Tuesday, 2 December 2014
I missed Coraline at the theatres, so picked it up on DVD ... and then didn't watch it for five years.
On the plus side, this is the last DVD that I purchased prior to 2011 and still hadn't watched, so this blog is having its desired effect (when I started, I had stuff dating back to before 2007).
So this is based on a Neil Gaiman novel, and having seen the film, I think I'll track down the book. I suspect I will like it more. Not that I hated the movie, but from a glance at wikipedia, the most significant changes it made were among my least favorite elements. But we'll get to those in a bit; first, a precis.
What we have here is a dark modern fairy tale (from Neil Gaiman? What a shock!) filmed using the same techniques as A Nightmare Before Christmas. I have to say though that I like this film's visuals much more. I think they're significantly more inventive, with some great details in the design work. I found this film a pleasure just to watch for the visual aspect alone.
Coraline is a young girl of maybe 12 years of age who is rather discontented with her parents. They're always working, and her mom in particular interacts with her only to forbid her from doing fun things, or to tell her to stop bothering them. I mean sure, sometimes adults are busy, but Coraline's mom isn't very nice about it.
So it's probably not surprising that Coraline is unhappy, especially as they've recently moved and she doesn't know anyone. Which is why she's so pleased to discover a secret, magical door that leads to a world where her parents are warm and funny and very attentive.
Of course, it's the way of such things that the seeming wonderland has a darker side, which Coraline will discover soon enough. This leads into the final act of the film, where she has to fight to save herself and her parents from the danger to which she has unwittingly exposed them.
So what did the movie do that I didn't like? It added Wibey, a male character that is purportedly there to 'give Coraline someone to talk to', but who ends up doing quite a bit too much actually-saving-the-day for my tastes. Way to undermine the cool female protagonist, film-making dudes.
That said, if you like Gaiman's work, or the idea of spooky, kooky movies in general, then you should check this one out. Even with Wibey stealing way too much of Coraline's thunder, it's an entertaining flick.