Stop-motion animation in film is at an odd moment in its history. On one hand, it’s being passed over routinely for CGI animation and f/x in live-action films; on the other hand, practitioners of the craft are turning out some incredible, boundary-pushing films like Anomalisa and Kubo And The Two Strings. For 116 years the art form has been part of the film medium, using film cuts and repositioning in the early days to amaze audiences with simple in-camera tricks. Now there’s a video that highlights how the technique has evolved over the past century-plus, and it’s a pretty spectacular collection of films and artists.
Filmmaker Vugar Efendi has put together this compilation of films spanning decades, genres, and tones, with stop-motion being used as the focus of the film, or else as supplemental f/x work. The video covers all of the giants in the medium, from Willis O’Brien (from the original King Kong), to Ray Harryhausen, to the Quay Brothers, to Nick Park and Aardman studios, to Henry Selick’s gothic adventures, to Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Laika’s recent efforts. It’s an impressive montage that shows how the simplistic nature of its presentation belies the painful hours upon hours needed to create these fantastical worlds and creatures.