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Coraline was a film that my son showed interest in when it was released and so I bought him the DVD for Christmas one year. It's a film we have watched quite a few times since and this is my review of the film.
Coraline is based on a best selling book by Neil Gaiman but to be honest I had no idea of this fact until I bought my son the DVD and this information was provided on the blurb on the back of the box. It tells the story of Coraline Jones who with her parents moves in to a new house. Coraline is bored and inquisitive and as she searches through the house she discovers a secret little door and on the other side seems to find an alternate version of her life with parents who are the same to look at apart from their button eyes and whom are to Coraline at least seemingly a lot more perfect than her own busy real life parents. However, this seemingly perfect alternate life turns dangerous when her other mother wants Coraline to join them permanently and have her own button eyes and such like. Coraline must use her intuition, skills and be very brave to try and save her real life family and friends from the other family.
This film comes from the same director as the nightmare before Christmas film and from the off I think you can see similarities on how characters look. They aren't the kind of cute characters that you would expect from a Disney film for example and they come across as a bit more realistic looking. The "other" family look suitably scary with their button eyes and when the other mother turns in to her true form towards the end of the film she again looks quite scary looking. I would say that although my son was a little scared by the look of the characters when we got this film a few years ago it wasn't enough to give him nightmares or anything because he understood that it was just a film and an animated one at that. This film does carry a PG rating though because of the mild threat, scary scenes and use of mild language and so I would say parents judge it on how you think your child would cope with it as an individual.
I like the fact that this film is set apart from the likes of Disney or Pixar films and it is quite dark in places. There is something a bit more real about the set up of the film and I suppose some of this comes from Coraline having parents who are always busy and so don't really have much time for her. She comes across as quite an authentic young girl who is bored being an only child with busy parents and you can empathise with her for wishing she had a different life at times really. It is very clever how they made her father quite weak and almost disinterested in life as well as her mother being quite snappy and busy as it helps you relate to Coraline's situation even more.
I like the addition of some weird and wonderful characters that live near Coraline too and so you have a man training some mice to do circus tricks and a seemingly batty old pair of women who are living in the past and have their passed away dogs stuffed and placed all over the house! It just adds to the feeling that something isn't quite right in the area they have moved to and helps develop a bit of a creepy feeling. I do like the addition of Wybie as Coraline's friend though who seems a bit of a geek but who actually comes in very useful in the film for Coraline as well.
There is a nice message in this film which is basically be careful what you wish for I suppose. With Coraline wishing her parents had more time for her she allowed the other mother to focus in on that. She exploited things such as them never having time for a meal together by putting on a wonderful spread of food with everything Coraline could ever want for example and at first this all seems great but then when things get dangerous obviously Coraline wants to save her parents and realises they aren't all that bad after all. It is a nice message to have in a film to not take what you have for granted I guess and it is also nice that this message is also applicable to Coraline's real parents who do take her for granted too I think.
The film lasts for one hour thirty six minutes approximately and I think it moves at quite a slow pace for the most part but there is lots happening towards the second half of the film when Coraline has to take on the other mother in particular. The fact that the animation is a bit different to what the norm is makes it much more watchable as well and we do enjoy this film as a family to be honest so it is one I would recommend as long as you now the audience well and know they won't be too easily scared by the creepy animation at times.
Thank you for reading my review!
As I don't have children I don't often watch cartoon type DVDs but a couple of years ago when I was in Shanghai with a friend we struggled to find programmes we could understand. One that came on was Coraline and while it was really strange we both ended up watching it while we cooled down before going out to eat.
We all have dreams and Coraline is not different - well she is, she is a cartoon character - but she still wants a good life. She feels that her parents do not have enough time for her and heading towards her teens, she thinks there is more to life than gardening and writing about gardening. Having been taken away from everything she knew has not helped. Moving from Michigan to Oregon has been a big deal for her.
She quickly makes a friend - the grandson of the owner of the apartment where she is now living, but he is the only other person she has any connection to. The house is shared with two past it actresses and the owner of a rodent circus and while she comes into contact with them there is no real relationship.
She soon finds an alternative life within the house, where her parents are attentive and fun and easily accessible via a secret passageway. She is comfortable with the two worlds, travelling to the new world at night yet waking in the new world each morning, and then suddenly it turns a bit spooky and her new parents want her to stay - complete with black buttons for eyes just like them.
For the rest of the film it is a trial to see if she can get out or not. It seems hard to decide who this film is aimed at. It is clearly a cartoon type film yet could be scary for young children and the DVD is listed as PG.
