Sunday, 24 May 2009

Coraline (2009)

Coraline is a strange little film, its animation and rated PG (in the UK) but its is still one of those films that I wouldn’t consider “for kids”. Anyone familiar with Henry Sellicks “Nightmare before Christmas” will be aware of what to expect visually but paired with Gaimans genius dark wit Coraline is very dark indeed.

The story is an epitome of a Fairy Tale, young Coraline Jones moves into an old house now serving as an Apartment complex. Her life is dull, both parents write for gardening columns but don't like mud. The neighbours are strange and scary, the house old and creepy. One day Coraline discovers a door to another version of her world where everything is magical. There is a perfect “Other Mother” and “Other Father” who dote on her and everything is just wonderful.

The beauty of Gaimans work is his ability to ring alarm bells and to this end the inclusion of the button eyes works perfectly. Even when the fairytale world is perfect there is still this oddness and an underlying tone of menace. You know something is wrong and when you find out the price for Coraline to join her new family it is less then a surprise but brilliant nonetheless.vlcsnap-6081537

Henry Sellicks directorial work and the animation is masterful. The film was intended to be seen in 3D for the best experience and although you can see the odd point where this was intended, unlike certain 3D films this does not override the total vision. Regading the music unfortunately I often have a blind point for musical scores (and some would say a tin ear) so please don't take it as a discourtesy when I say that the score does its job. It fits perfectly with the story but sadly didn’t stick in my mind the way music in a film often can. Perhaps this is no bad thing as the score never overshadows the visuals which are surely the primary concern in any film.

vlcsnap-6113022 When Coraline switches to evil mode it does so with aplomb, it is frightening and sinister. The evil “Other Mother” is truly horrific and Coralines plight is instantly dire.  vlcsnap-6091818

Overall I wouldn’t rate Coraline as a classic film, however it is an EXTREMELY good piece a cinema and a very refreshing change from the dreadful CGI monstrosities that the big studios are recently insisting on pouring down our throats. It treads a fine line between adult and childlike and wouldn’t recommend it for the young uns but for those inquisitive teens of yours its a great bet for a bit of peace and quiet.

If you want to find out more about Neil Gaiman his website is HERE and you can stalk him on twitter @neilhimself

Now I'm hoping for the return of pen and ink animation and my life will be complete.

Paul Out… Now where did i put those buttons.

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