Coraline (2009) Review


As our capability to produce cgi films become easier and faster to produce, the amount of “well made” ones are in doubt as to either how seemingly believable (visual-wise) or an engaging metaphorical story can make due for what we see on screen. As a result, stop-motion films have become less common, starting almost as early 90’s. Few examples being the much beloved Wallace and Gromit, as well as Gumby; this is where the movie Coraline (2009) reminds us that stop-motion pictures can still impress even in a time where technology in filmmaking has become hyped on the pretty factor to awe audiences.

Coraline (2009)
Tagline: “Be careful what you wish for…”

Tagline: "Careful what you wish for."

Promotional movie poster.

Director Henry Selick’s animated adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s international best-seller. Coraline
crawls through a secret door into a wonderful parallel world, which gets increasingly eerie and disturbing as time goes by…

Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith David,
John Hodgman, Robert Bailey Jr., Ian McShane, Aankha Neal, George Selick,
Hannah Kaiser, Harry Selick, Marina Budovsky, Emerson Hatcher, Jerome Ranft.

Summary: A young girl, wishing for love and attention from her parents, whom are busy with their career
Based on a book of the same title, the story focuses on Coraline Jones, who has a rather angst attitude towards her parents, seeing as they do not give her much attention and love. The Jones family has moved into an old manor-turned-rental, offerred by the elderly Mrs. Lovat . Coraline discovers a secret door hidden by wallpaper in the living room. Unbeknownst to her, the door has a passage leading a paralell world, which seems like a perfect rendition of her own reality. But something is amiss beneath all this perfection and disturbingly heartwarming world, other than the fact everyone has buttons for eyes. I’m not going to spoil it for you though; you’ll have to watch it yourself!

Review: Viewers are also introduced to eccentric supporting characters of whose interesting personalities and etiquettes seems to be not the only thing that stands out, but their foreshadowing messages from beyond which they tell Coraline (“Do not go through little door!” whispers Mr. Bobinsky) or perhaps two retired middle-aged actresses who look at tea brews for visions, similiar to a gypsy with a crystall ball, then again; would you believe a blue-skinned Russian acrobat who talks to mice or the latter?

[The jumping mice] say: "Do not go through little door!"

“Do not go through little door!”

This blogger is ashamed he cannot find a copy of the book, otherwise he’d review the movie and book together. One notable thing was that the main heroine talked to herself in the book, rather than to a socially-awkward grandson of the landlady, Wibey. The decision to add the character was made by the makers of the film, saying it works better to have a substitute to these inner thoughts from Coraline to have a ventilation, than watching a girl talk to herself the entire film.

I’m assuming children won’t exactly understand non-linear dialogues that well. This was a rated-PG movie though, but one wouldn’t bring their brain into the theater on first viewing unless to question a film’s logical direction. The theme of the film could be as clichéd as the tagline (“Be careful what you wish for…”) or something more deep as the struggle of a preteen, trying to cope with the changing of things (the family moved from Pontiac, Michigan) and how she finds it hard for the adults (her parents) to understand her as anything more than their little darling. Although, she seems quite smart for a girl her age, she feels infuriated not only by this treatmen, but also the fact she has a name which most would mistaken for “Caroline”.

A visually artistic, yet almost surreal in atmosphere that is The composition which consists mainly of choir singing, adds an eerie but beautiful feel to each scene; an innocent yet haunting, distorted hymns. The only complaint might be how everything seemed rushed towards the end. When the story comes to a conclusion, it does so in a hurry and gives us no time to think.A plot that reminds most of us about the difficulty of moving around and fitting in with new faces; this could be a film for with the family. Just a reminder though: if your siblings have to sit through this with you, just be sure this won’t traumatize them on the subject of needles and buttons!


9 Responses to “Coraline (2009) Review”

    • Hehe, thanks! This was the first time I ever written and posted on a blog. I got a few other films I plan to do reviews on; the next one will be Pontypool (2008) or Naked Lunch (1991)

  1. Mia Ishata Says:

    Ello :3 Nice post

  2. Acheron the Fox Says:

    Very good, both original and fulfilling of the plot and background!

  3. every eloquent and nicely written. awesome analysis! well done!

  4. incredibly well written

  5. Very well-done and professional looking.

  6. Great job Gun. I hope you pursue this interest of yours…I have a bunch of films I can throw onto your computer sometime if you want. A mix of everything. Let me know…Mr. Matt

  7. Awesome info once again! Thanks a lot;)

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