Overdue cinema review #1: Coraline

July 26 2009 at 9:09 pm (Cinema reviews)

coralineProof that kids are much more resilient than most adults think, Coraline is the kind of cautionary tale that appeals to little ones purely because it is so weird and creepy.

Coraline (voiced by Dakota Fanning) is left to her own devices by her workaholic parents when they move to a new home. Bored and restless, but imaginative and adventurous, Coraline finds a secret passageway in the house that leads her to a magical alternative world in which her parents (who have buttons for eyes) dote on her and want her to stay, but at considerable cost.

Director Henry Selick adapts Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel to the screen with wonderful visual flair using a mixture of stop motion and computer generated animation. The real world is drab and washed out, while the alternative world is colourful and vibrant, and both realities are populated by a madcap cast of characters including neighbours Russian circus giant Mr Bobinsky (voiced by Ian McShane) and retired burlesque actresses Miss Spink and Miss Forcible (voiced by Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders).

Like a cross between a modern day Alice in Wonderland and a child-friendly Pan’s Labyrinth, Coraline is a visual wonder, even if it sometimes seems to say ‘look at me’ a bit too much, especially if you watch it in 3D. However, it’s praiseworthy for having a moral (appreciate what you’ve got because it could be a lot worse) without coming across as too preachy.

Rating: 4/5


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: