Why do we still love stop motion?

Stop motion’s popularity has barely wavered in the century or so since it first appeared. But what makes it such a big hit with creatives and clients, and what does the future hold?

There’s a certain kind of magic to stop motion animation that’s hard to replicate. However far we advance with computer-generated imagery, it still lacks the charm of stop motion’s minutely hand-crafted movement. Maybe it’s because it gives us the sense of peering into another world, or perhaps we’re just in awe of the sheer effort involved in creating it. Whatever it is, we remain fascinated.

“I think people connect with the fact that it’s a bit clicky and, not unnerving, but a bit eerie,” says Chris Hopewell, who recently directed a stop motion music video for Yusuf/Cat Stevens’ Where Do The Children Play. “The way that stop motion puppets, especially human puppets, move has a spidery clickiness to it. I’ve had this theory for years that people find stop motion a bit eerie because it has that insect-y movement. We’re pre-programmed to pay attention if you see something moving or clicking like a spider or scorpion. Stop motion has that same real-but-not-real look to it, and it can be quite entrancing.”