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It's a dark animation which presents a post-apocalyptical world in which a lonely and unhappy girl is tempted into a dream place which seems to fulfill her every wish. It's beautifully animated, well written, with unique characters and a very interesting plot. Unfortunately, it lacks in terms of action and to my disappointment, it features a highly anticipated and predictable finale which sorts everything out almost out of nowhere and at a blink of an eye. It could have been an extraordinary piece of animation, and partly it is, but falls a bit behind the masterpieces due to its unconvincing and rushed finale but also due to its lack of action.
The theme of the film is to "focus on style or texture" (Petrie, Boggs, 2012, p. 20), as previously mentioned, Selick's other works point out his unique talents in creating dark, fantasy worlds that are just passable and manageable for the older kid groups. Telling a story similar to James and the Giant Peach you find yourself following a younger person who doesn't exactly like their current situations and seek out a little more, only to find themselves on a dangerous adventure filled with unimaginable beings or creatures. The artistry in Coraline is always present with large miniature sets on display and various camera work to mimic a live action film. Nearly every time Coraline leaves the house to go outside we are treated with the "the zoom lens" (Petrie, Boggs, 2012, p. 117) showing us just how magnificent the scale of the set and detailed modeling used. The choice of colors should be noted to in Coraline as they generally are gloomy and contain shades of off blue and purple, making us all feel uneasy as to what is happening or can occur throughout the experience.
As you dig further into the story and this unnatural but seemingly better world, you learn along with Coraline that not everything is as it seems. Unraveling the disguises and illusions, you become fully sensitive to the style of film this is and appreciate the stop-motion effects. From bizarre transformations to impossible realities, the movie proves Selick to be right in how he can compete with a lighter storytelling method used by companies such as Disney and Pixar. So much so that the award-winning 2016 movie Kubo and the Two Strings takes direct influence from Selick's work, giving us all a Tim Burton Beetlejuice feeling that there is something to be made in the stop-motion fantasy worlds.
A common item to decipher the normal world to the other world in our story of Coraline would be the replacement of the eyes with simple buttons, a "motif" if you will. (Petrie, Boggs, 2012, p. 27). These buttons symbolize a dark meaning of course as to lose one's sight would mean you cannot see and naturally would become lost over time in a place that you may have believed better than the world where you could see. The dark fantasy style that Selick has become known for is after all what this film embodies and is held to, a high recommendation for those who dare to explore.
The story is about a teenager named Coraline who moves into a three story apartment home called Pink Paradise with her parents. Her parents are workaholics and they don't really seem to care about Coraline at all. Things start to get boring for the teenager and she wishes for other things. One day, Coraline finds a hidden door blocked by a wall of bricks. That night she dreams, and she travels through the door to a para rel world, a world where her dreams come true. A world where her parents treat her like a princess and love her. As time goes on, turns out this opposite world is not what Coraline thinks it is, and turns out to be a living Hell run by a monster known as "Other Mother".
It was a very bizarre film, that's why I thought it was made by Tim Burton. It was a story that gradually turned dark and menacing, it was fun and dark. It has a moral and lesson to it, be careful what you wish for, because it might not be what you expect it to be and be a complete nightmare. The people with the button eye's were creepy, it freaked me out. This film is not for children, and a parent should watch it with them if they view it, it is more for the teenage and adult crowed. It makes for a great Halloween movie. Be careful what you wish for, it just might come true in a terrible way.
9/10 for Coraline
Coraline is a masterpiece. Directed by Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas) the film was released in 2009 to positive reviews and was a success.
The film's animation is absolutely amazing. Seriously, there is so much attention to detail in this film, and it blew my mind! The character designs are very good as well.
The story follows Coraline Jones, an extremely bratty girl who discovers a small door in her new home that leads to a parallel universe. The inhabitants have button eyes to top it off, and if that's not creepy enough, it turns out this amazing world is just a trap.
This film is creepy. If you have young kids who are scared easily, please watch it before you show them. It's just a very creepy film, and can be very scary.
Overall, I love Coraline and it will remain one of my favorites for a long time.
