Halloween Movies Take Over Box Office

MaryAlice Azzolina, Features Editor

In the months leading up to Halloween, three major movies have been released: “Hotel Transylvania,” “Paranorman,” and “Frankenweenie.” Though these movies are labeled with PG ratings, they are sure to please audiences of all ages.

The three aforementioned movies all have one common denominator: all are animated feature films. The plot line in each has the generic Halloween, semi-scary trope with Tim Burton-like animation. One ultimate question asked by many when thinking about watching an animated feature film: “Am I too old to watch this?”  Although the friendly ghouls and villainous monsters please child viewers, they can amuse teenagers and adults at the same time.

“Frankenweenie” is a Claymation feature by Tim Burton—and the new movie is actually an extension of Burton’s short of the same name released in 1984. The story follows a young scientist as he attempts to bring his dog back to life, paying homage to the classic Mary Shelley horror story, “Frankenstein.” For Simoa Barros, a senior in college and an avid supporter of animated films, “Frankenweenie” was her second favorite film of the year. She spoke high praises of the film in its animation and also in its storytelling. Barros said, “It is a throwback to the old school horror movies, and at its core is the love a boy has for his dog.” Viewers who are not commonly large fans of Burton’s work will be pleasantly surprised by this film—Barros says it is more than just a Tim Burton spectacle: “While the Burton trademarks are there, it is not just a whimsical little tale like most people would expect, but a genuinely weird, dark story with plenty of hilarity and emotion.”

With the release of appealing animated flicks, there are also the standard horror movies released around Halloween. “Silent Hill: Revelation” is just one movie coming out this season, with a target audience of teens and adults. When it is time to choose which movie to view this season, one can only wonder, “Is it still okay to watch a movie I used to love as a kid?” According to Emily Denny, one can never outgrow the enjoyment of a well-crafted animated feature film. “Animated movies, I have found, often have much deeper and more meaningful lessons and themes than adult movies. It is so magical how they can appeal to so many age groups without even trying,” said Denny.

Tim Burton began his work at the Walt Disney Co. as an animator in the early 1980s, and Barros believes that Burton is staying true to Walt Disney’s own philosophy about feature animation. “Disney was adamant that he did not make children’s films, and he indeed did not; if that were so, we would not continue to love those films into adulthood… [today, Burton’s] films always pack a lot of heart, even amidst the macabre and odd thing,” said Barros.

Whether one’s top choices of Halloween movies are standard horror flicks, animated features, or childhood favorites like “Halloweentown” and “Hocus Pocus,” it is always important to remember that having the desire to watch an animated movie at this age is not a faux pas. As Barros aptly stated, “There is nothing more fun than being a kid again, though you do not need a childlike mindset to enjoy an animated film. All you need is a heart.”