What We're Watching: Halloween
Happy Halloween! We are jumping right on the creepy bandwagon this week with our viewing recommendations—two spooky programs inspired by books, the first of which could make a great costume. We hope you find time to revisit these classic unsettling stories!
This Week's Recommendations for Younger Viewers
Recommended for Grades 4+
Available to stream on Starz
This stop-motion animated fantasy horror film is based on the Neil Gaiman novel of the same name. Lots of Neil Gaiman books have been adapted for the screen but this one is among our favorites. Coraline is an adventurous girl who has just moved to a new town, which she finds extremely boring, so boring in fact that her father suggests counting all the doors and windows on their house as an activity. As she wanders aimlessly around the house she discovers a small secret door that leads to a parallel world with a fantasy version of her life. This parallel world contains a sinister secret that Corlaine must risk her life to reveal.
- Describe Coraline. What kind of person is she?
- How is she treated by her parents and how does she feel about it?
- How is she treated differently by her parents in the other world? How does she feel about them? What does she like about life in the other world?
- Which family would you choose and why?
- When Coraline unlocks the secret door, she knows she is doing something she isn't supposed to do. Why do you think she does it anyway? How did it make you feel? What were the consequences?
- In what ways does Coraline demonstrate bravery throughout the story?
- What significance do mirrors have in the movie? Do you think they represent the real world or an illusion?
- How does the cat help Coraline over the course of the movie? What challenge does Coraline present to the other mother? How does Coraline trick the other mother and return home?
- What do you think Coraline learns from being in the other world?
Coraline by Neil Gaiman, Grades 3+
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Grades 4+
The Boxtrolls (2014), Grades 4+
Monster House (2006), Grades 5+
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Grades 2+
ParaNorman (2012), Grades 5+