Do you remember being a child trying to make Transformers out of play-dough? It was fun and messy but insanely hard to do, now imagine making entire sets, characters and films out of it, doesn’t seem as fun anymore does it? However there are wonderful people who persevere and create gorgeous films, music videos and TV shows by moving clay or objects a tiny bit in each shot and we get to enjoy all the pleasures of their painstaking work. Despite being inanimate objects it’s amazing that stop-motion can be scary, make us laugh out loud or cry and even make us dance.

Even brilliant US comedy series Community recently got in on the act, featuring an entire episode of stop-motion in their second season (out on DVD Monday). So join me in finding out the best examples of this fascinating process and get your play-dough ready as we count down the Top 10 best stop-motion scenes of all time!


10. The Adventures of Mark Twain

The Mysterious Stranger Scene:

Stop-motion looks spooky. (We’ll touch on this a few times in the list) It has a way of making things look enchanting but unnatural which is why it’s such a great way of giving children fantastical dreams or nightmares. ‘The Adventures of Mark Twain’ is by Will Vinton and is a story which covers various snippets or short stories by one of the greatest American authors, all in stop-motion. It’s a mixed bunch of scenes with some feeling a little stunted by the medium however there are some truly inspiring moments which will stay with you forever. The Mysterious Stranger scene is one of these, it is beautiful, clever and horrifying all rolled into one and manages to teach children the true lesson in life, ‘You will die’. I can still picture Satan’s face some nights when I fall asleep remembering those poor little clay people. Shockingly good.

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This article was first posted on September 24, 2012