Frame by frame: celebrating stop motion animation with a master of the craft
Nov 04, 2023 – minute read
Nov 04, 2023 – minute read
Stop motion videos and YouTube have had quite the run together. Some of the earliest videos on the site used the animation style, and creators have scored some massive viral hits using stop motion techniques. Animations with food are especially popular. So far this year, videos related to stop motion and cooking have amassed over 500 million views.1
To celebrate this wonderful world of animation, we teamed up with a stop motion icon: artist and Oscar-nominee PES. The artist who brought us Submarine Sandwich and Fresh Guacamole shared his talents and created a special version of the logo (which we call a Yoodle) to mark the occasion.
Since going viral with his short film Western Spaghetti, PES has kept busy pushing the boundaries of animation. He’s gone on to make commercials for iconic brands, stop motion yule logs for the holidays, and videos to raise awareness for important causes like reducing ocean pollution.
The reality is that stop-motion is so all-encompassing that anything physical placed in front of a camera and manipulated frame-by-frame is considered stop-motion animation ... There really is no limit.” PES Stop motion animator and creator
PES shared his memories from the day he uploaded Western Spaghetti, and how it made for an interesting start to his vacation.
“I remember posting it the morning before I went on vacation on July 5, 2008. By the time I got to the beach three hours later, my phone was blowing up,” he said. “This was before there was such a thing as silencing one’s notifications — I couldn’t stop it from dinging. I think I received a separate email every time anyone hit the like button on the film! It completely incapacitated my server to receive 100,000 emails. It was a great first day of vacation.”
We also asked him about his approach to the artform, and he shared his appreciation for the flexibility of the medium.
“My own style focuses on found and familiar objects brought to life in unexpected ways. But to others, stop-motion is synonymous with clay or puppets,” he said. “The reality is that stop-motion is so all-encompassing that anything physical placed in front of a camera and manipulated frame-by-frame is considered stop-motion animation: people, paper, sand, paint, wool, legos. There really is no limit — that’s the beauty of the medium.”
The stop motion community continues to thrive on YouTube today. Animators like tomosteen, Seegi Channel, and Animist use everyday materials to tell engaging stories with common household items, toys, paper, clay, and more. Creators like colleen.makeup are even combining two fan favorite categories: stop motion and makeup tutorials.
So whether you’re an animation fan or you just appreciate the zen of making a sub sandwich out of old baseball gloves, this day is for you. Head over to our playlist to check out more stop motion creations.
1. YouTube data, Global, 1 Jan - 17 Oct 2023.