(This is really my first movie review? I don’t know why I didn’t do this sooner. Stay tuned for more!)
I just recently got to see this movie and I’m kicking myself in the ass for not going to see it in the theater! Coraline finally has her very own movie! She’s gone through a novel, a graphic novel, a video game, and even a musical, to finally hit the big screen.
For those of you not acquainted with the story, it’s based on the novel by Neil Gaiman. Coraline Jones and her parents, Mel and Charlie, move into Pink Palace Apartments, a development chock full of weirdos. Coraline’s parents are severe workaholics working on a gardening book, therefore spending little time with Coraline, leaving her to explore the house and the nearby woods. Coraline quickly befriends…if you can call them friends at this point, Whyborn (god, I love that name, but we’ll keep with with the slightly less diminishing nickname, Wybie) Lovat and his haughty black cat. Wybie’s grandmother is the owner of Pink Palace Apartments and has warned Wybie to stay away, since Grandma’s sister vanished from there years ago.
During her thorough sweep of the house looking for something to do, Coraline discovers a small door. After hounding her mother to peel off the wallpaper and open it, all that they find is a brick wall. Bummer. Soon after, Wybie brings Coraline a doll that he found at his grandmothers house that bears a striking resemblence to Coraline, down to the blue hair and raincoat. Later that night, Coraline is woken to the sound of mice, who lead her back to aforementioned door, but this time around, things are a little different. The door is now a swirly vortex of awesome! What kinda kid wouldn’t jump right into that? So Coraline crawls through the portal and finds herself in an alternate, albeit very similar world. Coraline finds her Other Mother, her Other Father, a blessedly mute Wybie, and recreations of her neighbors, who Coraline enjoys far more than the normal ones. On her first night there, Coraline’s Other Parents tuck her into bed, and when she wakes up, she’s back to the real world.
Things quickly go awry in the Other World, when her Other Parents invite Coraline to live there forever. All she needs to do is sew some buttons into her eyes. Coraline is not so down with this idea, in fact, it’s just plain creepy. That night, Coraline finally falls asleep, but when she wakes up, she’s still in the Other World. Oh noes!!! She confronts Other Mother, who reveals herself to be a spider-like monster and puts her in a mirror until she can learn to act like a daughter. In the mirror, Coraline meets the three ghosts of the previous children, one indeed being Wybie’s great aunt. Coraline them makes a pledge to find their eyes and free them for good.
Wybie rescues Coraline from the mirror and she returns to the real world to find her real parents have gone missing. She returns to the Other World to find that her delightful Other Neighbors are just pawns of the Other Mother. I don’t want to give too much away, but she’s required to perform a series of tasks to find the eyes, release her parents, and the other children. You’ll just have to watch that part for yourself!
I love how creepy it was! At the end, I was completely on the edge of my seat. It was fantastic! And so well made. Directed by Henry Selick (James and the Giant Peach, Nightmare Before Christmas) this movie definitely takes on a Burton-esque vibe, which I am all about. Selick really does bring Gaiman’s imagination to the screen in a 3D whirlwind of whimsy and splendor. It’s a beautifully formed modern movie with a good old-fashioned tale of a background. Stunning to look at and a pleasure to watch, this movie is now on the list of my top favorites! A!
Also, if you buy the 3D collector’s edition, you get FOUR PAIRS of 3D glasses, which I thought was pretty sweet. If you’re gonna get this movie, might as well go balls to the wall and get the collector’s edition!