Making a movie requires corralling a group of skilled individuals and using sheer force to turn ideas into reality.
There is a chance of samesie when so many studios use similar technologies to produce their movies. This set is an exception to the rule. In fact, we have never seen anything quite like the unique art styles used in these films.
Some time ago, we read an interview of Director Kris Pear. His latest film, “The Willoughbys,” is now available on Netflix, and he talks about it in this interview. Kris put in a lot of time and effort to seamlessly combine the animation style and plot.
All the Willoughby kids, for instance, share hair that looks like the yarn their mom uses to weave. That the family had been tied together was emphasized in this way.
The discussion prompted the question, “What other animated films have used unique art styles to enhance their storytelling approach?”
While we were chatting near the coffee machine, we discovered shared love for a couple of animated films.
Today in this piece, we’ll be shedding light on some of the top animated films that stand out for their incredible and unique art styles.
So, without any further ado, let’s dive in!
1. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
The action in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is wild and nonstop. Those emotions were intentionally reflected in the design of the characters and environments.
The contrast between the cartoonish characters and the realistically rendered food makes this movie stand out.
The animators utilized vintage commercial stills as inspiration and threw real-life items, such as burgers, out of high-rises to see how they would appear when they landed.
Suppose your manager gives you the order to pick up 50 cheeseburgers from McDonald’s and throw them from the roof during the afternoon break.
The tale is never slowed down, which is even more of a feat, thanks to the visual style’s quirky nature. The characters in this film and its sequel are given room to develop and experience significant emotional journeys.
The success of Laika Studios’ stop-motion animated feature ParaNorman is evidence of the medium’s potential when combined with modern technologies.
In order to speed up a procedure that would have otherwise taken a lot of time and effort, the filmmakers turned to 3D printing. This enabled the development of puppets for stop-motion sequences with an almost infinite variety of articulations and expressions.
During filming, more than 8,000 different faces were printed for use on the Norman puppet. Effects like crowds or the dismantling of rigging were added after the scenes were assembled.
At the film’s end, the intricate stop-motion and computer-generated imagery techniques were used flawlessly to create a magnificent, almost tangible battlefield.
3. Into the Spider-Verse
Into the Spider-verse is the first animated features that combine traditional 2D comic book animation with a state-of-the-art 3D computer animation. The team of creatives, including painters and filmmakers, even coded their own renderer to bring their digital fantasies to life.
This Oscar-winning film was praised for its originality. In the field of motion design, it proved that exceptions could and should be made to the norm.
For this film, the animators explored innovative ways to utilize imperfections in reference art.
Ultimately, Into the Spider-verse repackages the classic comic book style into something fresh that can be enjoyed by a wider audience than simply comic book readers.
One of the finest superhero movies ever created, thanks to a combination of a terrific narrative, incredible music, and the usual Lord and Miller comedy.
P.S: BuzzFlick is also known for its amazing 2D animation services. We have also stepped into Hollywood as we provided VFX services to Miles Behind – A Spiderman Fan-Made Movie. It was an honor for us to work for M Guphynn Media.
The combination of real action and animation in Rango makes for a fascinating and raunchy mashup.
Director Gore Verbinski aimed to evoke the grit and strangeness of classic Westerns by using dusty locations and a cast of offbeat people. Then, to take things even further, they cast cartoon animals in the roles of human performers.
The animators’ goal was the same as that of Into the Spider-Verse: to make the most of the benefits of the flaws inherent to computer animation.
They drew ideas for the nasty and off-the-wall picture that Gore wanted to achieve from live-action rehearsals, such as lightning and facial tics. The end result? Let’s take a look.
5. The Red Turtle
There’s no denying that The Red Turtle is a work of beauty. The films of Studio Ghibli are worthy of their own post, but this one has caused quite a stir.
Charcoal sketches were scanned into the computer, where they were painted digitally for the backgrounds. This contributed to the film’s tranquil watercolor aesthetic. The story was supported by the simplistic character designs, which gave the viewers room to project their feelings onto the characters.
The designers said that the turtle was the most challenging part to work on. In the end, they used 3D rendering tools to make the turtle, and Photoshop got it ready for the 2D application. Studio Ghibli and director Michal Dudok de Wit received a lot of appreciation for their exemplary creation.
6. Fantastic Mr. Fox
Whimsical British author, Roald Dahl’s Mr. Fox, is a beloved classic. The filmmaker Wes Anderson retold the tale in a 3D stop-motion/CG animation…with his own unique flair.
