4 Wacky but Brilliant Animated Movies
If you’re bored of the typical princess or underdog stories which form the base of most animated movies, here’s a look at some weird, some simply upsetting but definitely engaging animated movies:
Frankenweenie – It is uncanny how often the name “Tim Burton” is synonymous with the term “wacky”. Frankenweenie is a hilarious parody/homage to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but instead of a dreadful monster we have a small boy (Victor Frankenstein) who wants to resurrect his pet dog, Sparky. Awww, right? Not really. Well, I loved my dog too but using electricity to bring it back to life wasn’t really an option. Firstly, Sparky is strictly not cute (yes, the alive version, duh!). He has an unearthly look even before his organs start falling off. Secondly, the whole town is a loony bin. The others kids, Victor’s friends and teachers are not exactly “normal” who make way for a perfect tragedy. Thirdly, the cemetery is ten times creepier than cemeteries should be and you can expect all sorts of things to randomly crawl out of their graves. Dead bats turn into grotesque cats and rats turn into wererats (no, they don’t look like Taylor Lautner). In short, Frankenweenie is a 3D black and white stop-motion film not meant for the weak hearted.
Coraline – This one is an outstanding example of how detailed stop-motion animation can be. Based on a book by Neil Gaiman, Coraline is much more than a fantasy film. It brilliantly (and terrifyingly) exploits the old evil-witch-haunted-house theme. It has everything from a blue-haired girl to bizarre puppets to dancing mice. All said, it is the remote setting, peculiar music and flawless stop-motion animation that make it a masterpiece. Coraline teaches us much more than to be careful what you wish for.
The Secret of Kells – A French-Belgian-Irish project, The Secret of Kells is based on Celtic mythology. The Kells are under attack from the Vikings and they need to protect the Book of Kells from the invaders. A young boy, Brendan takes interest in learning to become an illuminator and joins his pet cat, Pangur Ban, and a forest fairy, Aisling on a life changing quest. All does not go well for his clan but Brendan knows what his priority should be. The Secret of Kells is by far the prettiest animated film I have ever seen! The use of minimalism is way beyond spectacular. The influence of Irish art on the graphics is what makes the film truly unique. The music is hauntingly beautiful; the Celtic accordion magically blends with folk songs that play in the background. The characters, Aisling and Pangur Ban’s ghostly presence make the fantasy-tale even more appealing. It won several accolades and was nominated for the Best Animated Feature, Academy Awards, 2010.
Para Norman– Laika Productions has earned recognition for its idiosyncratic and innovative style. Para Norman hold up to this reputation as it offers a fresh take on zombies and wizardry. This zomcom revolves round a guy named Norman who has the ability to see and communicate with the departed. The story within a story (storyception?) adds an educative value to the film’s solidly crafted plotline. The one-liners make you laugh; the sarcastic-tinge makes you think. The customary humans vs. zombies ‘fight sequence’ too unravels compellingly. Well, it’s all fun until someone raises the dead! Like Coraline (same production house), Para Norman teaches children and their parents a valuable lesson in a crooked but effective manner. Para Norman went on to receive nominations for the 2012 BAFTA as well as Academy Awards.