Stop-motion animation has never been more popular than it is now. Our studio hasn’t made anything for the big screen (yet!) but has seen a rise in demand for stop-motion content year on year. In the last couple of years alone, films such as Isle of Dogs, Kubo and the Two Strings and Anomalisa have received huge critical and commercial acclaim. This success coupled with audiences desire to see more from this much-loved medium has resulted in huge investment from the big studios and a host of new features in development.
Here we look at six stop-frame movies currently in production but be warned, you have a bit of a wait on your hands to see a few of these…maybe don’t bulk buy the popcorn just yet.
Shaun the Sheep 2: Farmageddon – Release Oct 2019
After the roaring success of the Shaun the Sheep Movie back in 2015, Aardman is set to release its sequel later this year. The trailer has recently dropped and we now know the plot will see Shaun and the gang trying to shepherd a stranded alien back to its home planet, whilst being perused by a sinister secret organisation. Bound to be another great family adventure, we hope the film captures the charm and humour of the original film and series.
Chicken Run 2 – Release TBC
19 years since the original film’s release, Aardman have finally revealed that they are developing a sequel to their smash hit Chicken Run. Chicken Run remains the highest grossing stop-motion animation of all time, earning $225 million at the box office. It’s still very early days so details around the new film are being closely guarded but we have high hopes for this long-awaited sequel. After nearly 20 years though, you might just have to explain to your kids who Mel Gibson is.
Missing Link – Release April 2019
Missing Link is the latest film from the American stop-frame studio Laika. The animation will follow the journey of an adventurer looking to uncover a lost species which could be the missing connection between us and our primate ancestors. The voice talents of Hugh Jackman, Zach Galifianakis and Emma Thompson are all onboard to help bring the characters to life. The quality of animation coming out of Laika in recent years has been hugely impressive with films like ParaNorman, Coraline, Corpse Bride and Kubo and the Two Strings all stunning displays of what can be achieved in stop-motion. Missing Link it’s over to you…no pressure.
Pinocchio – Release 2021
Netflix has announced that they are set to fund a trio of stop-motion animated films. The first of which will be Pinocchio, a stop-motion musical version of the classic children’s tale. Fresh from his Oscar win for ‘Shape of Water’ Guillermo Del Toro will be helming this new adaptation set in 1930’s Italy. Del Toro has said ‘No art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio’. There is already a list of incredibly talented people and companies attached to the project; Patrick McHale (Over the Garden Wall), Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr Fox), The Jim Henson Company, Shadow Machine and Mackinnon & Saunders to name but a few.
Bubbles – Release TBC
Another Netflix production in the works is Bubbles, an offbeat tale about Michael Jackson’s famous chimpanzee companion. It’s rumoured the film will portray a combination of real-life events and fantasy flair. Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok & What we do in the Shadows) is set to co-direct the film with Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr Fox). With Dan Harmon of Community and Rick and Morty fame also on board to help write the film, it’s shaping up to be a crazy ride.
Wendell and Wild – Release TBC
The last Netflix feature Wendell and Wild will be directed by animation legend Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach & Coraline) and co-written by the Academy award winner Jordan Peele (Get Out)…need we say more. Peele is re-teaming up with comedy partner Keegan-Michael Key to voice a pair of demon brothers going up against an unknown arch-enemy in an attempt to earn their way out of hell. What’s not to look forward to?
The recent love shown to stop-motion also stretches beyond films, with more and more shows, commercials and online content than ever before making excellent use of this versatile medium.
Stop-motion animation is older than film itself and is set to continue to be used as the perfect storytelling technique.
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Also published on Medium.