Diced Wool Vegetables and Spools of Sauce Layer Onto Andrea Love’s Fibrous Pizza
March 2, 2022


The miniature woolen oven mitt that Andrea Love (previously) uses to pull her handmade pizza from the oven is the only item in her stop-motion tutorial that’s true to form. An addition to the Washington-based animator’s quirky fare, the short film shows a flattened crust whirling in the air before landing on the tabletop and being topped with fiber-rich ingredients like spools of sauce, mushrooms, black olives, and cheese produced from diced yarn. More Continue reading

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40 Animators Around the Globe ‘Pass the Ball’ in a Collaborative Rube Goldberg-Esque Sequence
January 28, 2022


Forty months in the making, “Pass the Ball” is a delightful and eccentric example of the creative possibilities of collaboration. The animated compilation, which was conceptualized and organized by Nathan Boey, centers on a small red orb that shapeshifts, bounces across the frame, crashes into other objects, and ultimately, flies through a diverse assortment of three-second clips. Each scenario was created by one of 40 animators around the world, who, as the title suggests, “pass the ball” to the next person, resulting in a varied display of styles and techniques from stop-motion to digital. More Continue reading

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‘The House’ Is a Mysterious Animated Trilogy Following Three Generations of Stop-Motion Characters
January 14, 2022

A destitute family, an uneasy property developer, and an unrealistic landlady clinging to the past all find themselves grappling with control when they inhabit The House. The mysterious dwelling is the titular character of Netflix’s new three-part series that brings some of the most promising names of stop-motion animation to the major television platform.
Created at Nexus Studios, the dark comedy is a collaboration between Emma de Swaef and Marc Roels (previously), Niki Lindroth von Bahr, and Paloma Baeza, who each created a different segment of the story. More Continue reading

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Merry Christmas, Happy New Year: A Stop-Motion Music Video Tells the Warm and Fuzzy Story of Woodland Friends
December 23, 2021


Illustrator Phoebe Wahl and animator Andrea Love teamed up to gift us with a delightful stop-motion short full of cozy felted sweaters, wooly swirls of steam puffing from teacups, and (too much) snow just in time for the holidays. The whimsical animation is the music video for “Merry Christmas, Happy New Year,” a duet between Ingrid Michaelson and Zooey Deschanel, that tells the sweet story of Bunny, Rabbit, and their needle-felted friends as they prepare for the holidays. More Continue reading

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An Emotional Stop-Motion Ad Follows a Family Revitalizing Their Organic Farm
November 17, 2021


Ten years after Irish animator and director Johnny Kelly (previously) brought us a charming stop-motion ad for Chipotle about a farmer’s return to organic methods, he’s back with an emotional sequel that revisits the now-aging protagonist. The new short film, titled “A Future Begins,” follows the same mustached rancher as he struggles to maintain his pesticide-free fields and natural techniques amidst weather catastrophes and other struggles. More Continue reading

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A Polar Bear Made of Ice Navigates a Melting Arctic Landscape in a Powerful Stop-Motion Short
November 5, 2021


A poignant short film by London-based animation studio Nomint is a stunning reminder that we can’t reverse climate disasters. Produced for WWF’s Arctic Programme, “We Can’t Negotiate with Ice” follows a polar bear as it traverses a landscape comprised of melting glaciers, rising seas, and a video-montaged backdrop with flashes of violent storms and wildfires. The stop-motion short is a plea for world leaders to take sweeping, monumental actions at the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference and is a year in the making, having used more than 1,000 liters of ice to create 500 unique polar bear sculptures and their surroundings. More Continue reading

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A Striking Stop-Motion Short Creates Uncanny Visual Effects Using Matches
August 10, 2021


Digital effects are no match for Tokyo-based designer Tomohiro Okazaki, whose mesmerizing new animation is a striking feat of stop-motion techniques. Using squirts of paint, strips paper, and other household objects, Okazaki deftly manipulates matchsticks into dozens of individual studies that endlessly bend and buckle their basic structure. Each analog distortion sparks a host of others that become increasingly complex and speedy, spanning from simple tricks of the hand to more elaborate clips of exploding match heads and paper morphing into fully formed sticks. More Continue reading

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Sand and Currency from Dozens of Countries Converge in an Endless Interchange of Culture and Economics
June 11, 2021

Corrie Francis Parks’s absorbing stop-motion short “Foreign Exchange” is all about perspective. Through a continuously evolving landscape of minuscule stones and banknotes, mini-universes emerge that meld the two materials into culturally significant tableaus. “Between the dazzling layers of currency and sand lie connections that can be mined in infinite ways. Each person who views this film will unearth different associations filtered through their worldly experience and national background,” Parks says. More Continue reading

