Coraline (2009) Movie Review

15 Comments

I was looking forward to this as soon as it hit theatres. Unfortunately my busy schedule prevented me from getting to see it and oh how I regret it. Coraline, directed by Henry Selick (of Nightmare Before Christmas, and James and the Giant Peach fame)is an amazing journey of one lonely, misunderstood, and grossly ignored young lady, who find’s everything she’s ever wanted in “Other World.” “Other World” is a mirror image of our own world that Coraline finds one night behind a wallpapered door, which was formerly bricked up when she discovered it earlier in the day. In this world there are “Other” versions of all the people she has just recently met, except with one difference, they are overly attentive to Coraline (even getting her name right, which no one , save for her parents can seem to do), and they all have black buttons for eyes. That is the first hint that something is very wrong with this place. But “Other Mother” is very convincing with her sweet personality, and amazing cooking abilities.

It isn’t long before Coraline finds out exactly what’s going on and the journey takes a rather dark turn, with dark parodies of the entertaining beings the “others” once were. Henry Selick is a stop-motion GOD, and he truly excelled here. This film surpasses his past efforts, with a story based on the novel superbly talented Neil Gaiman, it’s an instant classic.

HOWEVER this movie is NOT for little children. You know your kids best, but this movie has some really disturbing imagery, and the Button eyes are the least of it.

It could easily be said that this movie could have been made with CGI techniques and would have given it a more fluid feel. I disagree. The movements that are fluid yet still somehow feel off, are what help draw you in. And half the fun of stop-motion is watching in awe as things move around the screen with amazing choreography and beautiful visuals, wondering just how they made a static object or objects move with such humanity, realism, and creepiness at times.

The voice work is absolutely stellar, with Dakota Fanning again proving why she is such an up and comer in the business. Teri Hatcher’s Mother and “Other Mother” are polar opposites and she does an incredible job playing both the “too busy for her child” Mother and the “Do anything to make you happy” “Other Mother.” It’s when things get darker that she really shines though. Rounding out the cast are Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders (BBC’s French & Saunders, Absolutely Fabulous) as downstairs neighbors and former actresses Mrs. Spink and Forcible, John Hodgman (PC of Mac and PC commercials) as Father/”Other Father,” and Keith David (Pitch Black, Chronicles of Riddick, “Goliath” voice in Gargoyles) as the voice of The Cat. This suburb cast just adds to the magic of this great film.

Finally the 3D version really pops. I personally have never been a fan of 3D as it mutes the colors too much except for a few (Red, Blue, Green, Yellow), but wow do the colors that show glow. And let’s not even start on the craziness of the effects. Needles, ramps, mice, cotton candy, and more come flying at you and it just gets better.

I would definitely suggest the two-disc set. The special features including behind the voice, and making of documentaries shows how much work is put into a film like this. Definitely a keeper. I can watch this ANYTIME!

Henry Selick (director) / Henry Selick (screenplay), Neil Gaiman (book)
CAST: Dakota Fanning … Coraline Jones (voice)
Teri Hatcher … Mel Jones / Other Mother / Beldam (voice)
Jennifer Saunders … Miss April Spink / Other Spink (voice)
Dawn French … Miss Miriam Forcible / Other Forcible (voice)
Keith David … The Cat (voice)
John Hodgman … Charlie Jones / Other Father (voice)
Robert Bailey Jr. … Wybie Lovat (voice)
Ian McShane … Mr. Sergei Alexander Bobinsky / Other Bobinsky (voice)


Buy Coraline on DVD

Author: Dedpool

Movies, Comics, Anime and toons. I'm all about it. Love to read and write too.
  • http://www.twitter.com/CirenzSonG Loc

    I can appreciate the artistry, and how this was made, but I’m guessing the 3D Version adds something more to this…Plus, the TV I watch’d it on was not up to snuff, SO I didn’t feeL anything for this particular movie…Twas a Nightmare for moi, like a bad, bad FeeLing…No Knock on the Film itself, but I couldn’t resonate with this flick, despite everything…Perhaps it’s the setting, but I just felt like this was a Chapter in a Larger, Ongoing Series, which it should be, but otherwise, if the scope were broadened, more characters, just more landscapes…

    I’d feel differently, but then again, what I just described was an alternate version of Wonderland, hahaha…So whatever, different strokes, I guess…

    Hope there’s a SequeL, but something more…Imaginatively…Wildly Stupendous!?

    maybe, I just need to see Tim Burton’s Alice…

    • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

      “maybe, I just need to see Tim Burton’s Alice…”

      I think so. It sounds like you were looking for something more fantastical, more outrageous with the effects and setting. Understandable why you were overwhelmed. Me personally it was the characters that did it for me. I love Bobinsky, ans Spink and Forcible are great. But Hey like you said different strokes…

      • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

        But i can only imagine the digital 3d in the theatres was magnificent. Don’t like it on the tv. Need a digital tv. then they can start giving those lear glasses they use in the theatres now and not the red and blue ones that mute all other colors.

      • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

        But i can only imagine the digital 3d in the theatres was magnificent. Don’t like it on the tv. Need a digital tv. then they can start giving those lear glasses they use in the theatres now and not the red and blue ones that mute all other colors.

    • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

      “maybe, I just need to see Tim Burton’s Alice…”

      I think so. It sounds like you were looking for something more fantastical, more outrageous with the effects and setting. Understandable why you were overwhelmed. Me personally it was the characters that did it for me. I love Bobinsky, ans Spink and Forcible are great. But Hey like you said different strokes…

  • http://www.twitter.com/CirenzSonG Loc

    I can appreciate the artistry, and how this was made, but I’m guessing the 3D Version adds something more to this…Plus, the TV I watch’d it on was not up to snuff, SO I didn’t feeL anything for this particular movie…Twas a Nightmare for moi, like a bad, bad FeeLing…No Knock on the Film itself, but I couldn’t resonate with this flick, despite everything…Perhaps it’s the setting, but I just felt like this was a Chapter in a Larger, Ongoing Series, which it should be, but otherwise, if the scope were broadened, more characters, just more landscapes…

    I’d feel differently, but then again, what I just described was an alternate version of Wonderland, hahaha…So whatever, different strokes, I guess…

    Hope there’s a SequeL, but something more…Imaginatively…Wildly Stupendous!?

    maybe, I just need to see Tim Burton’s Alice…

  • http://www.twitter.com/CirenzSonG Loc

    I can appreciate the artistry, and how this was made, but I’m guessing the 3D Version adds something more to this…Plus, the TV I watch’d it on was not up to snuff, SO I didn’t feeL anything for this particular movie…Twas a Nightmare for moi, like a bad, bad FeeLing…No Knock on the Film itself, but I couldn’t resonate with this flick, despite everything…Perhaps it’s the setting, but I just felt like this was a Chapter in a Larger, Ongoing Series, which it should be, but otherwise, if the scope were broadened, more characters, just more landscapes…

    I’d feel differently, but then again, what I just described was an alternate version of Wonderland, hahaha…So whatever, different strokes, I guess…

    Hope there’s a SequeL, but something more…Imaginatively…Wildly Stupendous!?

    maybe, I just need to see Tim Burton’s Alice…

    • Dedpool

      “maybe, I just need to see Tim Burton’s Alice…”

      I think so. It sounds like you were looking for something more fantastical, more outrageous with the effects and setting. Understandable why you were overwhelmed. Me personally it was the characters that did it for me. I love Bobinsky, ans Spink and Forcible are great. But Hey like you said different strokes…

      • Dedpool

        But i can only imagine the digital 3d in the theatres was magnificent. Don’t like it on the tv. Need a digital tv. then they can start giving those lear glasses they use in the theatres now and not the red and blue ones that mute all other colors.

  • Karin

    This film may have been animated with skill, but the story was terrible, not creepy in a good way but in a bad, very bad way. Coraline whined about everything and her friend’s name stands for “Why was I born?” I read that Neil Gaiman is a Scientologist… that I would believe because this film was just nasty and depressing.

    • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

      Wh were you borne wasnt what his name stood for it’s the mean name she called him. His name is Wyborne (southern name). He never sates that’s what it’s short for, but that he was stuck with his name and it wasnt his choice. And the little girl being whiney was the point. It’s another “appreciate what you have before you lose it” tale. But her parents were equally as bad and it made for a interesting dichotomy, as she was whiney yet they were completely unattentive. I loved this film and my daughter adores it. She get’s it and she’s three. It’s about learning to appreciate ate people for who they are. By the end of the film she’s trying to get her parents to get to know the rest of the neighbors that they dismissed as drunks, and wierdos.

    • http://www.originalgeekspodcast.com/ Dedpool aka Jiinx

      Wh were you borne wasnt what his name stood for it’s the mean name she called him. His name is Wyborne (southern name). He never sates that’s what it’s short for, but that he was stuck with his name and it wasnt his choice. And the little girl being whiney was the point. It’s another “appreciate what you have before you lose it” tale. But her parents were equally as bad and it made for a interesting dichotomy, as she was whiney yet they were completely unattentive. I loved this film and my daughter adores it. She get’s it and she’s three. It’s about learning to appreciate ate people for who they are. By the end of the film she’s trying to get her parents to get to know the rest of the neighbors that they dismissed as drunks, and wierdos.

  • Karin

    This film may have been animated with skill, but the story was terrible, not creepy in a good way but in a bad, very bad way. Coraline whined about everything and her friend’s name stands for “Why was I born?” I read that Neil Gaiman is a Scientologist… that I would believe because this film was just nasty and depressing.

  • Karin

    This film may have been animated with skill, but the story was terrible, not creepy in a good way but in a bad, very bad way. Coraline whined about everything and her friend’s name stands for “Why was I born?” I read that Neil Gaiman is a Scientologist… that I would believe because this film was just nasty and depressing.

    • Dedpool

      Wh were you borne wasnt what his name stood for it’s the mean name she called him. His name is Wyborne (southern name). He never sates that’s what it’s short for, but that he was stuck with his name and it wasnt his choice. And the little girl being whiney was the point. It’s another “appreciate what you have before you lose it” tale. But her parents were equally as bad and it made for a interesting dichotomy, as she was whiney yet they were completely unattentive. I loved this film and my daughter adores it. She get’s it and she’s three. It’s about learning to appreciate ate people for who they are. By the end of the film she’s trying to get her parents to get to know the rest of the neighbors that they dismissed as drunks, and wierdos.