It is always a big cred. when you actually make something by hands and film it over a long time instead of just putting something on a computer. I have always liked the original children's book that is both witty and funny and the film have a lot of it's dark humor and fantasy intact. Sadly, the movie also have terrible songs and the kid actor could have been better.
I watched this first upon release in an otherwise empty cinema as a 9-year-old on a ferry to France. As such, I associate it strongly with travel sickness. A shame, as I like the patchwork cubism, thought I feel the cybernetic/ steampunk sharks were a big mistake, contrasting too sharply against the organic forms and textures of the rest of the film. Not quite as bewitching as 'NBC' nor as energetic but still special
Even though I've only seen this a few times as a kid, this is a pretty good stop-motion animated movie. On a side note: If the rhino was a metaphor for James' fear, then how did the parents die? I guess it doesn't matter but it's one of the funniest and abrupt parental deaths in the Disney catalogue.