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A Heartwarming Animation Set to Poetry Reminds Us ‘How to Be at Home’
April 27, 2021


As we collectively count down the days until we can safely enjoy post-vaccination visits with friends and family, a delightful animation has a comforting message for those of us struggling to reign in our anxiety: “If this disruption undoes you, if the absence of people unravels you…lean into loneliness and know you’re not alone in it.”
A collaboration between poet Tanya Davis and filmmaker Andrea Dorfman, “How to Be at Home” plucks some of the same scenarios from the duo’s wildly popular “How to Be Alone”—watch the 2010 film on YouTube and pick up the illustrated book from Bookshop—and translates them into quarantine terms fit for 2020: where benches and public transit once were spaces ripe for interaction, they’re now hazards to be avoided, and a lunch-time scroll through your phone is no longer a distraction but a welcome way to stay connected. More Continue reading

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A Soothing Stop-Motion Animation Bakes a Rich Chocolate Layer Cake Entirely from LEGO
March 30, 2021


When your next ambitious baking project doesn’t pan out, try your hand at a simpler recipe with just one ingredient. Follow Japan-based animator tomosteen through a stop-motion tutorial for a decadent cake layered with chocolate frosting that’s made entirely with LEGO. The ASMR-inducing animation chronicles the baking process from cracking an egg into a yolky block to watching the batter subtly change color to crumbling individual bricks of chocolate for the top. For similar pastry builds like French toast, churros, and a triple-layer cheesecake, head to tomosteen’s YouTube. More Continue reading

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The Wolf House: A Horror Film Plunges into the Disturbing Mind of a Child through a Blend of Stop-Motion Animation and Murals
January 12, 2021

Joaquín Cociña and Cristóbal León descend into the psychologically disturbing world of a child escaped from religious fanatics in their feature-length film The Wolf HouseLayered with audio of unsettling voices and the quiet mutterings of a young girl, the grotesque animation seamlessly blends horror and documentary as it recounts some of the tragedies of the Colonia Dignidad, the post-World War II colony that was established by Germans and Chileans under the dictatorial rule of General Augusto Pinochet. More Continue reading

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Freeze Frame: A Meditative Stop-Motion Short Explores Preservation and Decay Through a Tedious Ice Harvest
December 30, 2020

Brussels-based director Soetkin Verstegen bills her methodical and nostalgic animation “Freeze Frame” as a “miniature cinema inside an ice cube.” Produced in a grainy, vintage style, the black-and-white short loosely follows workers as they harvest and attempt to preserve the frozen blocks. Amidst scenes of the monotonous, assembly-line efforts are insects, frogs, and various creatures swimming across the frames and eventually, crystallizing into skeletal ice sculptures.
In a conversation with Short of the Week, Verstegen spoke to the difficulty of using such a transient material, calling it “the most absurd technique since the invention of the moving image.” The tedious nature of stop-motion further matches the repetitive movements of the film’s subjects, forming “a playful puzzle with formal ideas around early cinema, decay, and preservation.”
You can find more of Verstegen’s short films that experiment with animation techniques on Vimeo. More Continue reading

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A Sparkling Figure Leaves a Trail of Dance Moves in New Stop-Motion Animation by Fernando Livschitz
July 17, 2020

A mesmerizing new project by Fernando Livschitz (previously), of Black Sheep Films, captures a gold figure dancing down a well-light runway in what appears to be a digital animation. As he twists and moves his body, the dancer is stretched out, leaving behind a glimmering streak of previous positions. “Lost in motions,” though, is entirely analog, and the latter half of the video chronicles the production process: Livschitz photographs himself dancing, before transferring each individual position to a wood cutout. More Continue reading

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A Minimally Animated Paper Box Expresses a Surprising Range of Human Emotions
June 18, 2020


Most health experts say you shouldn’t bottle up your emotions, and an amusing new animation by Paris-based designer Benoit Leva proves you can’t box them up either. “I am Square” features a white, paper carton that’s literally bursting with emotions and feelings. Coinciding with a series of prompts, the box retreats when shy, floats in a dreamy state, and turns pink in a moment of empathy. To check out more of Leva’s emotive—and relatable—animations, head to Vimeo. More Continue reading

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Product Breakdowns Expose the Wasteful Side of Industrial Design in Stop Motion Animation by Dina Amin
February 23, 2020

Industrial designer Dina Amin takes discarded consumer products apart to see exactly what makes them tick. The hobby also exposes just how many resources and materials consumers throw away. A new stop-motion animation titled “What’s Inside” is a supercut of Amin’s breakdowns of familiar items, each splayed in perfect grids of plastic, metal, and rubber.
The exploding electronics featured in the animation are a blowdryer, a stereo cassette recorder, a point-and-shoot camera, and an old cellphone. More Continue reading

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