SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, BUILDING AND DESIGN
THE DESIGN SCHOOL
FOUNDATION IN NATURAL BUILD ENVIRONMENT
NAME: JAKE SIA CHYI SERN
STUDENT ID NO: 0314396
FILMS SELECTED: CORALINE, THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
WORD COUNT: 907
ENGLISH 2 (ENGL 0205)
WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT 1: COMPARE – CONTRAST ESSAY
LECTURER: CASSANDRA WIJESURIA
SUBMISSION DATE: 5TH DECEMBER 2013
Motion picture. One of the greatest inventions of all time that have taken
entertainment to a whole other level. With so many movies in the market today
people have to categorise them into what we call movie genres. Often times, the
types of movies are determined by its genre which can consist of more than one.
In the recent days, the animation genre has undergone many developments
starting with the classic hand-drawn animation to the recent computer generated
imagery (CGI). This has given the world of animation a drastic improvement in
terms of graphics and fine details. There are many other animated films but after
much thought I have narrowed down to just two movies which I would now
compare. They are Coraline and The Nightmare Before Christmas that will be
compared in terms of type of animation, setting and movie director and producer.
The first similarity between Coraline and The Nightmare Before Christmas
is obviously the animation. Both the movies use only stop-motion animation to
portray their films. Stop-motion is a tedious process in movie making. It is like the
3D version of the classic hand-drawn animation where the whole set consists of
figurines moved manually frame by frame. For example, once the props are in
position, a photo will be taken of the scene. Then the figurines will be altered
slightly so that when the photos are put together will resemble a motion picture.
In other words, this means that the whole movie consists of only photos viewed
in sequence and everything that the viewers see moving on screen is actually
positioned very carefully on set.
As for the characters' facial expression, each expression must be made
separately to match the character's facial transition. This means that for every
character on set, hundreds of faces must be constructed for the wide array of
expressions. However there are benefits in stop-motion which is it has a more
realistic texture than compared to some CGI animated movies. Coraline was first
released in 2009 and The Nightmare Before Christmas in 1993 hence the
animation of Coraline would be undoubtedly much better than The Nightmare
Before Christmas. So here we have the opportunity of comparing stop-motion in
the 20th century and the 21 century.
Next off, the settings of both movies are quite similar in some sense such
as the location or background. For instance, for Coraline there is a place called
the 'Other World' which is quite identical to 'Halloween Town' in The Nightmare
Before Christmas. For one thing is that both of these locations look very isolated
and very fantasy-like. Besides, these two places are very closely associated with
night time which gives them a spooky and creepy feel to the atmosphere.
Another similarity between these two movies is the usage of fantasy creatures
and supernatural beings like ghosts and witches. For instance, in Coraline the
main villain is the 'Other Mother' who is a witch that feeds on children's souls.
When the children's souls are taken they become ghosts and get trapped in the
'Other World'. However for The Nightmare Before Christmas, since there is a
'Halloween Town' in the movie, it is likely for viewers to expect to see just about
every dark creature out there like ghouls, werewolves, witches and, of course
Jack, the Pumpkin King, who is the 'guardian' for Halloween as to how Santa
Claus is to Christmas. However, these creatures aren't as horrible as they seem
since their purpose is just out to spread Halloween to the world and not to bring
The reason why these two movies have so much in common is because
the producer and director for both movies are the same. The movies are directed
and produced by Henry Selick and Tim Burton respectively. You may recognise
Selick as the director of the 1996 James and the Giant Peach and Burton as the
director of the 2010 Alice in Wonderland. The first person that comes to mind for
these two movies may be Tim Burton but just to get something straight, for The
Nightmare Before Christmas, Burton was the producer that came up with the
idea, the story and the characters. However, Selick was also playing his part as
the director in charge of crafting the props, directing the voice acting and
everything else. For Coraline however, it was said that Burton had nothing to do
with the movie despite having part of the credit for just being well known for this
kind of movie genre. This is why there had been several cases where the public
were saying that the main man behind the scenes is really Selick since he was
the one doing all the tedious work of making the stop-motion film. Whatever the
case, these two individual is closely associated with both the movies.
So, these are the similarities in both Coraline and The Nightmare Before
Christmas. Anyhow, at the end of the day movies are still just movies and they
are made primarily for the entertainment of people not to be taken too seriously.
Movies have impacted the lives of many and so it should continue to do so. It
shouldn't be a place where the greed of fame and fortune should reign. Rather, a
place where great ideas may collide and work together in a symphony to be
transformed into masterpieces that will make their mark in history and to be
remembered on not as malicious schemes but as humble victories.
Introduction to Stop Motion Animation | Dragonframe
In-text: (Dragonframe.com, 2013)
Bibliography: Dragonframe.com (2013). Introduction to Stop Motion Animation |
Dragonframe. [online] Retrieved from:
http://www.dragonframe.com/intro_to_stop_motion.php [Accessed: 20 Nov 2013].
Henry Selick steps out of Tim Burton's shadow to make 'Coraline'
In-text: (PopMatters, 2009)
Bibliography: PopMatters (2009). Henry Selick steps out of Tim Burton's shadow to make
'Coraline'. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.popmatters.com/article/70052-henry-selicksteps-out-of-tim-burtons-shadow-to-make-coraline/ [Accessed: 20 Nov 2013].
Coraline/Nightmare Before Christmas Director Henry Selick Returns to Disney/Pixar
In-text: (Sciretta, 2010)
Bibliography: Sciretta, P. (2010). Coraline/Nightmare Before Christmas Director Henry Selick Returns to
Disney/Pixar. [online] Retrieved from: http://www.slashfilm.com/coralinenightmare-before-christmas-director-henryselick-returns-to-disneypixar/ [Accessed: 27 Nov 2013].