The Coraline movie is here! Neil Gaiman’s excellent children’s book Coraline has been transformed into a completely magical movie directed by none other than Henry Selick, the man that directed the 1993 cult movie classic animated feature ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’. If anyone was capable of bringing Gaiman’s weird story of people with Button-eyes in a strange version of our real world, it is Selick. The visual element of the Coraline movie is a superb example of stop-motion animation, a filmmaking method that can really be magical when done correctly.
Where the book was of the same weird and wonderful kind that we’ve come to expect and demand from Neil Gaiman, the visual element of the Coraline movie took several viewers off guard with its palette of vibrant colours and the style of animation. The Coraline movie is a wonderful thing to watch, and will enthrall viewers young and old with its weird story and thoroughly entertaining cast of characters.
The acting talent attached to the stop motion action of the Coraline movie is very impressive too. Dakota Fanning takes the lead role of Coraline Jones herself, and the cast has a collection of British TV icons involved, namely Ian McShane, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. Teri Hatcher performs the vocal work of both incarnations of Coraline’s mum. The Coraline movie’s sarcastic cat is performed by John Hodgman.
It is quite appropriate that such a strange story is adapted in such a manner as to capture the feel of a dream. Stop motion has that wonderful hyper-real edge to it that CG is yet to possess. There is something exceptionally unnerving about stop motion, especially here in the Coraline movie. It might be the knowledge that the moviegoer is witnessing inanimate objects moving around on the big screen, or it may just be that the finished style of a stop-mo movie is so different to various other animated movies of the modern era.
While the Coraline movie is not really as packed with iconic images as The Nightmare Before Christmas, it is certainly not missing it’s visual treats. Just wait for the musical parts, the disturbing transformations of the characters, and of course, the scary buttons that people have sewn into their eyes in the alternate world. Viewers that haven’t read the story are in for a real treat as they discover the disturbing world that Gaiman created, a world that is like ours, just somewhat skewed.
For people who are familiar with the book (and it has been enjoyed by just as many adults as kids), the Coraline Movie is about as a faithful representation of the Coraline novel as it’s going to get. This is one children’s film that will certainly become a much-loved classic for all ages. The Coraline movie is pure magic.