Casting a spell of still shots, handcrafted characters, and homemade settings, stop-motion animation has been dazzling viewers since its first appearance in the late 1800s. It requires a grueling process that, when executed perfectly, creates the illusion of seamless movement. And often, the months and even years that filmmakers filter into their stop-motion endeavors prove to be worth the effort, producing jaw-dropping works of meticulous art. Here at Flavorpill, we see a ton of stop-motion shorts. Our ten favorites are after the jump; link us to yours in the comments.
In this fairytale-esque narrative, director/writer Christopher Kezelos and producer Christine Kezelos tell the tale of an ostracized couple — both bearing the dreaded mark of the number zero — and how courage and love can conquer all. The puppets were made from scratch and built with wire armatures and silicone before being meticulously wrapped in yarn.
“Food About You”
Showcasing the science behind cuisine, French photographer and director Alexandre Dubosc’s intellectual film transforms what is on the plate into art. The vibrantly hued, stop-motion video follows the process of baking a birthday cake, with a few magic surprises — like cracking open an egg only to reveal flour.
The world’s tiniest stop-motion animation film, “Dot” follows a little girl as she tries to outrun a looming textile disaster. Oddly enough, the whimsical film was shot using a Nokia cellphone’s 12-megapixel camera tricked out with a microscope attachment that allowed directors Ed Patterson and Will Studd to capture Dot, the story’s nine millimeter-tall protagonist.
“Buildings and Vampires”
Created by an artistic troupe of friends — including Sebastian Baptista and Nico Casavecchia — as a tribute to Spike Jonze’s Where The Wild Things Are, this adorable stop-motion film combines 2D drawings with puppets fashioned out of crocheted yarn, textiles, paper, and chocolate to illustrate one vampire’s alienation from the pack.
“This Is Where We Live”
Over the course of three weeks in 2008, 4th Estate created this ode to books using a homemade dolly and the aid of many talented animators. The result takes its viewer through a world in which trees, people, and buildings are comprised from the pages of books, visually dramatizing the impact that fiction has on our world.
“Ten Thousand Pictures of You”
This comical live-action short throws us into the world of Sarah, a photographer who gets revenge against the tabloid-adorning celebrity boyfriend who did her wrong. Directed, written, and edited by Robin King, the stop-motion film took about a year to create — with no digital superimposes — and contains roughly 26,000 photos shot using a Canon Eos 350D Digital SLR.
“Mourir Auprès de Toi”
Directed by Spike Jonze, the animated short that recently caught our eye required handbag designer Olympia Le-Tan to transform 3,000 hand-cut pieces of felt into the characters, books, and scenery that come to life in this slightly morbid, literary love story.
With an opening reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, this magical short (directed by Angela Kohler and Ithyle Griffiths) creates a wonderland of its own through imaginative hairstyles and seamless wardrobe changes.
“Out of a Forest”
Combining influences like Victorian literature and The National’s 2007 LP, Boxer, Tobias Gundroff Boesen put together this whimsical cut for an Animation Workshop, but it quickly caught the attention of film festivals and earned a slew of awards and nominations. “Out of a Forest” was shot in the woods surrounding Viborg, Denmark and is appropriately soundtracked by The National’s “Slow Show.”
“Sorry I’m Late”
Shot from above using a stills camera, Tomas Manovsky’s unbelievable short uses a hardwood floor as a backdrop to capture one man’s obstacle-strewn journey from door to door. If you love what you see above, loads of behind-the-scenes videos, photos, and stories are available on Manovsky’s website.