My springtime movies use stop-motion animation. This very slow process of creating animated movies creates a rich look using clay figures. It may take as many as 1440 frames to create one minute of screen time, so it’s a big commitment to create stop-motion animation. Besides the common thread of stop-motion animation, my picks feature animals as major characters. The entire family will enjoy these imaginative, funny films.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Imagine the life of a chicken on the Tweedy Farm in England in 1961. They’re kept in crowded conditions to lay eggs. They live like prisoners in long coops behind huge barbed wire fences, under the watchful eyes of terrible guard dogs. It couldn’t get much worse!! And yet it does, when evil Mrs. Tweedy decides to change her failing egg farm into a business that produces chicken pot pies, thanks to an enormous (and enormously evil) machine she buys to make the pies. This means the chickens will be killed to be made into pies!! Rabble rouser hen Ginger is always plotting to escape the farm, but she is always caught. Next time if she is caught she will be killed! The only chance she sees comes when Rocky the Flying Rooster enters their lives. But he’s a bit of an irresponsible bird who harbors a secret that could destroy all Ginger’s plans.
This movie sometimes gets a little intense (similar to “Toy Story 3”), so it may be best for kids over 8. I loved Ginger, Rocky and all the “fowl” characters (plus a couple of rats!) who work together to escape the Tweedy Farm. Mrs. Tweedy is truly an awful villain you’ll enjoy rooting against.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
This stop-animation film is my favorite movie adaptation of a Roald Dahl book. Mr. Fox promises his wife Felicity that he will stop stealing, and for awhile after their son Ash is born he keeps his promise. But he can’t resist the temptation to steal from his neighbors, the (human) farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean. The farmers go after Mr. Fox, and even shoot off his tail. While Mr. Fox continues his life of crime, unhappy Ash has his own problems when Cousin Kristofferson comes to stay with them. Kristofferson is better at everything than Ash and everybody (rightfully) loves him…except Ash. Both stories come together when Ash tries to accompany his father in his thievery.
What an incredibly imaginative movie this is!! Badger the Lawyer is my favorite character. I especially like when they use the word “cuss” instead of using curse words.