CGI may be the special effects technique of choice in Hollywood today, but before those soulless digital creations turned big-budget movies into glorified Xbox games, true artists brought fantastic characters and creatures to life through the use of stop-motion animation. This technique calls for a physical model of the character (often made of clay or plastic) to be moved little by little by an animator while being photographed to create the illusion of movement. It's an arduous process, but some of the most impressive characters in movie history have been created this way.

Masters of the craft include Willis O’Brien, Ray Harryhausen, and Eliot Noyes Jr. Men like their ilk have tickled our imagination by putting things on the screen that seemed impossible before. Though this art form seemed to be dying off in Hollywood for a while, a recent influx of stop-motion animated films have been hitting the screen and have given us some of the most impressive uses of this technique yet.

The latest example of this growing movement is Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, which hits theaters on Friday. The fully-stop-motion movie, and Burton's best work in years, reminds viewers, in every single frame, why the technique is so special. So before you see Frankenweenie this weekend, check out some of the best examples of the style with the following gallery of The 10 Coolest Looking Stop-Motion Characters In Movies.

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Written by Jason Serafino (@serafinoj1)