There is a very good fun looking new animated feature out in a few months, by the name of PARANORMAN, which seems to pick up the spooky kooky path left by other bizarre animation producers and filmmakers, notably TIM BURTON.
This new movie, with very similar look and design to the animated film CORALINE based on the children’s novel from NEIL GAIMAN, and yes this one is also produced by the same production team. Could it possibly be just too similar?
This new animated feature seems much more lovingly gothic and taking up the horror genre tropes-dark spooky woods, ghouls, ghosts, corpses. And that is great, nothing wrong with animated films, even aimed at young audiences, being a little macabre, scary and different.
It does though of course obviously seem very visually similar to the classic animated features from TIM BURTON, such as THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and CORPSE BRIDE. But then, it is going to be so hard not to draw those comparisons really. Unavoidable to be honest, but that should in no way put other animators off the notion of going creepy and scary at all.
With in recent years we’ve had THE CORPSE BRIDE from BURTON, CORALINE from the mind of NEIL GAIMAN, dystopian sci-fi fantasy 9, MOSTER HOUSE, SCARED SHREKLESS, MONSTERS VS ALIENS, IGOR, as well as other more safe sci-fi influenced animated features. This is great to see that production companies and distributors are not too afraid of darker tales and embracing genres in animation other than just cute fluffy animated animals and innocent small children in predictable adventures.
But that is not to say that I don’t care for lighter animated fair-only yesterday I watched GNOME AND JULIET actually, which is a great simple funny and playful, almost too camp and enormously colourful reimagining of the Shakespeare classic tale.
I just personally very much like to see other lesser supported or explored genres tackled through the animation medium more often, as having personally worked in the animation industry and studied it, know that animation can be capable of such truly stunning cinematic adventures and stories when approached in a honest and bold manner.
Some of my favourite animated films include:
THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
FANTASIA, FANTASIA 2000
GHOST IN THE SHELL
METROPOLIS-Animated reimagined version of the silent German classic
WAKING LIFE-Trippy stream of consciousness existential journey
PINK FLOYD’S THE WALL-The stunning animated sequences
Animation is NOT a genre, but a film medium, a means of storytelling, just without actors on screen, and sometimes than opens us so many more possibilites and potential. With modern CGI in blockbusters like AVATAR, TRANSFORMERS and more, the animated film and real life film with actors on screen are merging like never before. This does not mean we will lose total animated films, as they are arguably often the more poetic, captivating, artistic visions presented to us in cinema or on screen.