Thursday, July 8, 2010

Craftastic Movies!

We here at The WonderCraft loooove watching movies, especially the artsy ones! So, inspired by Photojojo's Ultimate Photo Movie Roundup, I thought I'd make my own list of fave movies that feature awesome handmade sets & props. This is just a short list, and I know I've probably left out lots of craftacular flicks, so please leave a note in the comments about others we should all check out.

1. Adventures of Prince Achmed, directed by Lotte Reiniger (1926)
I recently had a very enjoyable evening with friends watching Prince Achmed at the Alamo Drafthouse with a live musical score. This movie is simply stunning! It's the oldest surviving animated film, yet it looks as if it could have been created today. The film is a beautiful feast for the eyes in silhouette style; all of the characters were made of cardboard cut-outs. You can see snippets of Prince Achmed on YouTube, but if a theater in your area screens this film, don't miss it!

2. Coraline, written & directed by Henry Selick (2009)
Coraline, another animated film, is a must-see for makers, filled with crafty goodness in every scene. The entire set, plus all of the characters & props are all totally handmade! The number of tiny details in this film is astounding, too. Itty-bitty sweaters were knit for the characters by Althea Crome - you've got to see this to believe it! Craft did a great write-up about the craftiness of Coraline when the movie came out, which includes a video of Crome knitting those crazy-small sweaters.

 3. The Science of Sleep, written & directed by Michel Gondry (2006, French)
This is a movie that I really, really loved, for so many reasons (one of which is that I have a bigtime crush on the star, Gael García Bernal). But aside from the hunk factor, it's just such a cool little love story & a visually arresting film. Bernal's character, Stéphane, is a total dreamer, super-creative & so in touch with his imaginative side that he often confuses it with reality. There are a lot of surreal touches in the film, such as a scene where Stéphane drives a cardboard car. There are also many interesting & unique handmade objects created by Stéphane & his love interest, Stéphanie. These include a little white boat that contains a forest inside, an animatronic horse & a "one-second time machine." Check this wonderful little movie out - I think you'll like the story & all of the unusual handmade props.

4. Fantastic Mr. Fox, directed by Wes Anderson (2009)
Fantastic Mr. Fox is based on the novel of the same name by Roald Dahl, which tells the story of a band of clever animals who raid the nearby large-scale farms. This film is an adorable and funny film that employs stop-motion animation of fabulous handmade puppets. Similarly to Coraline, the filmmakers behind Fantastic Mr. Fox created an amazingly detailed miniature world that is a real treat for the eyes. Take a look behind-the-scenes to see how this fun movie was made in the "Cutting-Edge Fox" video on

So what are your favorite craftacular movies? Know of some others that showcase handmade artistry? Please share in the comments!


  1. They Might Be Giants kids DVDs feature knitted puppets and other crafty props. So cute!

  2. Love Coraline and Science of Sleep! I have been meaning to see Fantastic Mr. Fox.

  3. I love all those movies! Except for The Adventures of Prince Achmed, I have yet to see it, but I want to now!

  4. "blood tea and red string"! and anything by the brothers quay or jan svankmeyer ("faust" is my favorite, but they all have crafty weirdness). they are riddled with buttons and things you would find in and under your couch. i think "Survive Style 5+" might have some good stuff. crazy rooms and sets. Also, the Peter Greenaway movie, "A Zed and Two Naughts".

  5. ooooo, and maybe "Citizen Dog", a Thai (i think?) movie that is every bit as charming as Amelie, with the wacky knob to 11.