I realize that it’s not (technically) Monday. In reality, it’s Thursday. Or maybe even Wednesday.
Minutiae aside, I’ve brought you four awesome animated films with three common threads.
Common Thread #1: you probably haven’t seen them (with the exception of #4, maybe).
Common Thread #2: They all employ some form of stop motion.
Common Thread #3: Each one has a terrific storyline.
#1: The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship (1990)
Deep in the heart of Russia, there was a man and a wife living with their three sons. The two eldest sons were lazy and avaricious, but the youngest was good-hearted and honest.
After helping an elderly man, the youngest son finds himself embarking on a journey that will take him far from home.
This great short film aired as an episode in the children’s TV series “Long Ago and Far Away”, and was guest-narrated by David Suchet (the show’s regular narrator was none other than James “No Luke, I am your Father” Earl Jones). I’m definitely checking more episodes out later, I hear they do a mean version of Abel’s Island.
If it only for the colorful characters, The Fool is worth a watch. But it also has a timeless and engaging story. Check out Part 1 here!
#2: When The Wind Blows (1986)
Based on the graphic novel by Raymond Briggs, this cute, fun, romping film follows a darling British couple as they learn to cope with the aftermath of a nuclear strike.
There are some films I watch when I need to hit rock bottom. This is one of them. What’s so great about it? I mean, apart from the opening song by David Bowie.
The message is incredibly powerful, and the story is as human as they come. It’s also a really cool use of traditional cel-animated characters on top of a stop-motion background.
If you want happy fluff, move along. The Snowman (1982) is a friendly option, if you still need a Raymond Briggs fix without the dose of depression.
#3: Krabat (1978)
Krabat: The Sorceror’s Apprentice comes in like a lamb and goes out like a lion. When I first ran across this film in a Youtube search for Czech animation, I was skeptical. Were the characters a little too childish? Or maybe the scenes felt a little flat? My criticisms quickly dropped as I found myself drawn into a story that was as enchanting as the Sorceror’s grimoire.
Do yourself a favor and check out this tale of friendship, love, and black magic. It’s also a fine example of cutout animation.
#4: Peter and the Wolf (2006)
Do you like Russia? Do you like Tchaikovsky? How about close encounters with ravenous beasts of prey?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you simply must watch Peter and the Wolf, a visually stunning musical film directed by animation master Suzie Templeton. It features gorgeous sets and icy blue Russian eyes.
That does it for my little list! What are your favorite stop-motion films?