In honor of this week's episode of Forgotten Cinema, I thought it would be a nice idea to suggest a few more movies like Frankenweenie. Stop-Motion Animation! Here are a few suggestions that perhaps you've never hear of or would like to revisit.
"Have beet. Make you strong,"
The movie that scares my oldest daughter, Veronica. Those button eyes! But she doesn't read the blog...I think. This Henry Selick directed film from Laika and Pandemonium Films tells the story of Coraline who's forced to move away from all her friends into a new home. Once there, she discovers a hidden door that leads to another world where her button-eye parents let Coraline do whatever she'd like as soon as she gets her very own button eyes. Did I mention her other mother is a giant spider?
"Now, the most important thing is, we have to work as a team, which means: you do everything I tell you."
Peter Lord and Nick Park (from Wallace and Gromit fame) gave us the remake of The Great Escape we didn't know we needed. The egg-laying farm from Yorkshire is thrusted into chaos as the farm installs a chicken pot-pie making machine and it's up to a recently visiting American Rooster to help the hens escape their doom. There are loads of grown-up and kid's laughs in this one.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
"Just because I cannot see it, doesn't mean I can't believe it!"
My son, Dexter, watches this movie non-stop. Non. Stop. He knows all the lyrics to every song. I know, because he sings them to me often. Even when I don't ask. Henry Selick (And to an extent, Tim Burton) is back to tell us the story of Jack Skeleton and his mid-life crisis. Wanting more out of his existence, Jack stumbles upon the chance of a lifetime. Celebrating something other than Halloween. The songs are great. The animation is great. Everything is great in this movie! And if you listened to our Frankenweenie episode, you know there's a connection between these two movies, but I'm not going to tell you here. Listen to the show!
Fantastic Mr. Fox
"There's a lot of attitudes going on around here. Don't let me get one."
Wes Anderson and his team of animators do a fantastic (pun intended) job of bringing Roald Dahl's novel to life. Well, animated life. It's a nice blend of Anderson's humor and style alongside the Dahl story as Mr. Fox will go to great lengths to provide the very best for his family, even in the face of the impossible. A wonderful supporting cast, highlighted by Meryl Streep, Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman, help the titular character, voiced by George Clooney, shine in this adaptation. I recently watched it with my son and he seemed to enjoy. Unless he's lying to me. But that doesn't happen, right?
Want a deeper dive into some of these movies?
Check out the book, Coraline, written by Neil Gaiman, that the movie was based on. Fantastic Mr. Fox was written under dour circumstances for Roald Dahl, but has the same message as the movie.
You can find all these movie for rent on various streaming services. Chicken Run is available for free on Peacock (for subscribers) and Fantastic Mr. Fox is on Disney Plus.