Last year's incredible Kubo and the Two Strings and 2012's ParaNorman should've automatically prompted me to check out the always talked about Coraline. I don't have access to 3D outside the red/blue glasses that comes with movies like Friday the 13th Part III and I was told specifically that this movie needed to be seen in 3D. Not true.
Well, yeah, I didn't see it in 3D to completely verify that claim, but I do know if the only reason a movie is good or a must-see is because of a technical aspect or in some cases, a gimmick, then the movie's got problems. This movie might have been even more fun with the visuals popping out, but dang it, I had a complete blast watching it without the additional dimension.
Coraline was a marvel at storytelling, visuals, heart and adventure. The art of making these stop-motion films should be an Academy Award on its own for the countless hours, energy and passion the geniuses devoted. I love these kinds of movies 100x more than any CGI cartoon. But, you still need to have a story.
Wow, Coraline has the worst of all parents and that sets up for the fantasy of the little girl travelling to Wonderland to meet the duplicated, albeit polar-opposite family and surroundings of her real world. But, if it's too good to be true
While many movie's premises slowly gets progressively worse, this movie does the opposite. I did like the movie up front, but as it moved forward, my eyes widened and my soul relished in each new inventive scene, great dialogue and wondrous adventure they had in store for us.
This came out in 2009 and as recently as 2016, they're still making them. I am stoked they are. These cannot be easy to make, they keep getting criminally passed up for best Animated Oscars and they usually don't have huge box office receipts. But, if you care about true art being made – in all formats, true spirit in cinema and some of the best and most realistic stories in some of the best and most fantastical realms, you need to check out these Laika beauties.
Final thoughts: That's two for two for me! What I playfully called my "Surreal Saturday" movie double feature turned out way better than I had thought. First off was the fantastic Pan's Labyrinth and I followed that with Coraline. Both were first time viewings from me and both 10/10 stars. Now, that was actually a Super Saturday!
Coraline Jones (Dakota Fanning) moves with her parents (Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman) from Michigan to the run down Pink Palace Apartments (which is really a divided house) in Oregon. Because her parents focused on finishing their garden catalog and her neighbors being to strange to talk to, Coraline becomes very bored and decides to explore the house only to find a small door that is bricked up. That night she opens up the same door only find a corridor to the Other World, which is the same as her normal life with a catch. Everything seems nicer and better and the people in this world are known as the Others have buttons as eyes. Coraline becomes very attracted to the alternate world and starts to visit it commonly not realizing that she is going to fall in a dark and twisted trap.
The film is based on the novella written by Neil Gaiman who even admitted in an interview I found online that he actually got scared by the movie. That is the sign of a really good adaptation and "Coraline" is easily that. The film's story takes the novella and expands it very well by adding details that don't feel unnecessary and characters you can easily like. I also love how the film gradually goes from being very happy and glowing to very creepy and disturbing and not making it feel rushed. The animation is also by far, the best element of the film. Unlike other stop motion animated movies where the puppets were typically made by clay, the people at Laika decide to make the puppets faces using a 3D printer which is something I think has never been done before. Apart from it great because it's brand new, it looks great because the film has a different assortments of colors which establishes the mood perfectly. The characters have very identifiable personalities, yet the best thing about them is that they're not perfect. What I mean by perfect is not their always happy nice. Even Coraline isn't a perfect character as she does get jealous and egotistical at times. I love characters that are like this. The last thing that I really loved about the film was the film's musical score written by Bruno Coulais. The music had the right mood by being both very calming and very unpleasant when its needed. As far as flaws with them are, I do find the parents in the beginning are a little unlikeable. I know that it's to set up the story with Coraline, but I think they could have been a little less grumpy.
"Coraline" is just fantastic. It's a film that has the right amount of creepiness that leads to a new Halloween classic with it's great story, animation and characters. I hope Henry Selick can continue making movies like this as this film is proof that he can make good movies without the help of Tim Burton.
Coraline is an easy example for a movie masterpiece to me. The movie has perfect pacing, Believable Characters,a Beautiful innovative atmosphere, a phenomenal OST, and to top it all off, Stunning 3D stop motion Animation.
