Coraline is a PG rated stop-animation 3-D fantasy thriller about a 12 year old girl who despite all the interesting characters around her, often finds herself bored and lacking adventure. Until one day she discovers a hidden crawl space passageway that leads to a parallel universe. This parallel universe is similar to her own life, yet different in nightmarish ways she doesn’t discover until it’s almost too late.
Coraline and her family pickup all their belongings and move to Oregon so her parents can write for a magazine covering plants in their garden. The setting is very gloomy because all it does is rain. Coraline’s parents are extremely busy with work neglecting her in the process, leaving Coraline to find something adventurous to keep her busy.
She lurks around the house meeting her exuberant neighbors; two old ladies who live below her named Miss April Spink and Miss Miriam Forcible, Mr. Bobinsky who’s an acrobat with trained mice, and Wybie, a new friend Coraline meets while exploring a water well near her house.
Yet with all the interesting characters she meets, Coraline is still searching for the true meaning of self-discovery, which leads her back to the crawl space she found. She finds the key her mother hid from her in a drawyer and opens the mysterious door. Only to find that their is a brick wall behind it. Fortunately for her, at night the brick wall disappears, and a tunnel forms into an alternate reality.
This other reality or parallel universe is very similar to her own, yet her parents call themselves “Other Mom” and “Other Dad”. They have black buttons for eyes, do everything in their power to please Coraline, and the gloomy atmosphere that once was her life is gone and replaced with beautiful scenery including gardens with bright blue flowers and colorful rooms in the house. With this change in atmosphere, there is still an undoubtedly suspicious vibe that this alternate universe isn’t what it’s hyped up to be.
Soon things start to unravel as Coraline’s suspicions turn into fears as all her doubts of this world start to become true. Realizing that her old life of boring self-adventures were more satisfying than the nightmare she now found herself in.
Neil Gaiman is the author of the book Coraline and it has a similar feel to Henry Selick’s (also worked on Coraline) James and The Giant Peach and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Coraline has a consistent build of suspense, thrill and horror with a hint of child-like curiosity and imagination.
What I’m Impressed With
The amount of work it took to make this film. Here are some stats: For the character of Coraline – over 6,300 replacement face pieces and over 207,000 possible face combinations. Think about that for a second, if that doesn’t blow your mind, I seriously think nothing will. More than 70 character fabricators, puppet wranglers, armaturists, mold makers, character painters, costume designers and fabricators, and hair and wig fabricators worked on Caroline alone. (Source: Entertainment2knight on YouTube).
The soundtrack is beautiful, mysterious, suspenseful, and haunting depending on the scene, it’s truly remarkable. If you read one of my other blogs Songs I Love But Can’t Understand you’ll find a song from Coraline.
The story was spectacular. I was curious to see how the narrative would progress. Going in I didn’t think it was going to be as scary as it turned out to be. It’s creepy yet fun, haunting yet beautiful, and opens the world of imagination that many have forgotten as they grew old (not me!).
I liked how they incorporated Wybie in the story and the awkward relationship that turned to friendship throughout the movie. I understand Wybie wasn’t in the book, but I found it a good addition giving Coraline a companion to rely on so she wasn’t talking to herself the entire time.
I gave this a 10/10 because I can’t stop thinking about it. I can’t recommend this film enough. I loved it, simple as that.
Tweet me @TheAlbumWeb let me know if you feel the same way about Coraline as I do or if you like another movie similar that you’d recommend.