There are so many streaming services nowadays that it’s hard to know where to look for great stop-motion animation! At our animation studio, we’re massive fans of stop-frame (as you might have guessed), so we thought we’d share our favourites on Amazon Prime. Sit down, relax and we’re sure you’ll find something on this list that you’ll enjoy.
1. Fantastic Mr Fox
What a film to start off with! Stop-motion was the perfect choice for director Wes Anderson to bring this story to life in his unique style. The story follows Mr Fox and his great plan to steal from the three local farmers – Boggis, Bunce and Bean.
Using this signature style of filmmaking, Wes creates one of the most visually striking stop-motion films of the past 20 years.
A bold retelling of the classic poem, Beowulf tells the story of a young warrior as he travels to kill the ancient monster Grendel, only to be pursued by the creature’s mother upon his return. This tale utilised state-of-the-art motion capture at the time of production to tell this story. Whether you enjoy this style of animation or not, there is no arguing that the story and performances are still rock solid.
3. Early Man
The first film on this list to come from one of our favourites; Aardman Animations. Set in prehistoric time, a group of cavemen must set out on a grand adventure to save their home from an invading army. How do they hope to go against the threat? Challenge them to a game of football of course! With the impeccable standard that is expected from the studio, this is definitely one to check out.
4. Happy Feet
If you told anyone before this film came out that a musical about singing and dancing penguins could be so good, they would probably have laughed. And yet here it is! This truly unique tale tells the story of Mumble, a penguin who is born dancing, in a sea of others who only know how to sing. He is made an outcast and must travel to prove to everyone that he’s okay the way he is. With a stellar voice cast and great choreography, this jukebox musical shows that there are still unique stories out there.
5. Fire and Ice
A fantasy epic now directed by the animation legend Ralph Bakshi (Fritz the Cat and Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures). The film follows an epic battle between the fortress of Fire Keep and the advancing forces of the Ice Lord. The film utilises rotoscoping, a process which involves tracing over footage of real actors to create a striking style of animation. Give this one a watch if you’re in the mood for some epic 80s style fantasy.
6. Chicken Run
Next up, an absolute stop-motion classic from Aardman Animations, based loosely on ‘The Great Escape’. In case you don’t know the story, the film follows Ginger, a chicken who leads a huge escape attempt to get her and all her chicken friends out of a prison-like farm and away from becoming fresh chicken pies! With top-notch British comedy and stellar animation that holds up well to today’s standards, if you haven’t seen this film yet it’s one to put on your list for sure.
7. Animal Farm
Based on the book by George Orwell, Animal Farm tells a story of animals revolting against an oppressive farmer and running the farm on their own. Famous for its allegory of communism, this classic British animation is a very different watch from many of the other animations on this list. It is definitely worth a watch simply if you are a fan of the story, as it is considered probably the best adaptation of the original book to date.
8. The LEGO Ninjago Movie
For something a bit lighter than the last suggested film, The LEGO Ninjago Movie takes the same imaginative approach to its presentation as the other LEGO movies to be released before it. This adventure pits the residents of Ninjago against the evil Lord Garmadon. Light-hearted, great animation and some solid comedy make this film shine as a worthy entry to the LEGO movie franchise.
9. Shaun the Sheep Movie
Another well-established franchise making its first big-screen appearance. Our hero Shaun travels to the big city in this film to search for a missing farmer, only to hit trouble along the way. This film is special in that it sticks to the format of the show by having barely any dialogue. This allows for the animators to go crazy and let you know exactly how the characters are feeling simply through their actions. The film is a triumph of slapstick comedy and high-end stop-motion animation that any fans of Shaun should check out.
10. Help! I’m a Fish
Ending the list on some good old fashioned 2D animation from the early 2000s. Three children are turned into fish after meeting a mad scientist and must travel the ocean to find the ingredients for a potion that will hopefully change them back. The film shows off some stunning backgrounds and boasts a fantastic voice cast, the most famous of which being a young Alan Rickman! This is a great film that we feel was mostly forgotten about over time, unfortunately, but a classic none the less.
That’s it! Another 10 animated films that you can watch right now on while on lockdown. If you get through these and feel like you need some more excellent recommendations, check out our blogs on Netflix animated films, and animated series to watch!