Stop motion animation ideas have grown in popularity and could be considered one of the most intriguing areas of filmmaking today. It is an art form used to bring life to inanimate objects and make it appear that animate objects are breaking the laws of physics.
Let's take a look at examples of popular movies that were produced using the technique as a means to inspire your own stop motion animation ideas.
Examples of popular stop motion movies
Stop motion movies are created by moving objects in small increments and snapping a photo of each change. When the photographs are joined sequentially using video editing software and played back, the illusion of movement is created. Any object that can be manipulated is fair game for stop motion video ideas. Over the past several decades, stop motion has been used to produce legendary television and box office hits. Here is a selection of all-time favorites:
The Tale of the Fox (1937) — Months before Disney's release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Tale of the Fox was released, becoming one of the first-ever fully stop motion films made completely with puppets.
The Year Without a Santa Claus (1975) — This 51-minute ABC Christmas special achieved unexpected success, becoming a childhood staple for several generations.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) — This is another seasonal tradition for fans that love Tim Burton's brilliance. It earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects.
James and the Giant Peach (1996) — Considered a masterpiece, this film blends stop motion and live-action to create unusual, yet unforgettable results.
Coraline (2009) — This is one of the most famous stop motion movies ever made and, when released, became the third-highest box office smash for its type.
My Life as a Zucchini (2016) — This film premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, and although it was not received well by critics, it has mustered a massive fan following.
Farmageddon (2019) — This film was brought to us by the same genius that gave us Wallace & Gromit. The non-speaking Shaun the Sheep captured hearts around the globe, earning $40 million at the box office within its first year.
Easy stop motion ideas
Now that you have a sense of what can be done using the stop motion technique, you can try it out for yourself. These stop motion video ideas can help you get started without overcomplicating the process:
Anything in your environment that can be moved can be used to create a stop motion animation. An object sitting in its natural setting is all you need. Toys, puppets, figurines, or fruit make great subjects.
Lego pieces are popular for stop motion because of their large variety. The sky is the limit for coming up with stop motion animation ideas for your own "brickfilms."
All you need for this is a whiteboard and color dry-erase markers. You don't have to be a great artist. Drawing basic lines and geometrical patterns is a great way to start.
Draw your own shapes and cut them out or cut shapes from magazines. You can also use colorful sticky notes. It works best to shoot the frames from an overhead camera.
This is similar to the whiteboard technique, using a chalkboard and colored chalk. You can also try this out in the open air by drawing on pavement or sidewalks where permitted.
Start by creating very simple characters or shapes that can be molded in various ways between frames. When played back as a video, they appear to be morphing.
You will need your friends to play starring roles in this type of stop motion. The effects can be amazing, showing the subjects doing seemingly impossible physical feats.
Plan your stop motion video
There are limitless easy stop motion ideas that will get you started with making animated films. Prepare for your shoot by storyboarding your ideas, giving you have a reference for each frame. Do some practice shots and test different types of subjects, so you get the most fun from your stop motion ideas.