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Coraline - Spooky and Fun.
Member Name: Karonher
Date: 17/08/13, updated on 17/08/13 (64 review reads)
Advantages: Fun to watch
Disadvantages: A bit dark and I dont know what the message is.
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.
Summary: Would be 5 stars if I could honestly say I understood it all.