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The History of Stop-Motion Animation in 1000+ Films (1 - 101)

Alex M Aug 17, 2022 Scroll to read in 5 minutes
Humpty Dumpty Circus

Stop-motion animation has two distinct histories. The first is the predominantly European tradition of short stop-motion films made by individual artists and stop-motion series principally made for children’s television. The second and predominantly Hollywood tradition is the ‘invisible’ history of stop-motion animation as a branch of special effects for feature-length films.

This is complicated further by the fact that stop-motion animation has two principal approaches using puppets or clay models, but it also includes films made with objects.

A Brief History: Though J. Stuart Blackton and Albert E. Smith, Britons working in the US, have been credited with making the first puppet film – called The Humpty Dumpty Circus (1908) – there remains the possibility that British film-maker Arthur Melbourne-Cooper may have made the first advertisement as early as 1899, called Matches: An Appeal, animating matches, an approach shared in Émile Cohl’s 1908 film, The Animated Matches. We've chosen to take our list from this point.

Follow the links to learn more about the films, or visit our complete list on our Letterboxd page.

Cameramans revenge
  1. Matches: An Appeal 1899
  2. Fun in a Bakery Shop 1902
  3. Miniature Theatre 1906
  4. The Haunted Hotel 1907
  5. The House of Ghosts 1907
  6. The Humpty Dumpty Circus 1908
  7. The Gold Spider 1908
  8. Scullion’s Dream 1908
  9. Dreams of Toyland 1908
  10. The Electric Hotel 1908
  11. The Boutdebois Brothers 1908
  12. Le Voleur invisible 1909
  13. Monsieur Clown Among the Lilliputians 1909
  14. Urban Science: To Demonstrate How Spiders Fly 1909
  15. Princess Nicotine; or, The Smoke Fairy 1909
  16. The Faithful Furniture 1910
  17. Petit Chantecler 1910
  18. The Master of a Fashionable Game 1910
  19. A Peace of Coal 1910
  20. Petit Faust 1910
  21. Animated Putty 1911
  22. The Beautiful Leukanida 1912
  23. Metamorphoses 1912
  24. The Cameraman’s Revenge 1912
  25. Merry Scenes from the Lives of Animals (1912)
  26. Merry Scenes from the Lives of Animals 1912
  27. The Insects’ Christmas 1913
  28. The Dinosaur and the Missing Link: A Prehistoric Tragedy 1915
  29. The Lily of Belgium 1915
  30. Prehistoric Poultry 1916
  31. Mary and Gretel 1916
  32. R.F.D. 10,000 B.C. 1917
  33. The Apostle 1917
  34. The Ornament of the Lovestruck Heart 1919
  35. The Flying Koffer 1921
  36. Cinderella 1922
  37. The Frogs Who Wanted a King 1922
  38. The Secret of the Marquise 1922
  39. Lulù 1923
  40. Return to Reason 1923
  41. The Nightingale’s Voice 1923
  42. The Little Street Singer 1924
  43. Die Barcarole 1924
  44. Anemic Cinema 1926
  45. The Adventures of Prince Achmed 1926
  46. The Story of the Monkey King 1926
  47. Fatal Footsteps 1926
  48. The Death Feigning Chinaman 1928
  49. Doctor Dolittle and His Animals 1928
  50. Ghosts Before Breakfast 1928
  51. The Magic Clock 1928
  52. The Adventures of Dr. Dolittle: Tale 3 - The Lion’s Den 1928
  53. The Adventures of Dr. Dolittle: Tale 2 - Cannibal Land 1928
  54. The Adventures of Dr. Dolittle: Tale 1 - The Trip to Africa 1928
  55. The Witch’s Cat 1929
  56. It’s a Bird 1930
  57. Ten Minute Mozart 1930
  58. Hearts and Flowers 1930
  59. Detective Felix in Trouble 1932
  60. Harlequin 1932
  61. The Mascot 1933
  62. Experimental Animation 1933
  63. The Stolen Heart 1934
  64. Muratti Marches On 193
  65. The Ringmaster 1934
  66. Carmen 1934
  67. Galathea 1935
  68. The Sleeping Beauty 1935
  69. The New Gulliver 1935
  70. Believe it or Don’t 1935
  71. Composition in Blue 1935
  72. Sixpenny Telegram 1935
  73. Papageno 1935
  74. The Navigator 1936
  75. The Birth of the Robot 1936
  76. Aladdin and the Magic Lamp 1936
  77. Ether Symphony (1936)
  78. Hell Unltd 1936
  79. Bluebeard 1936
  80. The Tocher 1937
  81. The Tale of the Fox 1937
  82. Rescue Brigade 1937
  83. What Ho, She Bumps 1937
  84. The Seven Ravens 1937
  85. South Sea Sweethearts 1938
  86. The H.P.O. 1938
  87. Philips Broadcast of 1938 1938
  88. Jack’s Dream 1938
  89. Philips Cavalcade 1939
  90. Pete-Roleum and His Cousins 1939
  91. Evolution 1940
  92. A Sleepless Night 1940
  93. Themis 1940
  94. Wild Oysters 1941
  95. Hoola Boola 1941
  96. Rhythm in the Ranks 1941
  97. O Dragãozinho Manso - Jonjoca 1942
  98. Tulips Shall Grow 1942
  99. The Sky Princess 1942
  100. Strauss Takes a Walk 1942
  101. Jasper and the Haunted House 1942