7 films like Wendell & Wild you must watch

By Nicole Ackman
Published: November 5, 2022 (Last updated: January 3, 2024)

We discuss 7 films like Wendell & Wild you must watch. Check out these brilliant recommendations! 

Wendell & Wild marks a return to film for director Henry Selick, who has not released a movie since Coraline in 2009. He and Jordan Peele co-wrote this stop-motion horror comedy, which is more geared towards adults than children as it explores themes of grief and trauma. The film notably reunites the Key and Peele duo as Keegan-Michael Key and Peele voices the titular characters of Wendell and Wild. Angela Bassett, Lyric Ross, James Hong, and Ving Rhames also provide voices for characters.

The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2022 and is now available on Netflix. It received mixed positive reviews from critics, who praised its stop-motion animation but criticized its overambitious screenplay.

In her review for Ready Steady Cut, Amanda Guarragi said, Wendell & Wild has strong themes of grief and guilt that come through in the stunning animation. Kat’s feelings are manifested in Wendell & Wild, but they’re never fully explored. It’s almost as if her storyline is cut short because of situations at the school, in the underworld, and in the corporate business.”

We’ve rounded up seven films that are similar to Wendell & Wild, either in style or in themes, for you to watch next.

7 films like Wendell & Wild you must watch

Coraline (2009)

If you enjoyed the style and directorial flair of Wendell & Wild and you haven’t seen Henry Selick’s previous films, then you definitely must check them out. Coraline was his most recent film before Wendell & Wild and also features gorgeous stop-motion animation. The dark fantasy film features a young girl who finds a passage in her new home to a parallel world.

James and the Giant Peach (1996)

Another one of Selick’s past films is the 1996 stop-motion musical James and the Giant Peach. The adaptation of the 1961 novel by Roald Dahl combined stop-motion and live-action. The cast includes talents like Simon Callow, Susan Sarandon, and David Thewlis. Like Kat in Wendell & Wild, the titular James is an orphan.

Corpse Bride (2005)

Corpse Bride, or Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, is one of a handful of stop-motion films that Tim Burton worked on. He co-directed the film alongside Mike Johnson and the cast includes Burton regulars Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. The film takes place in a Victorian-era English village. It was successful with critics and audiences and was nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

Frankenweenie (2012)

In 2012, Burton directed this 3D stop-motion sci-fi comedy with an impressive cast containing Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, and Winona Ryder. It pays homage to the 1931 film Frankenstein and is an expansion of a 1984 short film that Burton made. The film is notably in black and white. It received positive reviews and did moderately well at the box office, in addition to being nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Film.

Paranorman (2012)

Another stop-motion film that was released in 2012 is Sam Fell and Chris Butler’s ParaNorman. The horror comedy follows a young boy who must end a witch’s 300-year-old curse on his town. Voice talents include Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Leslie Mann, Elaine Stritch, and John Goodman. It was the second stop-motion film to be shot in 3D and the first to use a 3D color printer to create faces. It received positive reviews and was nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

Beetlejuice (1988)

If it’s the hilarious demons that you like in Wendell & Wild, then Beetlejuice is the film for you. Tim Burton’s horror comedy released in 1988 and made its titular character part of American pop culture forever. In the film, a recently deceased couple turned into ghosts are befriended by a demon from the Netherworld who offers to help scare the new residents out of their home. The film features a young Winona Ryder, Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, and Catherine O’Hara. It was an impressive success with both critics and audiences and won the Academy Award for Best Makeup. There is a musical adaptation now playing on Broadway.

Onward (2020)

If you want another animated film about dealing with the grief of the loss of a parent, then Pixar’s Onward is a great choice. In the film, two brothers attempt to find a magical item that can reunite them with their deceased father for 24 hours. It features Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Octavia Spencer, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The film, directed by Dan Scanlon, came out in March 2020 and unfortunately was not a commercial success because of the pandemic. However, it was popular with critics and was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars.

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