After decades of production, Phil Tippett’s production mad god finally launched on Shudder, incredible audiences with its stop-motion animation and creative premise. Tippett is no stranger to animated effects, as are many other directors who created stop-motion films with a dark, sinister tone..
The subgenre has seen things like comedy, romance and drama, but they are all connected through the long process of capturing images. From family-friendly endeavors to mature and complex outings, there are several movies that make excellent combinations with the unique horror movie that is mad god.
10 James and the Giant Peach (1996)
James and the Giant Peach was Henry Selick’s second stop-motion film after the success of The Nightmare Before Christmas in 1993. Based on Roald Dahl’s beloved novel, the film follows a boy named James who boards a giant peach to New York, aided by a plethora of giant talking insects.
Although the film’s target audience is mainly families (unlike mad god), there are a number of sequences within this film that take time to instill fear, such as James having a nightmare and being chased by twisted caricatures of his evil aunts. Selick and Tippett’s work brings a balance of scares and carefree charm, James and the Giant Peach a perfect match.
9 Consuming Spirits (2012)
consuming spirits is one of the few autobiographical films in the stop-motion subgenre, weaving a story of three different protagonists going through similar difficulties. Throughout the film, each narrative begins to intertwine and a larger study of guilt and collective grief.
like mad god, Consuming Spirits features a palpable sense of sadness as well as thematic darkness. This helps both films create the stunning and grotesque images shown and makes the emotion of each scene extremely powerful.
8 Isle of Dogs (2018)
Isle of Dogs came out nine years after Wes Anderson Fantastic Mr. Fox, which established him as one of the most notable stop-motion directors of this generation. The film takes place on a dystopian island where quarantined, talking dogs roam the wasteland and find a boy looking for his missing canine.
like mad god, the film takes place in an abandoned setting where the only inhabitants are non-humans. The isolated aesthetic gives each film a unique sense of personality and, at the same Isle of Dogs is admittedly more playful, shares an equally dark sense of humor fueled by the sarcastic cast, which includes Bryan Cranston and Bill Murray.
7 Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride (2005)
Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride is a tribute to the macabre and gothic films of the 20th century, such as Dracula and The Office of Dr. Caligari. Burton collaborated with co-director Mike Johnson to tell the story of a young man named Victor who unwittingly raises a corpse from the dead while reciting his wedding vows.
The film is impregnated with dark colors similar to mad god, with a black color palette and visually uncomfortable presentation. As Tim Burton made his film with a younger audience in mind, there are fun songs and dances to make up for the disturbing premise, while Mad God lacks a musical touch.
6 Hell & Back (2015)
Although hell and back made very little mark at the box office during its initial release in 2015, it received an all-star cast including Susan Sarandon, Mila Kunis and Bob Odenkirk. Taking place in the infernal landscape of the title, the story is about two carnival workers who accidentally summon a portal to hell and must escape the demons that await them.
The most similar aspect mad god and hell and back can be attributed to the creature’s design, while both primary settings are full of evil monsters. While this film utilizes the demonic characters for comical scenarios, mad god it is alternatively a much more serious offering with little humor to be found.
5 The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The Nightmare Before Christmas is arguably the most popular and celebrated stop-motion film of all time, providing horror icons like Jack Skellington, Sally and Oogie Boogie. A romantic drama, musical and horror story rolled into one, this Oscar-nominated film tells the story of a skeleton named Jack who tries to break free from social norms and seek a life in Christmas Town.
Interestingly, mad god started its production process before The Nightmare Before Christmas until released, but both films can be compared for their commitment to creating original fantasy worlds rich in ideas and complex in structure. Eccentric and terrifying in equal measure, these two films push the boundaries of what’s possible in the stop-motion genre.
4 The House of the Wolf (2018)
the wolf house is a foreign stop-motion film from Chile, directed by Chilean directors Cristobal León and Joaquín Cociña. The story revolves around a young woman named María, who, after escaping a group of religious extremists, finds herself in a house that begins to transform in a mysterious and threatening way.
like crazy god, the wolf house is a film full of sequences that mix horror with surreal and dreamy visuals. This film takes a more grounded approach, being based on a real-life setting, Colonia Dignidad, which was a territory occupied by the Nazis during WWII. While the film contains an important message of support for freedom and free will, Tippett takes an escapist approach to film material. mad god.
3 Coralina (2009)
Coraline is Henry Selick’s third stop-motion film and is based on the fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman. Coraline is inspired by Chihiro’s trip and Alice in Wonderland, weaving the story of a young girl named Coraline who embarks on an adventure to a separate dimension that introduces her to versions of her parents who have buttons for eyes.
Coraline and mad god both share the theme of evil lurking beneath the surface. Inside Coraline, this notion is taken metaphorically, with her alternate parents revealing themselves to be darker representations of Coraline’s royal family. Inside crazy god, the monsters literally reign under the surface of the light and lack the nuance of Selick’s characters.
two Frankenweenie (2012)
Tim Burton’s latest stop-motion film combines Mary Shelley’s revered tale of Frankenstein with a live-action short film he directed in 1984 of the same name. frankenweenie tells the story of Victor and his beloved dog Sparky, who is brought back from the dead after being killed in a car accident.
Frankenweenie harks back to 1930s creature features, filmed in black and white and referencing Universal Monsters such as The Bride of Frankenstein and Igor. the creatures of mad god they also resemble classic monsters, with similar characteristics of sudden violence and screeching noise.
1 Fantastic Planet (1973)
Cut-out stop-motion is a unique form of animation in which paper is used to create the illusion of movement, rather than plastic or clay character models. This technique was used in fantastic planet, an experimental effort by French director René Laloux. It is loose in the plot, but seems to focus on a group of blue creatures called Traags, who become involved in a strained relationship with the Oms, human-like creatures that are kept as pets by the Traags.
Fantastic Planet and Mad God are experimental films in their own right, replacing certain expectations of story structure, dialogue, and character development. The “three-act structure” (used by many films today) is not found in Mad God or Fantastic Planet, immersing the audience in the world rather than a linear narrative.