Ana-M. Pérez-Guerrero e-mail(Login required) , Andrés Forero-Serna e-mail(Login required)

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Ana-M. Pérez-Guerrero e-mail(Login required)
Andrés Forero-Serna e-mail(Login required)


The purpose of this study is to explore the narrative strategies used to communicate the horror genre in the scripts of Laika studios and to investigate both the extent to which they contribute to imbuing the genre with a unique character in aesthetic and dramatic terms within mainstream animation cinema and the role they fulfil within the framework of their thematic approaches. To this end, a textual analysis of the studio’s productions was conducted for Coraline (Henry Selick, 2009), ParaNorman (Chris Butler & Sam Fell, 2012), The Boxtrolls (Graham Annable & Anthony Stacchi, 2014) and Kubo and the Two Strings (Travis Knight, 2016). The analysis was based on the knowledge categories proposed by Jule Selbo’s (2010) study on the creation of a mental space for the genre. The categories are divided into schematic, specific, and relevant knowledge. Finally, this study demonstrates how the tactics of the horror genre used in these films have enabled a different view of common themes in family-oriented Hollywood animation by communicating a stark image of the family and growing up. Although this image is not transgressive, it is certainly innovative by virtue of its thematic content, in which warnings against romanticising reality abound.


Laika, children?s horror, animation, family movies, narrative strategies, fairy tales


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