Coraline - The Movie

Coraline – The Movie

On Saturday night, I saw Coraline in 3D.  I read the book and saw the movie for the Lit Flicks Challenge.

Coraline’s family has moved into an old house divided into separate apartments.  Her parents are busy writing a new gardening catalog and have no time to entertain Coraline.  In desperation, her father tells her to count all the doors in their new home.  She does count all the doors and finds a small one that is locked and wallpapered over.  When she begs her mother to unlock it, she is disappointed to find that it has been bricked in.  That night, though, she follows mice downstairs and to that very door.  The bricks are gone and a passageway leads to the other world where Coraline’s other mother and other father are ready to indulge her every desire.  Coraline begins to think that the other world is preferable to the real world.  However, the other world starts to show its dark underbelly, and, with the help of a cat, Coraline goes head-to-head with her other mother in a battle to save her real world.

In all, this was an amazingly faithful adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s work.  The scenes were so vivid and real.    In one of the scenes in the other world, Coraline finds herself in a theatre filled with dogs.  It looked exactly how I envisioned it when I read the book.   It was scary having the elements of this book come alive.  I loved this quote from A.O. Scott’s review:

There are many scenes and images in Coraline that are likely to scare children. This is not a warning but rather a recommendation, since the cultivation of fright can be one of the great pleasures of youthful moviegoing. As long as it doesn’t go too far toward violence or mortal dread, a film that elicits a tingle of unease or a tremor of spookiness can be a tonic to sensibilities dulled by wholesome, anodyne, school-approved entertainments.

This was a fun, scary movie.  And it was beautifully crafted.  The stop motion animation was so painstakingly done that you hardly even noticed it, except to note how beautiful and realistic everything looked.  Even the 3D animation, which I usually hate, was relatively unobstrusive.  The only two complaints I had were very minor: some of the music was a little distracting at the beginning and there were some really gigantic scantily clad women gadding about.  However, those two things can be easily overlooked.  This was one of the times where the movie equalled or exceeded the book.