Anderson’s movie reflects his enthusiasm for stop-motion animation, a handmade aesthetic, and innovative techniques.
There was a lot of attention to detail in the manufacturing. Multiple takes of the same scene were filmed using multiple camera angles, lighting setups, and set dressings. Over the course of a day, the set appeared to breathe in and out.
Anderson’s distinct filmmaking approach is seamlessly incorporated into the complexities of stop-motion animation, which is what impressed us most.
He broke all the animation rules by leaving his various characters standing still for extended periods of time. Everything works together in a way that is really novel.
The film’s meticulous concept and production of each scene are widely regarded as having established a new standard for animated films of the decade.
7. Secrets of Kells
Intricate and delightful, The Secret of Kells brings medieval manuscripts to life. Academy Award nominations came in for the movie before it had even premiered in theaters around the country.
Many people could relate to the tale and the animation, which helped it gain popularity rapidly. The Secret of Kells uses state-of-the-art 2D and 3D animation techniques to tell a narrative about the importance of holding on to one’s heritage, and in doing so, it has become a benchmark for contemporary Celtic animation.
The film’s production took a long time to complete and involved a large number of studios. The several grants that helped pay for the film’s production allowed for its unique execution.
There’s a chance that the uplifting movie we enjoy today wouldn’t have been made without the pooling of resources. They collaborated with the Berlin-based producer of The Triplets of Belleville.
8. Triplets of Belleville
Triplets of Belleville combines nostalgic art styles of the 40s and 50s and extremely distinctive visual language. There are no dialogues in the movie since it is meant to be a tribute to classic works of art and music.
The team combines hand-drawn graphics with stop-motion, computer-generated imagery (CG), and some 3D rendering techniques for most of its visual effects. One of the film’s distinguishing features is the way it uses visual cues like color and scene composition to express feeling without the use of traditional speech.
The hyper-realistic aesthetic approaches the grotesque in the best possible ways and succeeds in making an impact without using any words at all. The movie’s score and animation both bagged several nominations and awards.
Note: If you think 3D animation is only for movies, then you’re wrong because even businesses are now using animation like 3D to promote their brand and offerings. If you’re willing to try it, connect with different animation video production companies who offer this service.
9. Waltz with Bashir
In Waltz with Bashir, cutout drawings and carefully replicated real-world situations coexist. The film is based on real events but is animated.
The film’s director, Ari Folman, sought to do more than tell a tale and believed that the bulk of the film’s length spent on animation helped viewers feel more invested in the film’s characters and plot.
In Waltz with Bashir, we see how animation can be used to amplify a very precise message.
10. The Begun of Tigtone
The Begun of Tigtone is a funny parody of the fantasy film and video game, using the exploits of the dashing fool Tigtone to poke fun at the conventions of the genre.
Andrew Koehler utilized a hybrid of 2D motion animation and performance capture to bring his characters and situations to life. Individual voice actors were hired to record the characters’ emotions, while ensemble cast members handled the motion capture of the characters’ movements.
As intended, the bodies have very little animation.
Paprika is created and directed by Satoshi Kon. Mr. Kon brought to life some very surreal visuals by drawing them by hand.
He relied heavily on computer-generated imagery for the sake of efficiency and aesthetics. He employs his sketching and photography abilities to produce mysterious, fascinating, and perplexing works.
Directors like Christopher Nolan and Darren Aronofsky have cited Kon as an influence on their own work. Nobody in the business can compete with Kon’s animation talents.
In the past few years, animation has made great strides. The days of needing to be a master cartoonist to make Oscar-worthy animated pictures are long gone.
Dreams may come true if you have the right perspective, the will to see them through, and the wherewithal to have the knowledge you need to do so. Discover what drives you, and your audience will naturally gravitate toward you.
Start Your Animation Journey with BuzzFlick
We believe all these incredible films have inspired you. That’s one of the primary reasons we offer video animation services to brands and organizations to help them achieve their goals.
Also, if you explore our hive, you’ll find plenty of resources to help you create your own animation videos. For better insights, do give a read all of them:
Animation Movies with Incredibly Unique Art Styles – FAQs
What are some different art styles?
8 art styles are commonly known in the industry:
- Pop Art
What are the different types of animation styles?
Following are the popular animation styles:
What animation styles are easiest to create?
Here is the list of animation styles that a beginner can create without needing any top-notch skills or tools:
- Motion Graphics
- 2D Animation
- Whiteboard animation
- Typography animation
- Stop-Motion animation
Resources you should read: