Top 10 Stop Animation Music Videos

Peter Gabrielle: The man who brought stop-animation music videos to the mainstream.
Peter Gabrielle: The man who brought stop-animation music videos to the mainstream.
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Back when MTV played music, a music video had the power to make a song more popular. (See also: $,$$$,$$$). In Millennial terms, the song would go "viral" on network television. 

Artists quickly learned to embrace the video format to enhance — or parody — their image in order to entice more eyes and ears.  (Now, all music videos from the 80s seem like parodies). 

In 1984, music videos became a product musicians could be awarded for, at the first-ever MTV Video Music Award show, hosted by Dan Aykroyd and Bette Midler.

During MTV's heyday, artists didn't need to rely on tacky product placement in order to produce a polished video because record labels provided a decent budget for music videos. This is simply not true today.

Most directors and producers still employ the "sex sells" strategy when crafting a music video. A short list of trailblazers crafted music videos that double as animated short films — and that's where we're a viking.

Here are our Top 10 picks for the best music videos featuring stop animation. 

Honorable mention: The California Raisins commercial featuring Michael Jackson


Thanks to YouTube, you can watch a bizarre homemade video of Michael Jackon partially directing the raisins. 

10. Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal


This music video demonstrates what happens to hipsters as they age.

9. Tool - Sober


Give the clay protagonist larger eyes and paint the room black and white, and you'll have a Tim Burton movie!

8. Grizzly Bear - Ready, Able


Yes, that's a claymation penis you just saw flailing in the air at the 2:40 mark.

7. OK Go - Last Leaf


The members of OK GO are over-achievers when it comes to producing music videos. This one is no exception.

6. In Your Arms - Kina Grannis


In case you need inspiration for your dried bean art.

5. We Have Band - You Came Out


This is what the product of 4,816 still images and a lot of patience looks like.

4. The White Stripes - Fell In Love With A Girl


We fell in love with The White Stripes when we first saw this music video in 2001.

3. Oren Lavie - Her Morning Elegance


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Oren Lavie, who? We always knew this artist as "Cool Stop-Motion Video of a Woman in Her Bed."

2. Son Lux - Change Is Everything


One word: mesmerizing.

1. Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer


The kingpin of all stop-animation music videos! This video won nine MTV Video Music Awards in 1987 (the most awards a single video has ever won), and is the most played music video in the history of MTV.

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