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10 Stop-Motion Short Films You Must See!
1: The Eagleman Stag Starting off our list is this beautiful paper-craft animation The Eagleman Stag. A film that looks ...
Whilst coming up with our list of top 10 animated series to watch on Netflix, our team at our animation studio couldn’t help but also recommend plenty of feature animations that are also available on the platform. So many in fact that we just had to come out with a follow up list! So, grab some popcorn, imagine you’re in your favourite cinema and enjoy some brilliant films to watch during this time of self-isolation.
First up is a fairly recent addition to Netflix. This French 2D drawn animation starts strikingly, with a severed hand coming to life and breaking free from a hospital lab. As the hand travels through Paris to find its owner, we begin to see the events of the man that the hand belongs to. The film is a masterclass of 2D animation which has seen a massive resurgence in recent years. As well as this, the story told gives a detailed look into the struggles of life and how the smallest things can help us through it.
Studio Ghilbi’s film catalogue is truly spectacular. Each and every film that the studio produces oozes with creativity. With their entire catalogue of films now being uploaded to Netflix on a monthly basis, what better time to check out some of their lesser known films, one of the best of which is Nausicaä. The film follows the tale of a young girl living in a post-apocalyptic world in which the last of humanity is scattered throughout the world as a toxic jungle slowly takes over. The film features the same level of stunning animation that you would expect from the studio, but what really makes the film stand out is its creature and machinery designs. Give this one a watch if you’re in the mood for a high sci-fi fantasy adventure!
The title of this animated film pretty much sums up its plot. Three kids must travel into a living house in order to stop it from eating hundreds of trick or treaters on Halloween night. Channelling the feel of 80’s kids films very well, the film doesn’t shy away from darker themes. Even though it’s a fun adventure made for kids, it’s still very much a horror film. With unique character designs and 3D animation that still holds up today, this is worth a watch if you’re finding yourself in a spooky mood.
Talking about a film that stands the test of time, Rango looks just as good today as it did when it came out 9 years ago. That makes sense though with the core team behind making it. Gore Verbinski directing, Roger Deakins on cinematography and Hans Zimmer composing the soundtrack (if you don’t know who these people are, look them up and you’ll see why we’re excited). Not to mention the stellar voice cast behind each character. Rango manages to get each element it sets out to do right, creating one of the best westerns and even one of the best animated films of the last decade.
The opening shot of this animation is an astronaut driving out of rocket ship in a vintage Corvette car and entering Earth’s atmosphere. That kind of sets the tone for the rest of the film. The film is an anthology of short tales told from the perspective of an omniscient green orb who talks about all the worlds he has existed in and corrupted. This leads to set pieces ranging from a dystopian future New York City, to a Conan the Barbarian-esque fantasy land. You almost feel as if you are watching a Heavy Metal album cover come to life due to the gorgeous painted backgrounds and realistically moving rotoscoped characters. This is not one to watch with kids however, as nudity and violence are a core theme of the film. Give it a go if you’re up for a campy yet hardcore watch.
A blast of nostalgia for some, Invader Zim exploded his way back into the limelight last year with this feature length continuation of the cult early 2000’s series. The film follows the alien Zim and his dim-witted robot helper Gir in their attempt to take over the world by opening the Florpus. What is a Florpus you ask? Think of a black hole, but about a hundred times worse. The animation style, comedy and dark tone of the original series are captured perfectly, making for a hilarious and random watch for established fans and newcomers alike.
Something a bit more relaxing now. The Little Prince partially follows the original story by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry of a pilot that crashes in the Sahara Desert where he meets a small boy; The Little Prince. This original narrative is framed by a lovely story of a young girl connecting with her elderly neighbour, who happens to be the pilot himself. What excited us at the studio about the film was the fact that over half of the animation is stop-motion. The beautiful puppets and sets help perfectly convey this sweet and lovely story.
Coming from Irish animation studio; Cartoon Saloon, this gorgeous 2D animation that tells a very real and grounded story of young girl living under Taliban control in Afghanistan. The story follows her as she pretends to be a boy in order to escape persecution feed her starving family. This is not a light watch by any means, but with the animation quality that is now a standard of the studio, the films stark presentation of persecution is one that shouldn’t be missed.
We know it’s not Christmas anymore, but how could we not mention this film when talking about animated films? This 2D animated feature won the BAFTA for best animated film last year, and rightly so. The film just feels like it was plucked straight from the Disney renaissance. The film is a re-imagining of the Father Christmas origin story, centering around a postman who is given the impossible task of mailing letters in a town divided by a family feud. Despite it not being the season, this one is a joy to watch all year round.
Flavours of Youth is a unique story of the ordinary. This anthology covers the lives of three people who all grow up in a small suburb within a city. As they get older they leave this suburb but begin to realise the impact that growing up there had on them in their adult lives. The film is produced by the same studio that created ‘Your Name’ and the same amount of detail and passion is put into this story. If you feel like you would like to be nostalgic for a town that you never been to, this film is perfect. Also, this film has one of the most appealing looking bowls of noodles ever put to screen, that alone is worth the watch.
We hope that this has shown you just as many hidden gems as our animated series list. As an animation company ourselves, we are always inspired by other filmmakers and love having the chance to show off some of our favourite films. The addition of streaming services such as Netflix really becomes a godsend during these times of isolation. Being able to view so much varied content from the comfort of your own home is just amazing. If you get through these films and crave more animated content, you can check out that animated series blog here!
Remember to stay safe, stay inside and keep watching animation!