Coraline

Make no mistake about it; Coraline wants to terrorize your children. It wants to assault their eyes with horrific imagery that will keep them awake for days on end. When they finally do sleep, that same imagery will be right there waiting for them in Dreamland to demolish their innocence and ensure they never want to leave the house again. And you know what? You should let Coraline do all of these things because it is so awesome that it has earned the right to it.

In case you didn’t pick-up on what I was trying to say there, this movie is creepy. I always say that kid’s movies don’t give the kids enough credit. They usually pander to them, offering fart jokes and lame puns and nothing for the parents to enjoy, and then they call it a day. Coraline doesn’t play that shit. There’s no pandering here. It wants to get in there and weed out all the children it thinks are pussies. There are no fart jokes or talking animals (actually there is that….only badass), just pure terror!

I think I’ve clearly indicated how freaky this movie is; now we can move on to the actual quality of the film. I’ll summarize – Coraline is a fantastic movie that easily ranks among the best I’ve seen so far in 2009. This paragraph is normally where I would go into the plot details but I can’t do it. I went into this movie knowing absolutely NOTHING about it and that is exactly the circumstances everyone should watch it under. The less you know, the better. If you know nothing about the story then the directions it ends up going will blow your mind.

The animation style is definitely along the lines of Nightmare Before Christmas, which is to be expected since they have the same director, Mr. Henry Selick. The character designs are all unique, creative, and yes, creepy. I’ve never read the book this movie is based upon but I really want to so I can see how much of this came from the source material. Either way somebody here is a creative genius.

The film is simply incredible to look at. I have a huge respect for stop-motion animation since I’ve attempted it in the past and my god it’s hard! We had 3 people working on a project for probably around a month that was maybe 45 seconds long and it still looked like complete crap. So anytime we get some great stop-motion animation like this, I just have to tip my hat to the crew behind it. Seriously just go to the IMDB Trivia page and see how much work went into this thing. It’s insane but it was worth it because it really shows on the screen. The fact that on top of all this work they made it all 3D is that much more impressive.

Speaking of the 3D aspect, my GOD I wish I had seen this movie in a theatre. The 3D effects simply don’t translate that well at home, although our TV is medium-sized so a huge one would obviously make a difference. There were scenes where there were certainly items further in the foreground than others, but any effect that was supposed to pop right off the screen simply didn’t work. The whole thing just made me upset I missed this in theatres. Lesson learned though, now I’m going to see every single 3D movie I can during their theatrical run. Here I come stupid secret agent Guinea Pig movie!

Now, I’ve read a lot of posts from angry parents who took their kids to see this and were upset by the content and how determined Coraline was to destroy their children’s brains. I need to take a paragraph or two here to address this issue, because it applies to all movies, not just this one.

Attention Parents: DO SOME RESEARCH BEFORE YOU TAKE YOUR CHILDREN TO SEE A MOVIE!! The only person to blame is yourself if you take your child to see something that is inappropriate. It’s not the studio’s fault you ignored a 14-A rating and took your 3-year-old to see Superbad or what have you. Yes I know Coraline is PG (and it’s definitely a hard PG) but if you watch any of the trailers or read a single review, you can tell this might be just a wee bit intense for the young ones. I worked at a movie theatre for almost 2 years and I can’t tell you how many parents we had come and yell at us and demand refunds because they took their child to a movie that is not appropriate. Examples I can think of off the top of my head: Superbad, Knocked Up, The Ruins, Saw IV and V, and the list just goes on. Seriously parents, pay attention and stop blaming others for your blind mistakes!

*deep breath* Yea so Coraline is really good and I definitely recommend checking it out. Whether or not you let your children view it depends really. Here’s a test. Place a fake spider on your child’s head. If they freak out and cry, they can’t watch Coraline. Also make sure to call them a pussy and then drink all their apple juice.