Earlier this year, while we had the HBO/Showtime free trial, I recorded the film Coraline, as I heard good reviews about it. Also, I’m not a snob, and I can appreciate a good animated flick. Life, as always, adds complications, so I never finished watching it in one sitting. I took a day off today to prep for my Bike MS ride, so I had some time to watch the last 20 minutes at lunchtime.
Coraline is a 2009 animated film, and based on the 2002 Neil Gaiman novella. What’s interesting is a fellow named Henry Selick wrote the screenplay, directed, and produced the film. Also, film has a nice cast — Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, and Ian McShane. The story has a certain Lewis Carroll Alice in Wonderland theme to it. Coraline is a young girl who, along with her gardening catalog-writing parents, move from Michigan to Oregon to these apartments. Her parents are so busy writing this garden catalog that they don’t have time entertain her, or even cook proper meals. The neighbors are a strange cast of characters, including a boy named Wybie and a black cat. Wybie finds a mysterious doll that has a strong resemblance to Coraline, and gives it to her. Coraline later finds a small covered-up door in the living room, and crawls through it to the “Other World”, which has doppelgängers of the people in her life, except that they have black buttons in place of human eyes. This “Other World” initially seems better, as life is more fun, her parents cook grand meals, and shower her with love. As she spends more time there, the world doesn’t seems so benign after a while.
What I liked about this film is that, while it is an animated film directed for a young audience, parents could sit and watch it too. The story is intriguing, the animation and music are good, and at no point did I feel that this was a dumbed-down story. It was exciting and full of feeling. I’d recommend this film.