A short synopsis: Coraline Jones is moving into a place called Pink Palace it's somewhat of a boarding home, Whilst Coraline's Parents are always working it leads to her being curious and wanting to adventure. eventually she finds a boarded up mini door, Being her curious self she gets her mom to check inside, only to find bricks that is; that same night though Coraline is awoken and lead to the door by a mouse. Now the door leads somewhere beyond her imagination.
Coraline's only flaw is that it ends.
So much time and effort went into this but I was not really floored by the visuals or the story execution. As much as I love stop motion, it has so much time required to make it and then you have to make it a good movie too. This one falls into the same category as Anomalisa in that it is visually impressive but falls flat as a complete story.
Coraline Jones (Dakota Fanning) has just moved with her family to Oregon from her home in Michigan. Her parents (Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman) ignore her and spend their time writing for a gardening catalog, and the neighbors – an elderly pair of former actresses, a crazy man who claims to train mice for a circus, and a boy named Wyborne (he goes by "Wybie") who follows her around – are all a bit strange for her liking. In her new home, though, she finds a small door that leads to a world almost the same as her own, only better.
Here, her parents pay loads of attention to her, the actresses are beautiful acrobats, her crazy neighbor actually has a circus of kangaroo mice, and Wybie can't talk! After a few trips to this world, she is just about ready to stay, until she hears the catch: she must gouge out her eyes and replace them with buttons. Her parents have also been captured, and so she must defeat the monstrous Beldam who controls the fantasy and set things back to the way they were.
It isn't often that a movie captures me as fully as Coraline does. The characters, story, animation, music, overall design, and little details in the world and between characters all come together to create one of the most unique movies that I have ever seen. Coraline herself is a wonderful character, and we get to watch a bored girl with a poor attitude develop the strength to accept that while her world is not perfect, it is what she has, and she can love it for that.
This film sets up its macabre and charming tone from the opening shots – under fairly creepy music a hand of needles empties a doll and builds a new one, before sending it floating out of a nearby window. For lovers of stop motion, Selick's past works, or creepy movies in general, this is one that simply can't be missed.
Such is true of Coraline, a cinematic fairy tale crafted by writer Neil Gaiman and director Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas). Based on a book by Gaiman, this visually astounding stop-motion masterpiece is a reminder that not all fairy tales have wistful princesses and happy musical numbers (sorry, Disney). This is a return to the creepy morality tales of yore, and while young children may have nightmares from the unsettling mood and tone, older children and adults will likely delight in both its imagination and its message.
Coraline's title character is a plucky and resilient child (expertly voiced by Dakota Fanning) who has moved to a dusty, lonely old house in Washington with her parents. Both are neglectful in their own way: her father is caring enough, but is constantly aloof, while her mother (voiced by Teri Hatcher) is so busy that she hardly notices her daughter, and is often annoyed by her when she does.
One night, Coraline discovers a portal into a parallel existence: same house, same parents, but here everything is exactly as she wishes it were in reality. The dreariness of her true home is replaced by vibrant colors and spectacle. Her neglectful parents are replaced by updated versions who live only to lavish her with affection and wish-fulfillment. Soon Coraline begins to greatly prefer the alternate life to her actual one. It's all seems perfect, but she (and the audience) cannot shake the unsettling suspicion that something isn't quite right. Only a sage old black cat (who is realistically silent in the "real world," but suavely vocal in other) seems to understand the dangers behind the seductive facade of Coraline's dream world.
To say more would be to ruin the surprises, but suffice to say that the film contains excellent messages for those who look for discussion points to share with their children afterward. The dream world serves as a perfect metaphor for the cunningly disguised lies of harmful people, as well their tactics of using subtle counterfeits to grant people's wishes in the short run, while slowly entangling (and later chaining) them in the long run.
As my mother always said: "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is." With regards to Coraline's dream parents, they may be seen as a practical warning against slick strangers who might lure children away by promising them exactly what they want (much like the "candy man" character in Chitty Chitty Bang-Bang). The black cat, whose warnings initially go unheeded, may be seen to serve a similar purpose to parents, friends, and teachers. He is a wise, caring character who sees and understands things that the protagonist does not yet comprehend, tries to keep her from harm, and helps her when she is in peril.
Furthermore, the film not only reminds parents of the need to give their children attention and affection, but also helps children understand the stresses of parenting and the need for gratitude for the parents they do have.
