Sunday, February 22, 2009
2009 animated drama by Henry Selick, creator of similar fair The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach. Selick is a billy BA at stop motion animation. He decided to flex his muscles by doing this movie 100% stop motion (no computers at all) and in ReelD. The former means that it has an old style feel. It seems similar in vibe to movies many of you watched as a kid in the 70s and 80s. In fact, Selick worked on the California Raisins Christmas Special from like '86. The fact that it's in ReelD means you will be blown away on more than one level. This was the first flick I've seen in ReelD. This is the new version of 3D where it's not the gimmicky stuff flying out at you thing, but instead it's a sort of hyper HD. It sounds weird, but it's really like looking at something three dimensional. It as though you're looking at something real. My daughter said, the movie looked like a pop-up book. It's incredible. But, back to the movie. Coraline is about a young girl who moves with her overly self-focused parents to Ashland, Oregon and into a creepy old house full of interesting characters. Little does she know that there is more to the house than meets the eye. At night she discovers that a secret passage leads her to a parallel version of the house where everything is better. The food is tastier, the neighbors more fun and the garden (which Coraline loves) is full and beautiful. But things are not as they seem and soon she realizes there is a very dark side to the parallel world. But she also realizes that she can't just run away from it, she's gotta face it. The movie is great. It's visually incredible. The characters are interesting. I loved seeing French and Saunders as two ex-burlesque dancers and Keith David is fantastic as a black cat. I'm not so sold on the message b/c in the end her annoying parents that lead her to be tempted by this alternate world are still annoying and not much different. At the same time I loved that Coraline is who changed Coraline's world, it was up to her to do what is right. Good message for a young girl. You want change, make change. The movie can get a bit scary at times and was always creepy. If your little guy/gal gets easily spooked, this one may give them nightmares. If you like a good story and are a fan of this type of animation, then this is worth your time. It's a marvel of stop motion work. Not only is it the longest stop motion flick ever made, but it was clearly a painstaking, detailed labor of love.