Monday, August 24, 2009


Coraline is a different kind of movie. Not animated, not real life, but stop-motion photography taken to the hundredth degree. It's a much improved The Nightmare Before Christmas process. And with a much better script.

Coraline is a little girl who's had to move to Oregon from Michigan, Oregon which is cold and lonely and rainy. And her parents are totally involved with their time-sensitive project, their gardening catalog. They're much too busy to garden because they're both busy writing the catalog. So Coraline looks for something to entertain herself. She finds a secret door in her room. She enlists her mom to help her open it, and, during a dream one night, follows the ribbon-like mice into the doorway, and disappears into another world. This world has a much more attentive mother and father who cook what she wants for dinner and who play games with her. The only difference, it seems, is that the other mom and dad have button eyes. Coraline soon learns this is a dangerous world.

This is a very dark film. No parent should think their kid under the age of 15 should see this. Even then, parents should keep it away from sensitive children, or even adults.

It's a fascinating world created by Neil Gaiman but changed so that the world works cinematically by director/producer Henry Selick. The plot is so strong, and it's a good thing, because otherwise it would be really easy to lose track of what's going on because everything in Coraline's world, real or not, is amazingly colorful and animated. And the fake world seems even moreso.

It's gorgeous, it's intriguing, it's simply amazing. Take a look at the extras with the DVD, and learn just how much that's true.

Thumb's up.


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