Using classic stop-motion animators Svankmajer and Starewitch as creative influences, the sequence aims to convey a continuous move through a sinister circus as each colorfully bizarre character is emphasized.

Ryan Murphy / FX

MAIN TITLE

This was the fourth year that Prologue created American Horror Story’s opening title sequence for series co-creator Ryan Murphy. For this year, Prologue wanted to depict a cast of characters with deformities, but chose to use a stop-animation motif to avoid the sequence coming across as sad. Although the sequence evokes stop-animation photography, it isn’t entirely shot using the technique. The balloon tying at the beginning is live action, and various characters are a mix of either 2D animation or 3D animation. This year showed that Prologue was willing to change things up for American Horror Story’s opening titles.

Main Title

2D MOTION GRAPHICS | 3D VFX | EDITORIAL | ILLUSTRATION | LIVE ACTION | STOP MOTION ANIMATION | STORYBOARD | TYPOGRAPHY

"The credits include creepy clowns, lots of skeletons with extra limbs -- many of which appear to be making out with or having sex with one another -- and various mutilated toys and dolls, à la Sid's collection in “Toy Story.”"

− Erin Whitney, Huffington Post

"It's creepy, disturbing and a little sexual."

− Minyvonne Burke, HNGN

"It appears that the show has outdone itself with creepy opening sequences (which is no easy feat)."

− Tim Kenneally, The Wrap

"The opening credits and title sequence are just as important to the overall show as the plot, characters and setting"

− Donovan Longo, Latin Times

"“Freak Show” gives us our most deliberate variation of “American Horror Story” yet, adding a few dulcet carnival tones to the familiar notes."

− Kevin Fitzpatrick, Screen Crush

"This is our favorite of the American Horror Story opening credits."

− Fionna Agomuoh, iDigitalTimes

"One of network TV's most wondrous, and, of course, unsettling, set of images."

− Leslie Gornstein, Yahoo