Well, animation fans, Halloween is almost upon us, and I don’t know about you, but I am pretty excited. It’s the one time of year this non-artist feels a bit artistic — designing a clever costume, carving pumpkins, and decorating the house to scare (but not traumatize) the little kids who live in my neighborhood. And, best of all, October is Halloween movie month! From the best horror movies to the worst B monster/sci-fi flick, it all goes on my watch list for the next couple of weeks.
Not surprisingly, some of my favorite Halloween-y movies come from the world of animation. After all, one of the things I like best about animation is how well it interacts with, and enhances, the conventions from other genres, and the fantastical world of the horror film is a great sandbox for animation to play in. Laika’s Paranorman and Coraline, Aardman Animation’s Wallace And Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and (of course) Tim Burton’s raft of animated films are all great examples of what animation brings to the broadly-defined ‘horror’ movie genre, and are definitely on my queue for the coming weeks.
It seems only appropriate to kick things off here on 540 Feet with Vincent, Tim Burton’s 1982 short film. Created while he was still working at Disney, Vincent is a delightfully dark film about a boy named Vincent Malloy who drives himself mad emulating Vincent Price (who narrates the poem). I love the expressionist style here — it feels very similar to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari in places — and it is fascinating to see the elements of this short that would later make their way into Burton’s feature films.
What about you, dear reader? What is your favorite animated film for Halloween? Have I forgotten something on my list? Let me know in the comments below!