In addition to serving as a lasting morality tale, Coraline is a terrific artistic achievement. While computer-generated animation is en vogue at the moment, the terrific and nearly seamless stop-motion animation here is something different and gorgeous to behold. The film is currently showing both in 3D and as a regular feature; I recommend that you see it in 3D if possible, as the richly designed sets and characters were meant to be experienced in that format. Far from a mere gimmick, the 3D in this case actually brings more life to the story, revealing layers and depth that were actually created by hand and filmed, one meticulous frame at a time.
Parents should be warned, that while the film contains no real violence, it is full of unsettling images and a creepy atmosphere that will doubtless give nightmares to little ones (much like the wicked witch from The Wizard of Oz, though this is a good deal scarier). There is mild profanity. A scantily-dressed and buxom elderly woman, though a clay-animated figure and far from titillating, may be offensive to some. That said, for older kids, teens, and adults who possess rich imaginations and an appreciation for this type of film, Coraline is a terrific night at the movies, and worth the added fee to view in 3D.
Although I have only read a fraction of Gaiman's work, I think this really captures some of his themes. The focus on childhood being a fantastic age, and the idea of other worlds just beyond the horizon. Mix in the very appropriate Selick-style direction, and you get just the right feel.
I would also like to give a shout-out to John Linnell. Without knowing his involvement, I immediately recognized the voice and that made me love the film all that much more. If it is in fact true that They have more tracks that were never used, I do hope they see the light of day. They Might Be Giants is ridiculously prolific, and more often than not succeed in creating wonderful sounds.
I'd greatly consider it a classic in animation history, a movie you'll want to keep forever, eventually showing your kids and then your grandkids!
It's a movie that shows family films can still be enjoyed by everyone! Kids will enjoy it, adults will enjoy it, teens will, and chances are, even seniors will enjoy watching it!
Journey into Tim Burton's mind with this movie and yet, the mind of its creators and Laika at the same time as well!
The film begins dingy and foreboding, like The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Unlike most films of this nature, the creep factor is introduced and interrupted by a heartwarming interlude. But once the plot twists, the creep factor immediately jumps and remains high for the rest of the movie.
I highly recommend for anyone who loves Tim Burton (lord of the bizarre) or for those who enjoy a good scare.
The story is of a young girl who moves to a new home and discovers another world inside a little door, where everything is better but this wonderful place isn't exactly what it seems.
I remember watching this film at the cinema and my mum got up to go to the bathroom and I went with her, I waited outside the loos and she said "Aren't you going" and I said "No I just wanted to get away from that film". No don't be put off by that comment because it was the first creepy film I'd watched and I was about 7. But I was determined to love this film for what it was, so I watched it over and over and I am no longer scared by it!
The animation is stunning and the work that everyone has done on the film is magnificent *small applause*. It is so amazing that everything is made by hand and they have been so creative with what they use; the blossoms on the trees are painted popcorn and one of the flowers is a dog toy that has been cut in half.
I would say when Coraline realises what is really happening in the Other World, the scenes become a little disturbing but I would just watch it because it's a great film.
I don't want to put you off this film because it is wonderful! I am so glad it has been the start of a new journey for Laika as well, with films like ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls following after it. I personally think that Coraline is the best films (so far) that Laika has made because you can really see all the love that has gone into making this film.
It's amazing. Go watch it.
Voiced by Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, John Hodgman and Robert Bailey Jr
Written by Neil Gaiman (Novel)
Screenplay written by and also directed by Henry Selick
At last a great movie!
The whole thing is just incredible from the story to the voice actors to the unbelievably good animation. Right from the beginning credits ( which are superb by the way) this movie sucks you in and it doesn't matter how old you are. Neil Gaiman is gaining a top class reputation as a writer and this has all the hallmarks of his imagination. I haven't read the book or most of his books, so I don't know how it compares to the novel, but this works brilliantly as a movie in it's own right.
I am in my forties but I enjoyed this movie just as much as any kid would. In my opinion it manages to create a magical world within a magical world much better than anything I've seen from the hands of Tim Burton or anybody else.
It's fun and totally hypnotizing.