We all love getting scared, right? The feeling of fear sliding over your shoulders as you watch your favorite scary movie. The adrenaline rush you get from knowing you’re safe whilst being spooked. Well, not everyone loves a gruesome gore fest. Sometimes you just want to get the chills and still be able to sleep at night, which is completely reasonable. We’ve collected some of the best non-scary, spoopiest stop motion movies for you to enjoy this Halloween. From forgotten classics to art house shorts, blockbuster smashes to beloved favorites, we’ve got you covered!
Mad Monster Party (1967)
This underrated animated beauty by Jules Bass is your favorite childhood movie that you’ve probably never seen. This magical masterpiece stars Boris Karloff voicing his most famous monsters creator, and we join his Boris Von Frankenstein alongside a roster of classic characters as he tries to choose the heir to his monstrous legacy.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Though the Christmas-ween classic is technically prefixed with Tim Burton’s name, it was actually Henry Selick who directed this cute goth masterpiece. With Danny Elfman‘s incredible vocals and soundtrack this musical tale plants us into Halloween Town where Jack Skellington is king, but disillusioned with his spooky lot in life. NBX is not only fantastically fun, it’s also an unexpectedly nuanced take on the dangers of cultural appropriation… no, really.
Laika‘s sophomore effort by Chris Butler and Sam Fell, Paranorman cemented the fledgling company as a filmic force to be reckoned with. Norman is a creepy kid, in all the best ways. He can talk to the dead but he needs all the help he can get when he has to defeat an ancient witch who was wronged by his hometown.
Derived from the short film that allegedly cost Tim Burton his animation gig at Disney in the ’80s, Frankenweenie is a moving homage to classic monster movies and very good dogs. This black and white stop motion spectacular follows a little boy who manages to bring his recently deceased dog back from the dead.
Henry Selick and Laika’s second appearence on our list is the debut movie from the reimagined animation house that was previously known as Will Vinton Studios. This adaptation of Neil Gaiman‘s classic fairytale is nothing less than wonderful, following a young and lonely girl as she discovers and has to survive in a darkly magical new world.
Our most out there entry is Jan Svankmajer’s beautifully creepy short based on the Lewis Carroll poem of the same name. Svankmajer’s career is filled with highlights, but this spellbindingly abstract film is one of the best uses of stop motion around and is perfect for getting you in that haunted Halloween mood.
The Corpse Bride (2005)
Tim Burton, the man who inspired so many of us to be pre-teen goths, made his (underrated) animated directorial debut with this feature film. Though not touching the iconic cult status of NBX, this is a sweet gothic love story which inhabits a wonderful world split between the grim greyness of Victorian life and a vivid technicolor underworld. It’s the perfect spoopy movie to watch curled up under blankets whilst eating too much candy corn and avoiding the monsters under the bed.
So which of these creepy classics will you be enjoying this freaky festive season? Did we miss some of your nerdoween classics? Or you just want to wax lyrical about the master of stop motion Ray Harryhausen? Jump into our comments and let us know!
Images: Laika, Disney, Jan Svankmajer, Embassy Pictures, Warner Bros
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