr,
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The Pirates! Band of Misfits Movie Review

  • ShockYa
The Pirates! Band of Misfits Movie Review
Title: “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” Directors: Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt Cast: Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton, David Tennant, Anton Yelchin (U.S. version), Selma Hayek, Jeremy Piven “The Pirates! Band of Misfits,” based on the book “The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists” by Gideon Defoe, follows, well, a band of misfit pirates as their leader, the Pirate Captain (Grant) vows to win the Pirate of the Year Award while outwitting the pirate-hating Queen of England, Queen Victoria. Overall, this Aardman Animations/Sony Pictures Animation film is a very harmless film (which is ironic to say since it made Lepra Health in Action angry with its “leper boat” joke); it’s [ Read More ]
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In Theaters: 'Bernie,' 'The Five-Year Engagement,' And 'Pirates!' Are 'Safe;' 'The Raven' Not So Much

  • The Playlist
Happy Friday! It’s the last minute run-up to summer blockbuster season, and since no one wants to even contemplate challenging “The Avengers” next week, a swell of smaller, independent, and foreign pictures are hitting theaters this weekend. And with the Tribeca and San Francisco International Film Festivals in full swing, we’re happy to go along. Despite the blockbuster-less slate, there’s still plenty of mystery, horror, and gun-filled action to (temporarily) sate any action lovers’ palate. Plus a romantic comedy and a maybe-for-children-maybe-for-adults animated feature. Enjoy!

Edgar Allen Poe’s tales of horror and woe are put into practice in this week’s “The Raven” from James McTeigue. The part-biography/part-thriller stars John Cusack as Poe, who, after cleared of initial suspicions, is tasked with solving a series of murders fashioned after gruesome deaths from his own stories. Like “E.T.” and Elliott, the life of the film seems
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[Review] The Pirates! Band of Misfits

  • The Film Stage
In sheer charm and wit, an animated film can leave your spirits elevated and revelling in the splendid detail on display. Aardman Animations definitely marches to the beat of their own drum and with so many films are bursting with CG animation, they still specialize in stop-motion films with their own brand of humor. The Pirates! Band of Misfits is their latest gem and they stick with a tone and act like nothing could be better throughout. Sight gags, witty remarks, and moments that make you want to watch it again and again. These are signs of films that are endlessly watchable because so much is going on, and despite the limited scale and scope possible in stop-motion, Pirates never seems to run into the imaginary borders it plays within.

Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) wants nothing more than to win the “Pirate of the Year” award. Unfortunately, he faces stiff
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[Interview] ‘The Pirates! Band of Misfits’ Director Peter Lord Talks Flight of the Conchords, Benefits of Stop-Motion & More

  • The Film Stage
I first fell in love with Aardman Animations when Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit arrived in 2005. Since then they’ve had some ups and downs but their latest is a gem. Co-founder Peter Lord is back in the director’s chair for The Pirates! Band of Misfits, which also marks their first foray into 3D. While that technology is still lacking effectiveness since the post-Avatar market, the film is still a delight. Last month I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Peter Lord for a roundtable interview. We touched on how he got a song from Flight of the Conchords into the film, using CG to populate the crowds, casting Hugh Grant as Pirate Captain, and much more.

The Film Stage: The first thing that jumps out at you about the movie is that it is such a complicated claymation thing. There is CGI elements and
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Review: ‘The Pirates! Band Of Misfits’ Fills Its Chests With Laugh Booty, But Goes Off the Map with Plot

Set sail for adventure on the high seas with the merriest band of buccaneers and scallywags this side of the ocean blue with Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt‘s rollicking and very fun family film, The Pirates! Band of Misfits. Arghs ahoy! Based on Gideon Defoe‘s comedic novels, the Aardman Animations film follows the Pirate Captain (voiced by Hugh Grant) and his merry band of hearties as they attempt to win the coveted Pirate of the Year Award, all while mixing it up with world-famous scientists, the Queen herself, sworn pirate enemies, and even a trained monkey. Frequently funny and layered with humor to suit all ages, including a gaggle of solid sight gags and verbal jokes aplenty, the film is another feather in Aardman’s (large, triangle-shaped pirate) cap. All that good humor aside, the film occasionally suffers from some missteps translating two of Defoe’s written works into one film, but
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Pirates! Band Of Misfits – The Review

Pirates! Band Of Misfits is the latest stop-motion feature from Aardman Animations, the studio behind the likes of the Wallace and Gromit shorts, Chicken Run, and Arthur’S Christmas. It is based on the first two novels in the Pirates! series by author Gideon Defoe. Pirates! Band Of Misfits is inventive and wonderfully animated; a very enjoyable and often hilarious family adventure with a terrific script, a spot-on voice cast and just enough sophistication to appeal to both adults and children.

Try as he might, the bearded scallywag known simply as Pirate Captain (voiced by Hugh Grant) just can’t get any respect as a bloodthirsty terror of the high seas. Misfortune and clumsiness seem to be his specialties and his attempts to plunder booty from other ships are a disaster (one’s a ghost ship, one’s a plague ship, one’s a nudist cruise, etc). His inept but
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