One thing that got me into sculpting years ago was seeing the short film Peter and the Wolf, directed by Suzie Templeton. Now I've seen a lot of stop-motion animation, and even as a kid I loved the films of Ray Harryhausen for their stop-motion puppets and effects. I still love his stop-motion work - I'd rather watch the original Clash of the Titans or one of his Sinbad films over any of the CGI-fests that get churned out these days because, ironically, they just seem to have more heart and feel more real. The puppets were real and the limitations of special effects in those days pushed film-makers and SFX artists to new heights while trying to create atmosphere and menace with their impossible fantasy characters. I can't speak for everyone, but to me Harryhausen's Medusa is far creepier and feels far more 'alive' and malevolent than the Gorgon in the most recent Clash of the Titans. She's also my favourite puppet design of his.
Anyway - Peter and the Wolf. It's only got a 33 minute running time, but this little film is a gem in the puppets and backdrop department. It's a more modern retelling of the classic story set to the original orchestral music, and the puppet work - especially the wolf - are excellent. The attention to detail in the construction of these puppets really shows and the movements of the characters have both realistic qualities and elements of dance in them. I saw this film on DVD in 2009 when I was studying animation at uni and looking into different examples of maquette work. To this day I think it's a fantastic piece of art with endearing characters, well worth a look if you enjoy animation, or just looking for inspiration to up your game if you're a maquette or doll artist. It opened my eyes to the possibilities of poseable animal dolls and furred sculpts.
You can find this film on Amazon or read about it on its Wiki page, here. The DVD has an interesting little featurette on the making of the film as well, showing the extent of the work put into the character design and construction of the scenery.