Last week I was lucky enough to catch an early screening of Coraline in Chicago, a movie
I had been very interested in seeing since the first trailers came. I have been a fan of
stop-motion animation movies ever since I saw the Cyclops in "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad"
and loved "The Nightmare Before Christmas" so I went into this movie with high hopes.
Let's get this out of the way first. The visuals of this movie are AMAZING, just seeing how
far the animators pushed the puppets in this film is mind blowing, and when you stop to think
that everything is done by hand, and if they make one mistake, they have to start over, that just
adds another level to it. The great thing about looking at stop motion movies is you know everything
is real, every prop and puppet has actually been made, and watching this movie with the 3D glasses
on just adds to that feeling. If you can, see this movie with the glasses, it adds to the movie
without ever being gimmicky, or throwing things in your face.
Ok, enough about the visuals, even the best looking movie can't hold your interest if the story
isn't there, right? Coraline is a fairy tale told in modern times, taking element from Hansel and
Gretel, Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz. It's the story of a Girl unhappy with her life
who finds another world where everything seems perfect, but of course we know it isn't.
What I really loved about this movie was everything seemed real, all the characters seemed
real and had real motivations you could understand. The magical "Other World" had it's own
set of Logic and rules you could understand. The title character Carolin seemed like a real kid
who had to move away from her friend to a small and lonely town, she loves her parents, but
you can see why she also feels ignored by them, and would want to go and live with her "Other
Mother". The other world is all about making Caroline happy, and making her feel like the center
of attention, which makes it seem all the more sinister when you begin to realize it is all a trap.
I really hope this movie becomes a classic for years to come. It has everything it needs to be,
a sympathetic hero, a terrifying Villian, great visuals, and humour that comes from the characters
and no pop culture references in sight. I really can't wait to check this out again, and hope
everyone else checks it out, and brings a friend.