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Ranking the Top 10 Oscar Nominated Stop-Motion Animations

Billy Stoker May 23, 2022 Scroll to read in 7 minutes

There have been some amazing stop-motion feature films nominated for Oscars, especially in the past 20 years since the creation of the ‘Best Animated Feature’ award. So we’ve put together a list of the top 10 best ones.

10 - Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)

First on our list in 10th place is a feature length rendition of Aardman’s beloved animated TV show ‘Shaun the Sheep’. Nominated in 2016 for ‘Best Animated Feature’, this fun filled stop-motion follows our favourite characters such as Shaun, Blitzer and the Flock on their attempts to change their daily routine. Things don’t quite go to plan, leading to their farmer getting amnesia whilst a crazed animal control worker attempts to chase them down. This film is riddled with charm and character and due to its lack of dialogue it’s a fun accessible watch for anyone.

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9 - Corpse Bride (2005)

Next up in 9th place is Tim Burton's third ever stop-motion film, ‘Corpse Bride’. We follow a would-be husband who is practising his vows in a forest and places his ring on what he thinks is a root. Much to his shock, the root is actually the finger of a deceased woman who now thinks she is married to him and takes him away to the land of the dead. Left with a tough situation to get out of, we follow his journey as he tries to correct this misunderstanding. Nominated for ‘Best Animated Feature’ in 2006, this film is an absolute must watch for any stop-motion fan.

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8 - Anomalisa (2015)

Taking the 8th spot on our list is a 2015 psychological comedy called ‘Anomalisa’. Another 2016 nomination for ‘Best Animated Feature’, this adult stop-motion tells the story of a writer named ‘Michael Stone’ who struggles greatly to differentiate people from each other. He feels incredibly disconnected from all the people he meets until one day he meets a woman named ‘Lisa’. He is instantly mesmerised by her voice and after finding her we witness how their new journey together plays out. ‘Anomalisa’ is an incredibly unique animation with a very memorable aesthetic making it a very worthy entry on our list.

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7 - Paranorman (2012)

At number 7 is the first Laika entry on our list, ‘Paranorman’. This dark fantasy animation is about an 11yr old boy named, ‘Norman’. A very ordinary, normal 11yr old apart from the fact that he can speak with the dead. As it would turn out his distant uncle is aware of this power and gives ‘Norman’ the responsibility of protecting the town by performing a certain ritual before sundown on that specific day. Things don’t go to plan and all hell breaks loose on the town leaving ‘Norman’ and his friends to make things right. ‘Paranorman’ was Laika’s second feature length animation, it was nominated for ‘Best Animated Feature’ in 2013.

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6 - Frankenweenie (2012)

Another entry from 2012 and also Tim Burton’s 4th animation taking the 6th place is a horror/comedy stop-motion called ‘Frankenweenie’. 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. ‘Frankenweenie’ was nominated in 2013 for ‘Best Animation Feature’.

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5 - Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

Into the top 5 we go with ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ taking the 5th spot. Based on the book, ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ by Roald Dahl. This is a stop-motion adaptation by Wes Anderson that was nominated for ‘Best Original Score’ and ‘Best Animated Feature’ in 2010. It 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.

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4 - The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)

Coming in at number 4 is the second entry from British studio Aardman, ‘The Curse of the Were-Rabbit’. This is a feature length film of arguably their most popular piece of work, ‘Wallace and Gromit’. During an annual giant vegetable competition, ‘Wallace’ and ‘Gromit’ are tasked with protecting the vegetables from pests, especially rabbits. In an attempt to make rabbits have a disliking to vegetables, ‘Wallace’ attempts an experiment which doesn’t quite go to plan. This leads to a mysterious creature stealing and eating the town's vegetables causing mayhem, leaving ‘Gromit’ to try and figure out how to save the situation. This amazing film was awarded with the ‘Best Animated Feature’ award in 2006 following its 2005 release.

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3 - Coraline (2009)

Taking the bronze medal is the first solo film that Laika created, ‘Coraline’. This stop-motion horror directed by Henry Selick was nominated for ‘Best Animated Feature’ in 2010. The film follows a young girl named ‘Coraline Jones’, who struggles to feel at home in her new location and her parents who are too busy. After finding an alternate world hidden behind a wall in her new house, she is met by her other parents who are exactly identical apart from having buttons for eyes. They make her feel more welcome and loved than her real parents which makes ‘Coraline’ happy and she goes back to this world multiple times before things take a turn for the worse and this perfect world isn’t quite as perfect as she once thought. Incredibly worthy of being in the top 3, ‘Coraline’ is an amazing watch and one that’ll definitely send shivers down your spine.

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2 - Isle of Dogs (2018)

The most recent entry on our list coming at number 2 is ‘Isle of Dogs’ from Wes Anderson. Nominated for ‘Best Animated Feature’ and ‘Best Original Score’ in 2019. The film begins with an establishing that a canine spread disease has struck all over Japan. 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’. We follow Atari on his journey to Trash Island to find ‘Spots’ and along the way he meets an unlikely ally in a pack of dogs who decide to help him.

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1 - The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

And in first place we have an animation often regarded as the best stop-motion feature film of all time, ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’. 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. This amazing stop-motion was nominated for ‘Best Visual Effects’ in 1994 6 years before an animation category was created.

So there you have it, the 10 best ever oscar nominated stop-motion animations. We hope you enjoyed this list and that you’ll take some time to watch some of these remarkable films. If you enjoyed this blog we’re sure you’ll enjoy the 5 best stop-motion films on Disney+ and the top 10 animated films on Amazon Prime.

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