I am not sure if there is a moral to this story and if so what it is. It could be the grass is always greener, make the most of the life you have and for parents don't neglect your children. It is written and directed by the Henry Selick who also directed "The Night Before Christmas" and the animation is quite similar - unfeasibly thin and in this case with large heads.
It is based on a novel that was written by Neil Gaiman and published in 2002 but I have read that it does stray a great deal from some of the ideas he had. The young friend is not in the book and he like the other small part characters are overly outlandish. Overall there is a creepy feel to the film and I can understand why there needed to be parental guidance.
If you want something that is quite fun, a little bit strange and will make you wonder which life is best, this will be a good film to watch. If you are thinking about letting children watch it I would read a few more detailed reviews - especially ones that give away more about the ending - and see if the dark sections are things you think you children could cope with.
Main Character Voices
Coraline - Dakota Fanning
Miss Spink, a former actress - Jennifer Saunders
Miss Forcible, another former actress - Dawn French
Rodent Circus Owner and Russian Acrobat Mr Bobinsky - Ian McShane
Real Mother/Other Mother - Teri Hatcher
Real Father/Other Father - John Hodgeman
The film runs for 100minutes and was released on DVD in 2012 - I am not sure exactly when but before April as the friend I was in China with bought it for me as an extra for my 50th.
Coraline 2009 animated film is one of the best films i've ever seen probably the best animated film i've ever watched, written and directed by Henry Selick, I originally thought it was a Tim Burton film but was corrected after a long argument the other night.
It has a long list of celebrity star's including Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Dawn French & Jennifer Saunders.
A brave, curious and inquisitive young girl walks through a secret door in their new house and discovers a parallel reality that is eerily similar to the life she already knows yet better in almost every way almost too good to be true the film is deeply unsettling in several different manners, in director Henry Selick's animated adaptation of Neil Gaiman's best-seller.
Eleven-year-old Coraline (Dakota Fanning) is fearlessly courageous, and perhaps far too adventurous for her own good. Coraline and her parents (Teri Hatcher & John Hodgman) have recently relocated a new home leaving Coraline alone away from her friends and familar settings.
Bored in her new home as her parents are busy with work and without any new friends, Coraline passes the time by exploring her new neighborhood while being followed and pestered then later befriended by an annoying local boy named Wybie . But after paying a visit to her eccentric neighbors Miss Spink and Miss Forcible (Jennifer Saunders & Dawn French), a pair of older eccentric british actresses, and crossing paths with the outright weird Mr. Bobinsky a circus preformer and mouse trainer, Coraline becomes convinced that her new surroundings are just as boring as she'd suspected.
Shortly after Coraline discovers a hidden door in her new house and decides to investigate, Venturing into the eerie passageway inside, Coraline emerges into an alternate version of her own reality. At first glance, this strange new world seems even better than the real thing as there her parents are fun and care free try to fulfil her desires and Coraline is always the center of attention.
The main difference between the original world and this eerie alternative is every person in this Better reality is everyone has button's for eyes.
There's even a mysterious Cat that's fascinated by her every move. But when Coraline's button-eyed other mother attempts to make her stay permanent, the frightened young girl must summon her courage and resourcefulness in order to fight her way back home and save her real family.
One of the best features of this film is the Music which makes this film so much more haunting beautiful yet scary for people of all ages, I downloaded the album afterwards just because the music itself has such a vibe about it while the animation is quite common it's the mix of storyline, music and animation in perfect sync that makes coraline a five star film, I can say without a doubt that this film will stay with me forever and many people who watch this film will say the same.
I recommend this film for anyone who like's animated films or horrors just because its a perfect blend also the same reason why I highly suggest not letting children under the age of 12 watch it because it is very nightmarish especially for younger children.
I recently bought this DVD for my PGCE placement. I was put in charge of teaching the literacy theme 'fantasy stories' and wanted to bring something original and inviting for the children.
I read up around the subject and came to find a teacher who had planned an entire semester around Coraline. I had heard about Coraline and wanted to watch it for quite a while.
And what a watch! The story of Coraline is inviting to both adults and children. As soon as I annouced it to my primary class- they were jumping out of their seats. The adults in the room, the main class teacher, TA and myself, were also, both engaged and exicited when watching the movie.
I showed the children the movie and presented it in combination with the film and I feel that, unlike most other films, this one did do justice to the author, Neil Gaiman.
The film is PG so is suitable for any audience and the whole family. However, this in no way means that is a disney-type fairyland cartoon. Coraline has so many twists, turns and a deep meaning that appeals to everyone.
