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This will always be the funniest video I’ve ever seen in my life. It literally makes me cry from laughing.

I love stop motion to bits but there’s no way you grew up “watching so many” stop motion movies unless you’re REALLY young or counting shorts.

The Nightmare Before Christmas was the first full length stop motion film. FIRST! In all of film history there was never a full length stop-mo movie until 1993. Sure, there’s TONS of shorts that go back to some of the first of any animation on film (Eastern Europe has a fabulous history with stop motion and film going back to the 1800s) but most people have been alive to see the release of every full length stop motion movie in history. Many might even remember seeing them all in theatres! That’s crazy!

People talk about stop motion animation being a dying art, and yeah, it’s not used in special effects anymore and there’s a lot more CGI films and shorts produced than stop motion, but CGI has never actually replaced it for full length movies because all stop motion movies have been specifically produced as such because of the unique look and feel of that kind of animation, which CGI can never replace. The Nightmare Before Christmas? Tim Burton had to fight to use the medium for its aesthetic. Since then all full length stop-mo films have been made in reaction to tNbC’s success (like James and the Giant Peach) or for the aesthetic of stop motion. The aesthetic would either have been preferred by the director (Tim Burton especially*) or was deemed the best specifically for the story in adaptation like Fantastic Mr. Fox and Coraline.

*Just a quick shout-out that Henry Selick was the director of tNBC, not Tim Burton, which is what lead to confusion when Coraline was marketed as having the same director as tNBC.

From absolutely no full length stop-mo existing before 1993, in 2009 there were two releases in one year (Fantastic Mr. Fox and Coraline) and AGAIN there would be two releases in 2012 (ParaNorman and Frankenweenie)! Coming out later this month is The Boxtrolls, produced by Laika which is now becoming a household name!

Stop motion animated full-length films are super new and are actually growing, not dying. Sure, there are recurring happenings like 1960s Rankin Bass TV special Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer being picked up in more recent years with a CGI sequel but that doesn’t mean stop-mo is dying, at all. Lots of fantastic artists still explore stop motion animation in shorts (check out Mikey Please’s work or the multiple stop-mo shorts at TIFF just this month like Indigo by Amanda Strong or Pineapple Calmari by Kasia Nalewjka).

For some final context, consider Jurassic Park, which dropped its stop motion dinosaurs for CGI during production. Check out some youtube videos of the old animatics or stop motion puppets tests that were done by Phil Tippet! Yes, Dinosaur Supervisor aka “You Had One Job!” Phil Tippet has that title because he was kept around to supervise the CGI dinosaurs after his poor puppets were tossed. Guess what year Jurassic Park was released? 1993! It’s a bit ironic that the year CGI most instrumentally replaced stop motion as super effects on a film was also the first year a full length stop motion animated film was released.