Coraline 2009 Movie Scene Young Coraline watching her father work on the computer all day

Coraline [2009]

Directed by Henry Selick, who also directed Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline is one of those cute and dark movies that look innocent enough but is actually full of pretty serious issues and plot twists. This is basically a strange and updated version of the same concept used over a century ago in Lewis Carroll’s cult novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This time the author is Neil Gaiman, one of those writers whose works are yet to hit the theaters. I have not read the novella, nor any of the other works from Neil.

Everybody “hip” and “cool” is talking about him and his fucking books. The first thing you will notice is the strange style that’s due to the lead concept artist Tadahiro Uesugi’s use of colors. It took them three fucking years to finish this movie and it shows. I will leave the link after the review, so you can check him out. Coraline is at the same time a movie for kids and adults. The stop-motion animation is stunningly beautiful and the story is even better. We will be following a young girl who discovers a secret world full of mystery. And danger.

Coraline successfully captures the modern family in all its glory. Both of Coraline’s parents spend hours and hours working on their computers, seemingly not noticing their daughter. And, more disappointingly, not hearing her. She’s left to her on devices as many of us are at that age. I sure know I was, although these were the nineties I’m talking about. So, the story you’re about to hear may hit closer to home than you would initially think.

Is there a difference between Oregon and Michigan? For our young Coraline, there certainly is, and since she moved to her new home in a new home in Ashland, Oregon, she found it even more boring and dull. Her parents, busy with work, don’t have enough time to help her explore the new house. However, maybe that’s a good thing because Coraline soon finds a mysterious passage into this strange world…

Coraline has this dark but also entertaining atmosphere and if you add perfect pacing to this mix, you get a very engaging movie that’s at times very suspenseful. We are slowly getting sucked into this whirlwind of strange characters and intense emotions. We will basically peer into the mind of a ten-year-old girl. Casting was spot on, with young Dakota thriving as Coraline and the rest of the experienced cast just destroying the script, especially Ian McShane from Deadwood.

One of the most important elements of this movie is this off feeling. This off and very creative feeling that we are witnessing something that’s not commercial or tainted in any other way. This is a product of pure imagination, creativity, and effort. I think that the theater scene with those two smoking-hot ladies proves it. It proves they were willing to go the distance. Finally, if you’re looking for movies like Coraline do check out 9 and our Rabbit Reviews selection of animated movies

Director: Henry Selick

Cast: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Keith David, Ian McShane, Robert Bailey Jr.

Lead Concept Artist website: Tadahiro Uesugi 

Fun Facts: 52 stages with over 130 sets were built during the production at the studios. Each doll you see in the movie took 3-4 months to be finished with over 10 people working on them.


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