The Best Stop-Motion Movies Ever, Ranked

By Rick Gonzales | Published

Best Stop-Motion Movies Ever

Anyone who knows anything about the process of making a stop-motion movie understands just how painstakingly time-consuming it is. Stop-motion is an art form where patience is a virtue. But when done right, it can produce some of the most wonderful-looking and fun films imaginable.

There are numerous props that can be used in crafting a stop-motion movie. Some use puppets, others use clays, and some use dolls. But the magic doesn’t just come from the stop-motion, it also comes from a carefully crafted story that enhances the stop-motion.

We have found 10 of the absolute best in the medium. Tell us what you think.

10. Frankenweenie (2012)

This will not be the last time you see Tim Burton’s name on this list. Burton leaned into Halloween once again with this fun stop-motion movie, Frankenweenie.

It tells the story of a young Victor Frankenstein, who gets his start as a mad scientist early. He is an outcast at school, with no friends, except for Sparky, his dog.

When Sparky sadly passes, Victor is given the idea by his science teacher on how to spark Sparky back to life. Burton’s stop-motion is flawless.

9. James and the Giant Peach (1996)

Although Tim Burton didn’t have a direct hand in this stop-motion movie, he certainly played a part in it as the film’s producer. James and the Giant Peach is a delightful adaptation of one of author Roald Dahl’s finest pieces of work.

The story finds our young hero, James, living a sad life with his horrendous aunts, Spiker and Sponge. But a giant peach growing in their front yard is his salvation and one he takes. Along with his new “friends,” James is off on an adventure to find his place in the world.

8. Chicken Run (2000)

Clay is the form used in this engaging and fun romp of a stop-motion picture. Nick Park brings his Wallace & Gromit sensibilities to Chicken Run, a story about an American rooster who falls for an English hen on a British farm.

The two decide to escape the clutches of the evil farmer who wants to simply make them a meal. Inspired by Rocky and Ginger, the remaining chickens rise to attempt their escape as well. Mel Gibson voices Rocky while Julia Sawalha voice Ginger.

7. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

Writer/Director Wes Anderson might be best known for his films The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore, or his most recent, Asteroid City, but one of his most successful projects was Fantastic Mr. Fox, a stop-motion movie he both wrote and directed.

Anderson brought in the voice talent of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, and Jason Schwartzman to tell the story of Mr. Fox, who finally gives into his animal instincts by raiding the farms of his human neighbors. It is a story so well told that the film was nominated for a Best Animated Feature Academy Award.

6. ParaNorman

ParaNorman is a wonderful stop-motion movie that is a perfect watch on Halloween. The film follows young Norman, who has the ability to speak with the dead, many times preferring their company to those of the living.

But according to his strange uncle, there is a centuries-old witch’s curse that is about to befall the town. When it comes true, Norman must use all his paranormal powers and a few of his undead buddies to help save his town.

5. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)

Wallace & Gromit first started out as stop-motion shorts before they went the feature film route. In this 2005 stop-motion movie, Wallace and pet dog Gromit are getting ready for the annual giant vegetable growing contest when their plans are threatened by an overgrown “beast.”

Nick Park created the duo and co-directed the film alongside Steve Box, both of whom co-wrote the script as well.

tim burton

4. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

This is the film that started the stop-motion career of Tim Burton. Jack Skellington is known as the “Pumpkin King” of Halloween Town, leading its citizens in the annual holiday festivities. But Jack is getting tired of the same thing, so he finds himself wandering the woods.

On his venture, he comes to seven trees that are doorways to different holiday-themed worlds. Once he opens the door and walks through to Christmas Town, Jack knows exactly what he wants.

3. Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

Kubo and the Two Strings is one of the most visually impressive stop-motion movies created. The film is set in feudal Japan and tells the story of Kubo, a young boy who carries a magical Japanese stringed instrument called a shamisen.

He is on a journey to defeat his mother’s twin sister and the Moon King, his power-hungry grandfather. Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Rooney Mara, Ralph Fiennes, and George Takei lend their vocal talent.

2. Coraline (2009)

Young Coraline has just moved into a new home. While exploring its nooks and crannies, she discovers a secret door that leads to a parallel world that is very similar to her own, but better. She enjoys her new existence until she realizes that her Other Mother and the rest of the family are trying to keep her there forever.

Now Coraline must use all of her bravery and ingenuity to return to her real world. Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher are part of the voice cast.

1. Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015)

Number one in many books (like ours), Shaun the Sheep Movie is a wonderful stop-motion movie about life on Mossy Bottom Farm. Shaun and his animal buddies are tired of everyday life, so they hatch a plan to trick the farmer into going back to sleep.

Of course, the plan backfires and the farmer ends up with amnesia in the Big City. It is up to Shaun and a few friends to head to the city and bring back the farmer along with his memories.