Skip to the content

Young animators explore stop-motion animation at MoPOP’s Homeschool Days

Young animators took a puppet’s eye view of stop-motion animation at our recent Homeschool Days event Little Things, Big Stories.

Working directly with LAIKA Studios stop motion rigger Lindzay Irving, kids from around the region explored the science, art, and engineering needed to bring miniature adventures to life.

The materials were simple: Legos, toy farm animals, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, bags of assorted bric-a-brac, fake grass. Students dreamed up worlds, filled them with rivers, henhouses, firepits, and forests, and then added characters. By the time the tablets came out and filming started, their epic stories were ready to roll.

LAIKA’s movies, such as Missing Link and Kubo and the Two Strings, are shot at the traditional rate of 24 frames per second—a pace requiring a galactic level of patience. Their website reports the jaw-dropping details: “A total of 35 animators worked on Coraline. On average, each animator completed anywhere from 2.22 to 6.52 seconds of footage per week.” Students in our workshop made their films using the same frame rate using a free stop-motion app you can use at home too! The end results were magical as they saw their stories begin to move and breathe.

So, what can young people learn from the study of stop-motion? Plenty! For over 120 years this art form has enjoyed a unique partnership with emerging technology. Stop-motion animation demands innovation across disciplines ranging from mathematics to video editing, engineering to knitting. It may be entertaining, but it’s no joke, and we’re so excited to offer young people the chance to explore this dynamic intersection of technology and art.

Watch the video to see the results!