The stop-motion animation dark fairy tale 'Coraline' directed by Henry Selick

‘Coraline’ on Netflix

Coraline (2009) opens on a rag doll efficiently taken apart by hands of skeletal steel (like Edward Scissorhands but with menacing needles for fingers) and then turned inside out and recreated in the image of the blue-haired heroine Coraline. It’s produced in the old-school stop motion animation style of articulated dolls and hand-crafted props increasingly […]

Directed by Rémi Chayé

‘Long Way North’ – Animated odyssey on Amazon Prime and Blu-ray/DVD

Long Way North (Shout! Factory) is a gorgeous French-Danish animated feature about a 15-year-old girl from an aristocratic family in 1880s Saint Petersburg who flees her palatial home for the far north to search for the lost ship of her explorer grandfather Oloukine. He disappeared in his attempt to conquer the North Pole in the […]

Gerry Anderson's 1966 feature film spin-off of the Supermarionation TV series

The original ‘Thunderbirds Are Go’ on Amazon Prime

Gerry Anderson’s 1960s Supermarionation series action series about a private rescue organization with really cool vehicles was an inspired mix of Japanese monster movie mayhem and British stiff upper lip cool. It brought new meaning to the term “wooden performance”; its stars were literally puppets, a rather bland and interchangeable marionette family of clean living […]

Kris Kringle in 'Santa Claus is Comin' to Town,' a Rankin and Bass TV special

Santa, Rudolph, and Frosty: Beloved Christmas specials on Amazon Prime

For big kids of certain age, it wasn’t really Christmas until all those silly Christmas specials produced by Rankin& Bass, usually with stop motion animation that looked like toy rooms come to life but sometimes with more traditional hand-drawn animation, started showing up on prime time TV. Sure, A Charlie Brown Christmas and the original […]

Kevin Costner and his team in 'McFarland, USA'

‘McFarland, USA’ with Kevin Costner on SVOD and Blu-ray/DVD

In McFarland, USA, Kevin Costner is the hothead of a coach who lands in an impoverished California desert town and starts a cross country team with Mexican-American students who, until his arrival, had little hope of a future outside of working the fields. Disney has really carved this genre out for itself: the true-life underdog […]