Coraline is centred around a little girl's journery through a portal (a little door in her new house) in search of adventure. What she finds on the other side is like a parallel universe to the one she lives in. At first, this 'other world' is fascinating and enjoyable. Her 'other' parents aren't like her normal parents in that they do have time for her and fuss over her; with mouth watering food and over-the-top care and attention. She meets her 'other' neighbours and a host of other characters that are made unusual in this 'other' world.
However, she soon realises that there is something very off putting about this world, about her 'other' house and especially- about her 'other' parents...
I throughly enjoyed this film and every aspect of it, the children produced such thought out fantasy story pieces as well because of the engagement that the film allowed with its audience.
I would definently this film to any teacher, parent or person.
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I'm definitely having a bit of a Neil Gaiman favourability session at the moment. The author penned the novel Stardust, bringing a wonderful world to our pages that transferred seamlessly to the big screen; his publication taking Marvel's favourite comic book characters back to the 17th Century is brilliant; his own comic Sandman is also something well worth having a look at; and I have just picked up his novel The Graveyard Book. We have bought my father in law his latest collaboration with author Terry Pratchett, which I will no doubt borrow and read at some point: it's no surprise, therefore, that finding out Gaiman is behind Coraline made me want to watch it straight away.
Gaiman's history is one of fantasy, mixed with the sublime and sinister. Coraline's synopsis indicates some freaky goings on, so it's worth noting that this stop animation with a PG rating has all the indications that it's not going to be suitable for young children. And indeed, after only a few minutes of watching it, I realised that this is definitely not something I'd want my son to watch - it even had me a bit nervous at times. It's not just the jumpy scenes or the scary looking dolls that are used for the film, but moreso the dark presentation and sinister music that accompany them, as well as the freaky characters and nightmare-giving bedroom scenes.
But let me state quite clearly: this may not be suitable for kids, but it is a very good film indeed. I merely point these things out as a warning that young kids are not the best target for this film. PG is definitely the right rating, but make sure you have a good look at this before deciding whether your kid is old enough to watch it. My 6 year old definitely isn't, and I have read other reports of older kids even being scared and getting nightmares from it.
So what is it about? Coraline is the main character, as the title would suggest. She and her parents have recently moved to Pink Palace Apartments, a big pink house in the middle of nowhere by the woods. There, Coraline feels neglected by her parents and longs to have a more fun filled life. One night, she is woken by a mouse and follows it to a hidden door in an unused room in the house. Going through it, she finds herself in a parallel reality where her parents are attentive and fun loving and everything is bright and rosy. Even her strange neighbours are fun and inviting. However, there is also something rather sinister about it all, something that completely escapes Coraline but not us as viewers, and we can easily see that something isn't right. As the film goes on, Coraline finds herself in danger from this parallel universe.
The animation is very well done indeed, using stop animation with dolls and puppets to provide a sinister feel very reminiscent of director Henryy Selick's previous work on James and the Giant Peach and The Nightmare Before Christmas. However, unlike those previous two which had uplifting elements that contrasted the sinister visuals, Coraline's story is not fun and uplifting at all. The animation and presentation show just how versatile Selick can be, and how he has the ability to strike a more psychological fear to add to the assumed visual one that a film like this will give us. It almost makes the voice acting an unimportant factor in the film, as the silences are just as important and tense as the spoken elements, which serve mainly to explain things as opposed to develop them.
Dakota Fanning does a very good job as Coraline's voice, with Teri Hatcher absolutely brilliant as mother (both mothers, in fact). These two are the main ones in the film, with recognisable tones from Keith David and Ian McShane, and comedy duo French and Saunders as a delightful pair of old spinsters living downstairs. The spoken elements of the film are slow and patient, allowing the film to progress through visuals more than anything else. It does mean that you have to concentrate and keep your attention on the screen or you'll miss something important, and by the end of the film, it's quite frantic, with the music again making a huge difference to how things come off the screen.
I do recommend watching this, but I'd say it's more for older children or even worth considering as an adult animation to watch: definitely not one for young kids. It is well presented, using the visual effects of light, dark, motion and stillness, to make the difference in the impact. Over the hour and a half it runs for, I wasn't bored once, and found it a very good animation indeed. Recommended.
A fantastic film by Henry Selick who also directed The Nightmare Before Christmas (another brilliant film to watch).
You find a girl named Coraline wishing to be noticed more by her busy parents.
In the movie you find she meets a boy by the name of Wybie who ends up giving her a doll that looks just like her.
During one of her adventures she finds a locked door in the middle of a room covered up by wallpaper, curious about what's behind the door she begs her mother to open it, finding herself disappointed that the door when opened is bricked up.
During one night she follows some mice who lead her to this door which take her to a new world with better parents who pay attention and love her. Liking that world more she finds herself getting more and more trapped in it not realising the dangers she's facing by staying there.
A brilliant film that i enjoyed very much watching, i found myself stuck to the screen watching it and biting my nails hoping Coraline would escape in time and not be trapped in the other world with the 'other' mother.
I really felt the emotions Coraline was feeling throughout the film and started to think i was there with her and that i didn't get trapped in that other world with that mother also.
I loved the animation of the film very much, probably one of the best i have seen, the colouring and the details even the fine details are how things should be. So real it makes you forget its even an animated film.
The running time is 1 hour and 30 minutes which when really into the film goes to quick and you wish for longer.
I would not recommended for younger children though as i personally think it would give them nightmares about their parents or should i say 'other' parents otherwise i would recommend to anybody else.
If your not sure about the film i say go for it you won't be disappointed with it.
Coraline was released on dvd in 2009 by Universal studios after its cinema release. The Dvd came in two different packages. The first was the standard case, Coraline in yellow across the top with coralline underneath. A cat to the left of her and a house to the right, along with a creepy branch above her head. The special edition case was all holographic and funky looking. That's pretty much the only difference.
This film would you believe is a stop motion animation. And my god is it good. Think about Nightmare before Christmas.
Coraline is a story about a girl, Coraline, who becomes bored with her life as it is. Her parents work twenty four seven and have little time for her. She is told to explore her new house to keep herself occupied. Upon doing this she discovers a secret door hidden in one of the walls.
Through this door she finds an alternative, better version of her life. Her parents are loving and everything is good!
This amazing world takes a turn for the worst and starts becoming dangerous, as her other parents try to keep her there forever. Will she get home to her real normal life?
Coraline must escape to save her family and her life with help from two of her new found friends, one of which is a cat.
Coraline is voiced by Dakota Fanning and she fits the part extremely well. The animation of Coraline\ is superb. Her facial expressions are brilliant.
Her other mother is voiced by Teri Hatcher, again another person who fits perfectly into the role of the character!
I found this film to be funny and some parts were a little scary too. You will probably have to watch it twice and when you do you will see little things you never noticed before.
The animation is superb, you cannot fault it in anyway.
If you like films that could appeal to all ages this film fits the bill perfectly. You can buy this for around £3 now so buy it and treat yourself to a really great film!!
Me and my niece decided to watch this this morning, I thought it would be something we could both enjoy and also a good way to burn some time as I have her all day.
Coraline and her mother and her father have just moved. Coraline is feeling rather lonely, she has left all her friends behind and hasn't made any new friends yet. In addition to this, her mum and dad are always far too busy with work to spend any time with her which makes Coraline very upset and also very lonely.
She finds a small door in her new house and begs her mother to find the key. Her mum reluctantly agrees, as long as Coraline leaves her to work after she has found it. Coraline agrees but is disappointed to see that behind the door it is bricked up.
However, that evening Coraline goes to the door again and is amazed to find it takes her to another world. In this world she has another mother and father who cherish and adore her. Will Coraline stay here or return to her real parents?
Both me and my niece really enjoyed this film. We both had quite high expectations of it, she had heard about it from school and I had heard good reviews so we were expecting it to be a good film.
We loved the character of Coraline and found her very loveable, we warmed to her immediately and only wanted the best for her throughout the film. She seemed to be a very normal and down to earth girl which made it better to watch as it made some aspects of the film seem almost realistic.
The plot was well thought out and we really liked the idea of it, I felt that it flowed well and there weren't any moments where I was willing it to hurry along. My niece didn't once ask how long was left (which she usually does) so she must have been enjoying the film aswell.
The animation in the film was done really well, the film looked really good and everything fitted together well.
Although this is a childrens film it is worth noting that some aspects of the film are a little dark and I imagine some younger children would probably be a bit scared. Therefore if you have nervous children who scare easily I would recommend watching this yourself first to check it will be suitable.
The film was released in 2009.
It was directed by Henry Selick who also wrote the screenplay.
It was based on a book written by Neil Gaiman.
It stars Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French.
It runs for 90 minutes and is rated a PG.
A nice film to watch with the family.
I was desperate to see this at the picture, and I'm sad I never got the chance to. I came across the book totally by accident; I claimed to be a Neil Gaiman fan and I'd never heard of it (hanging head in shame.) nevertheless it became one of my favourite books.
Basically, Caroline, a peculiar headstrong little girl with blue hair and a yellow rain slicker moves into the Pink Palace with her somewhat neglectful workaholic parents, only to discover that amongst the weirdos that inhabit the other flats, there is a very strange presence lurking on the other side of a peculiar little door, that's just the right size for her to fit through. The Other Mother seems only to want to please Coraline and make her every wish come true. But there is something sinister about the Other Mother; her intentions are not completely clear, and Coraline begins to grow suspicious, and not a moment too soon...
I don't think any more can be said without ruining the ending! Other than this is one of the most colourful and bizarre films, Henry Selic has done a wonderful job bringing it to life. My three main criticisms are, however; why did they have to make the characters American, when they were English in the book, why did the plot have to change, and why, my main poke, did the character of Wybie have to be added? In my opinion, all this character did was take away from Coraline her boldness and her edge. She seemed stupider in the book and relied on Wybie for some of her more endearing qualities. But its a minor gripe I suppose; anyone who doesn't read the book first wont know the difference anyway, but for all the Neil Gaiman I have ever read, for some reason they always have to change bits for the big screen. Its the same problem that plighted Roald Dahl, who always ended up having his work butchered by film makers!
Anyway, rant out of the way, this really was a gorgeous film to watch; the effects are stunning and it is a delight to see that the art of stop motion is still going strong and forever growing and evolving! I have followed Henry Selic work since The Nightmare Before Christmas and it is always a pleasure to see him producing gems like this!
What I do love about animation is the making of documentaries are always facinating, and this one was no exception. Every bit is sectioned out so it can be watched bit by bit or altogether!
I loved this film and I recommend it. But I do still prefer the book; you cant go wrong with a few Dave McKean illustrations!
I absoloutely loved this film. It has now made it onto the list of my all time favourite movies. The film was directed by Nightmare before Christmas' Henry Selick and I have to admit was a huge factor in me seeing this movie as his style is just my cup of tea. I first saw it at the cinema in 3D and was my first 3D cinema experience and it was one I'll never forget. This film was made for 3D and really shows the advantages 3D can bring to a film, giving it a real depth. The beautiful stop motion style in which it was made really gives it justice and adds to the unusual creepy feel of the film and bringing it to life more than other animated films these days. There were certain points that made my eyes water at the sheer of the film, you truely get sucked into this other world. It is aimed at children, however I think some might find it a bit scary.
Coraline Jones: Dakota Fanning
Other Mother: Teri Hatcher
Other Father: John Hodgman
Jennifer Saunders: Miss spink
Dawn French: Miss Forcible
Wyborne Lovat: Robert Bailey Jr
Cat: Keith David
Coraline Jones is a bored and lonely girl whos family move into a new house only to discover it has a secret door (Very alice in wonderlandy) which leads to a parallel universe where everything is that much brighter and better, including her 'other' Mother and Father. In this world the film shows some brilliantly imaginative scenes, such as a milkshake chandelier and a popcorn pooping cockrel. However Coraline soon discovers something is not right when they make her sew buttons onto her eyes in order to trap her there forever.
Aswell as being slightly dark and gothic, the film has that nostalgic childhood feel to it of being bored on a rainy day. I love films that can give you a sense of actually being a child again. Another example of how it can evoke deep emotion even in adults is when coraline's parents have been stolen and she curls up in bed with two cushioned replicas she makes takes you back to when you're young and the thought of losing your mum and dad.
The film has been adapted from Neil Gaiman's book 'Coraline' I don't know too much about the original story so can't really comment on that. The dvd itself has pleanty of special features to keep you occupied after the film including how it was made. Which is fascinating to see all the details and the amount of effort and time put into making the film. For example watching the art department making all the minature clothes really makes you appreciate the film that little bit more.
Overall I really enjoyed this movie, it is a beautiful masterpeice that deserves a place up there with the best. I highly recommend it to everyone, whether you love the macabre or even if you don't I believe this film is suitable for all, adults and children alike!
Release 2009 and directed by Henry Selick (The Nightmare before Christmas which is commonly thought to be the work of Tim Burton). I took my son to see this in the cinema (he was six at the time) and he found it to be very frightening (although he insisted on watching all of it anyway!), even caused him to panic at bed time and be scared to fall asleep unless our plain black cat was in the room with him to protect him (understandably I borrowed this on a night he wasn't at home as don't want to risk a repeat performance!). I can't remember if it was a PG or a 12a at the cinema but the DVD is rated PG but it's defiantly worth viewing before deciding on the suitability for a younger child.
The film starts off with Coraline and her family moving into an old rundown apartment. Everything is damaged and worn, leaks, faulty electrics, rusty water pipes, the works. Her parents are too busy working from home to give Coraline any attention, in their rather squalid new home. And come dinner time she wishes her mother cooked dinner rather than having to eat her father's rather sloppy looking offerings. During the first day there Coraline is given a cute little rag doll that looks just like her. Wybie (an abbreviation of his full name why born) found it in his house he shares with his grandmother. And even though Wybie's grandmother owns the Pink Palace apartments she forbids him from going there as children go missing!
Later that night she is woken by a small mouse that leads her to a small door in the living room, behind the door is a soft plush tunnel leading off into the unknown (during the day it's just bricked in behind the door). Through this tunnel is an copy of her home , but everything here is perfect, she has a set of 'other' parents who are doting and fun, the house is decorated all bright and cheery and there's always delicious foods to be eaten and fun to be had. Even the eccentric neighbours are more interesting in this 'other' world. The only strange thing about this world is the fact that every living thing has buttons for eyes.
Of course no one believes Coraline about this 'other' world and the strange similarities. She is growing increasingly fed up of her parents neglect with each visit as "my other mother would do that". Eventually a plain black cat you see lurking around follows her into the other world, he warns Coraline about this world and the mother. Things take a turn for the worse when the Other Mother tells Coraline she can only stay if she sews buttons over her eyes. Perhaps things here aren't as good as it seems. Upon returning to the real world things have taken a turn for the worse, will Coraline be able to restore everything back to normal?
There are a lot of special features which document the ins and outs of making a stop motion animation of this quality. You would have to watch it to know just how amazing it is, it covers everything from the sets, characters, wardrobe to the actual process of producing stop animation.
Overall I loved this film it's a little bit creepy, the imagery and style are wonderful and the story isn't too bad either! Would recommend viewing this first before letting younger and more impressionable children see it (although upon reading the reasoning behind the rating as it's presented in a clearly fantasy way it shouldn't bother children). Also the version I watched was in 2D but you can get the 3D copy as well apparently (not sure if it will be as good as it was at the cinema but hey only one way to find out!) You can get the 3D version for a little over £10 and the 2D version for as little as £8, to be honest if it was me I would opt for the £2 extra just to see!
Coraline Jones has just moved into a big old apartment in a large Victorian house with her inattentive parents, who are too busy working on a gardening catalogue to pay her any attention. So, bored, Coraline goes exploring, and meets the weird but kind Wyborn, who gives her a doll he found that looks exactly like her. Later, while exploring her new home, she finds a small door which, she finds out that night, leads into a parallel house, exactly like hers, only everything's better. There she meets her Other parents, with big black buttons for eyes, who care to her every need. Coraline begins to favour this place, where her neighbours aren't so much weird as magical and everything's just that much more perfect. But a warning from the local cat tells Coraline not everything's as perfect as she thinks it is. Can she escape the horror of her new home before it traps her forever?
Based on Neil Gaiman's book of the same name, Coraline was adapted and directed by Henry Selick of Nightmare Before Christmas fame, and his usual brand of eeriness comes through in this, even more so than in Nightmare or James and the Giant Peach. I never considered Nightmare to be particularly scary, after all that's not really the point of the film, but Coraline really ups the ante into a whole new level of creepiness. It's a really good film and some people have said it's probably too much for their kids, but I don't think people are giving their children enough credit. There's a lot of stuff a child can take, and Coraline fits into that category no sweat. Behind the chills and the music and the visuals is quite a sweet tale, laced with Neil Gaiman's typical wickedness and charm.
There are some pretty well known names in film: Dakota Fanning plays Coraline, her mother is voiced by Teri Hatcher of Desperate Housewives and the two weird old women downstairs are voiced by comedy duo Dawn French and Jeniffer Saunders. The cool, deep voice of the cat is done by Keith David, who people might know from Requiem for a Dream or as the voice of baddie Dr Facilier from The Princess and the Frog.
Coraline has some of the best stop motion sequences I've ever seen. There are some sequences you won't even believe weren't done by CG, but Henry Sellick is one the top stop motion animators and it really shows. His typical creepy style comes through strongly, and with the great animation and original story by Neil Gaiman, Coraline is a wonderful film for kids and adults alike
This film is based on Neil Gaiman's beloved children's novel, director Selick (THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS) uses the stop-motion technique to bring CORALINE to life with amazing visual and emotional depth. The result is a frightfully magical adventure that will give the whole family plenty to shriek, cheer, and talk about.
About The Film
"Be careful what you wish for?" really sticks in mind when watching this film. Most people always think that the grass is always greener on the other side but in some situations this isn't always the case. This film is a animation tale of a little girls fractured dreams and families made complete. Corlaine Jones (voiced by Dakota Fanning) and her parents (Teri Hatcher,+ John Hodgman) have moved into their new house known as the Pink Palace, a once known vibrant boarding house has now turned into a drab and dilapidated run down building.
Her parents work feverishly on a new gardening catalogue and seem to have no time at all for poor little Coraline who as you can imagine starts to get bored, so she starts to explore her new world's possibilities. Along her way she meets a few out of ordinary tenants, a mouse-training Russian acrobat, as well as an outcast neighbourhood boy named Wybie and two aging English showgirls.
Corlines adventure really starts when she comes across a mysterious hidden door which she ends up finding out it's a gateway to a parallel world where she meets her "other" parents and neighbours live to see Coraline well fed and endlessly entertained. Lots of attention is spent on her unlike her real parents gave her. As any child would imagine this must be great to feel wanted but its not all cakes and carnivals for Coraline though, as for her to stay in the world of "make believe" black buttons that have to replace her eyes which leads to let her seeing a imitations hint at darker intentions. When these intentions are revealed, Cora and a friendly magical cat use their wits and willpower to defeat Coraline's wicked 'other mother' and restore balance in the real world. Question left on your lips is.... Will she return to the real world or will she stay stuck in "other" world??
Coraline Jones - Dakota Fanning - (voice)
Mel Jones / Other Mother / Beldam - Teri Hatcher - (voice)
Miss April Spink / Other Spink - Jennifer Saunders - (voice)
Miss Miriam Forcible / Other Forcible Dawn French - (voice)
The Cat - Keith David - (voice)
Keith David - Charlie Jones / Other Father - Keith David - (voice)
Wybie Lovat - Robert Bailey Jr. - (voice)
Mr. Sergei Alexander Bobinsky / Other Bobinsky - Ian McShane - (voice)
My Overall Opinion
Ok so lets be honest here most animated films these days can actually be rather boring, but when I seen this advertised I could wait to see it at the cinemas. Unfortunately I have two small children and I wasn't 100% sure if they would sit through it especially my youngest so I waited till it came out on DVD which was probably best as it let the full family watch it and to my surprise my two little darlings sat through the full film glued to the television. I have to be truthful here I also was glued and got caught up in the story.
I though that the animations were very impressive not like your normal animated films like toy story for example things have really come along away since then. I was actually really glad to see a film based on a child's feelings that most children feel when parents are busy and haven't really got the time to spend on their child because they are too busy doing something else. It is a real life situation and most children that experience this will feel unloved and would be willing to do anything to get a family that love them. I think that this is the key that lets you actually get really involved in the film as it is not starting of with toys or aliens.
Although obviously I am not a child (I have to keep reminding myself) I was completely drawn into the film. I loved the fact at some points of the film I actually got that little scared feeling in my stomach that something bad might happen. (Just like you did when you were a child) I was completely amazed by it and still get the same feeling when I watch it. I have asked both of my children what they thought of film so you can get the opinion of what the film is like from a child's point of view although it will be short and sweet as im not wanting to give any of the film away.
Courtney aged 4:
I like Coraline because it was interesting and I liked the magical flower garden.
Cassidy-Leigh aged 2 :
I like it because it is good.
I have to say I would highly recommend that you watch this film wither its just for your child to watch or for the family to watch. I rate it a full 5 out of 5 excellent film indeed.
This film DVD has special features that consist of:
2D and 3D versions included
2D Feature Commentary
Making of Coraline
3D Feature Film on Disc 2
includes 4 pairs of 3D glasses
You can find this DVD on the ASDA website which cost ££7.93 free delivery and no shipping fees, also no need to wait in on it being delivered as it is posted straight through your door. This film also comes available to buy in blue ray which is a little more expensive price £15.93. You can have a look on how to buy on the direct link listed as below:
Hope you enjoyed my review and found it useful. Thank you for taking the time to read it I hope that if you do buy the film you enjoy it as much as my children and I do. Thanks again.
If Tim Burton and Henry Sellick were perfectly matched to collaborate on The Nightmare Before Christmas, the collaboration between Sellick and Neil Gaiman behind this film is a union made similarly close to Heaven. Gaiman (author of Stardust and American Gods) is a prodigiously talented writer with a deliciously dark imagination, and stop-motion animator Sellick is just the man to bring the twisted, exquisite fairytale Coraline to the screen. The author's stories recurringly explore the fantastical flip-side to normality, and Coraline is the very epitome of this preoccupation; a tale of the delights and dangers that lurk just beyond the edges of the mundane.
Coraline Jones finds herself in a position not unfamiliar to young heroines of such stories; her family have moved away from the town where she grew up and relocated to a slightly ramshackle, isolated house, where she is encouraged to explore. With her parents far too busy to pay her any attention, Coraline (personably voiced by Dakota Fanning) discovers the eccentric neighbours living above and below her - Russian circus master Mr Bobinsky (Ian McShane) and the faded actresses Misses Spink and Forcible (Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders) - and also attracts the attentions of local boy Wybie, whose grandmother, landlady of the house, has forbidden him from ever entering.
Her most intriguing discovery, however, is a small door built into the wall of an unused room, wallpapered-over and bricked-up by previous owners. When she is awoken in the middle of the night, Coraline discovers that the bricks have disappeared, and a twisting, violet tunnel leads to an exact replica of her house. Here, though, a few things are different - for instance, somewhat disconcertingly, the versions of her mother and father that live on this side of the door (her "Other Mother" and spouse) have shiny black buttons for eyes. On the plus-side, they have plenty of time for her here. They pay attention to her, talk to her, prepare delicious meals, cultivate wondrous gardens and are just all-round much more interesting.
Is this delightful, reality-spun-round wonderland all it seems, though? Or is there a dark side Coraline can't or won't see?
The answer is guessable, but there's an awful lot of fun to be had in getting there.
Plenty of films are beautifully animated, but even without the sumptuous story to back it up, Coraline stands out for its quirky, inventive visuals. Stop-motion has never been better-done, as every part of the film's aesthetic appeal screams of perfection, with neither mood nor detail neglected for a moment. The animation manages to align itself fully with the story, capturing the shift in feel as Coraline travels to the Other Mother's house and experiences a world of fantastical possibilities fulfilled - and equally conveying the grey monotony of life on the "normal" side of the door.
Tapping into that wonderful across-the-board appeal that reaches children and adults with equally powerful, if quite different effect, the film moves at a pleasantly restrained pace, saving its action scenes and more frantic set-pieces for a breathless, clever finale. Instead of rushing through things, Coraline is steeped in atmosphere - and is all the more entertaining for it, as we really get a feel for our characters and the worlds they inhabit.
Said worlds vary wonderfully, from dusty Gothic mansion to miniature circus by way of the blackly fantastical dreamscape that is the house beyond the doorway. Amongst these backdrops, there are a variety of themes and feelings at play; a taste for the absurd and farcically macabre that gives Coraline much of its faintly morbid chuckles, certainly. But there's also a grimness and touch of the sinister about the story, which perhaps makes this worth just the slightest hint of caution before being unleashed on unsuspecting wee ones. Still, kids have seen it all these days, and this is not dissimilar in feel to the vein that The Nightmare Before Christmas/Corpse Bride tapped into.
The film succeeds for many reasons, and many people can take credit for the joyous, delightful triumph that it becomes - but at its heart, it works because its protagonist is so instantly believable and likeable. Okay, so Coraline's impetuous and headstrong, and hides her virtues a little deep at times, but she's all the more real for it. We care about this independent, ignored child - but why has she got blue hair? - and as such, the film's wonders and terrors really come alive for us.
A great writer and an equally gifted director certainly should add up to something of a powerhouse team - and in Coraline, the reality more than lives up to the promise. Delectably dark and tantalisingly twisted, this is a modern fairytale with wonders and wisdom for young and slightly less so alike.
I somehow managed to miss out on the pre-release advertising for this. I think the first time I gave it any thought was when my sister told me in an email that she'd been to see Coraline at the Palace. I said I hadn't heard of Coraline at the Palace... and was quickly corrected. She'd been to see "Coraline" at The Palace cinema. By this time it had finished showing in the UK, so when I saw it out on Blu-ray I was quick to hire it.
The visual style of the film is stunning, and although we didn't see it in 3D, the image on the Blu-ray DVD is so crisp that it almost looks 3D anyway. The story starts enchanting & engaging, then becomes creepy... then horrifying! The characters are fantastic - although animated, they felt very real and very sympathetic. It was so very easy to sympathise with both the 'real world' and the 'unreal-world' versions of each character, as well as the captive ghost-children... and, of course, Coraline herself.
Children watching this will probably love it, although it might be a tad on the scarey side for little ones. Maybe over eights, although I suspect even older children might be troubled by bad dreams after seeing Coraline. It reminded of the kind of stories I used to enjoy reading as a kid, and has an Alice-In-Wonderland type of eeriness to it. It also reminds me of some of my most memorable nightmares, one of which involved an alter-family living in the walls of our house, transformed into a doll-like form & sent there by a mysterious and malevolent force that was now hunting me too. No button eyes or spider-women, though, or I would now be living in a permanent state of creeped-out-ness.
It does seem to be marketed as a children's film, so if you want your kids to watch it I'd suggest they don't watch it right before bed, and that you watch it with them! It does have a happy ending, and parents will no doubt appreciate the respect-your-mother moral in the story.