Bleeding into theaters and video-on-demand platforms in time for Halloween, director Raul Garcia’s Extraordinary Tales is an animated anthology of Edgar Allen Poe’s stories that’s as stylistically diverse as it is existentially engrossing.
Starring voices of the late, great Christopher Lee, the iconic Bela Lugosi (from beyond the grave), filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro, B-movie influential Roger Corman, and veteran horror and fantasy actor Julian Sands, Extraordinary Tales brings Poe’s harrowing stories to the screen for newer generations raised on boundless technologies and influences. Opening last Friday, Garcia’s 73-minute, unrated animated anthology ambitiously pulls art, literature, comics, film, and collaboration into its dark embrace and doesn’t let go.
Much of its adaptive spirited comes from Garcia’s youth, which was spent voraciously reading and watching horror, fantasy, and sci-fi, as well as decades spent animating features like Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Fantasia 2000, and more. Marking his feature directorial debut, Extraordinary Tales is a dark dream come true for the animator, nine years in the making. Cartoon Brew spoke at length with Garcia via email about reanimating Poe from the page to the screen, and collaborating across countries and technologies to bring his nightmarish vision to compelling life.