There is a type of animated film which can be best described as Gothic – not in the sense of those depressing looking kids who dress up in black and wear heavy eye-liner, but in the original sense of that word, dark, flowery and spooky, or as it is rather better put in these definitions of the word taken from the Urban Dictionary:-
(n.) 1. A word generally used in relation the the macabre or other darker elements.
2. A movement in literature that branched off of the individualist movement of the 1700’s, usually revolving around the darker elements of human nature.
3. Jagged and spacious architecture, usually referenced by Gothic cathedrals, in which vast open areas invoke feelings of belittlement.
4. A stereotype encompassing whiny, pissant teenagers craving attention. Usually identified by an immense use of black, vampires, blood, and anarchy symbols.
In this post I am using the word in the sense of the first two of the above definitions, so macabre, spooky and dark animations of which you might be surprised to know there are a vast number out there. Seems there is a gloomy and macabre streak in the minds of many animators – curious when you think of what most people think of when you say the word “animations”, sweet and twee. But not these guys!
So what constitutes a Gothic animation? I feel that this film sums it up quite well. Darker and more macabre would be hard to imagine, and I feel it would be a sign of a deeply disturbed personality to even be capable of imagining anything nastier than this film.
So sit back and watch what has to be a definitively Gothic animated film.
See what I mean? Not something to show to your 5 year old kids is it?
Paradoxically, while the film above has all the best known aspects of a Gothic film, not all Gothic films are so gruesome, and certainly not all of them are as literally dark. This next one (which is the first of a whole series of animations which tell one long story in serial form) has cheerful colours in it, and isn’t totally macabre… yet……
Generally however, the chief characteristic of a true Gothic animation is that it is dark (literally) macabre and as scary as possible, and as I mentioned above, there are literally thousands of them to be found on the internet these days. Seems that the internet is not only made up of photos of cute cats and food, but also by the darker mind-sets of many animators.. Which is an odd thing to think about isn’t it?
There are however, animations that can be described as Gothic out there, but that are not really spooky, scary or even macabre. One such is the following animation, called The Maker. It is a sort of parable about how one generation hands on to the following generation. And while it is certainly dark in the literal sense, and the beings in it are not exactly lovable, it is a very gentle film in its feel and totality, one that I am actually very fond of, and am happy to be able to share it with you guys out there in Blog Reading Land.
It also seems to be about the power of music in our lives, something that speaks very powerfully to me, as music plays an extremely important part on my life – listening to it, not playing it I am afraid.
So to end this short look at Gothic films, here is an endearing one, to make up for the awfulness of the first one.
See? A likeable little film, but still I feel one that can be described as Gothic.
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Do let us know about any other interesting examples of Gothic animations that you have discovered and particularly enjoyed.