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5 Best Stop-motion animations on Disney+

Billy Stoker Jan 24, 2022 Scroll to read in 6 minutes

With the recent rise of popularity of Disney+ since the platforms launch in late 2019. There has never been a better way to watch all of your favourite Disney movies including these stop-frame films. There isn’t a website to tell you what is actually available on Disney+ yet without owning a subscription. So we’ve put together a list of the 5 best stop-motion animations available on Disney+.

1. The Nightmare before Christmas

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Often regarded as the best stop-motion feature film of all time, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare before Christmas is a great place to start. Written by Tim Burton and directed by Henry Selick, this animation follows the story of cunning Jack Skellington, the ever so popular pumpkin king of Halloween town. Bored with the annual traditions of Halloween town, Jack stumbles upon Christmas town and is instantly obsessed with the holiday. So much so he vows to take full control by kidnapping Santa Claus and performing the role himself. However, in doing so Jack realises that his plans have caused great danger to others and understands that he must do everything in his power to undo his mistakes, and save Christmas.

The iconic style and design for this animation led to Nightmare being an incredibly unique and groundbreaking film, with the help of course from the amazing soundtrack composed by the incredible Danny Elfman and the astonishingly brilliant stop-motion by Skellington Productions. The Nightmare before Christmas is always a wonderful experience, even if you’re watching it when it’s not Christmas!

Isle of Dogs

2. Isle of Dogs

This rather recent Oscar nominated stop-animation film from American director Wes Anderson begins with an establishing that a canine spread disease has struck all over Japan, especially in the fictitious location of this animation, ‘Megasaki’. Consequently, all dogs are banished to a man made garbage dumb known as ‘Trash Island’. This includes a dog named ‘Spots’, the bodyguard of our main protagonist, ‘Atari Koayashi’. The orphaned nephew of the mayor of Megasaki. We follow Atari as he sets off in a hijacked plane to travel to Trash Island in search of his beloved ‘Spots’. Once there, he is assisted by a pack of dogs who decide to assist Atari in his search. This Is the beginning of an incredible journey that will change the future for the Island, and the entire City. The amazing puppets for this film really allowed the animators to give the dogs the sense of human-like emotions and facial expressions, something that was improved upon from Wes Anderson’s previous stop-motion film, ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’. This animation will most certainly draw you deep into the characters story and root for this unlikely pack of strays to succeed in their ever so daring and outlandish adventures.

James and the Giant Peach

3. James and the Giant Peach

Another stop-motion movie from Henry Selick on Disney+ is the 1996 film James and the Giant Peach. Based on the famous novel with the same name written by Roald Dahl from 1961. The animation tells the story of a young boy called James, who after saving the life of a spider in distress, came into possession of some magical crocodile tongues. After mistakenly spilling the crocodile tongues in the garden, a gigantic peach tree emerges from the ground and with it, a gargantuan peach the size of a house! The curious James climbs into the peach where he is met by a colourful array of charismatic characters. Who together with James, go on an incredible journey full of adventure and wonder.

All the characters are brought to life using stop-animation, with each puppet having a carefully designed armature and detailed fabrication. For Mr. Centipede the armature consisted of 241 parts! The animation studio ‘Skellington Productions’ managed to perfectly encapsulate each character's personality and characteristics through stop-motion, giving the film an incredibly authentic and charismatic charm.

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4. Fantastic Mr. Fox

Based on the book, ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ by Roald Dahl, this stop-frame adaptation from American Director Wes Anderson is one of our favourites here at A+C. A highly praised, visually stunning piece of animation from 2009. The animation tells the story of a cunning fox who despite his best efforts, is struggling to put an end to his thieving, wily ways. Especially when he learns about the 3 farmers posing a great threat to his home, ‘Biggis’, ‘Bunce’ and ‘Bean’. Mr Fox leads all other animals in the area whose homes have been destroyed by the farmers on a heist to steal as much as they can from the farmers as a plot of revenge, and a way to make sure they don’t go hungry. Things don’t go entirely to plan and Mr Fox is left with a tricky dilemma.

The design and style of this animation is typical of Wes Anderson's work, pulling together a beautiful colour palette and stylised cinematography. With the help of the modern American soundtrack, Fantastic Mr. Fox is an incredibly unique adaptation of a historic children’s book and absolutely worth a watch!


5. Frankenweenie

Released back in 2012, Frankenweenie is a stop-motion animated horror/comedy from ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’ writer and director Tim Burton. This is in fact, a remake of a short live-action film Burton directed many years before in the early years of his career.

Paying homage to the famous 1931 horror film ‘Frankenstein’. Frankenweenie is a story of a young boy named ‘Victor’ whose pet dog ‘Sparky’ was unfortunately struck by a car. Being a very bright child, ‘Victor’ decides to use his knowledge to bring ‘Sparky’ back to life. Succeeding in doing so, it causes mayhem around the town as ‘Sparky’ doesn’t quite look as he once did, scaring townsfolk wherever he goes. Victor has to try his best to convince the town that his beloved dog means no harm and is still the same good boy. With a similar style and aesthetic to an earlier Tim Burton stop-motion ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’.

Frankenweenie is a visually stunning film, shot in black and white on set. Burton even requested all of the sets and puppets to be painted in Black and White not just added in post-production. It is devilishly charming as well as being packed with lots of humour and most certainly worthy of being on this list.

So if you’re stuck at home and fancy watching the current 5 best stop-motion animations on Disney+ we hope we’ve helped you make up your mind. If you’ve watched all of them and fancy another animation why not check out our 10 Animated Films on Amazon Prime whilst you’re here!