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Monday, February 9, 2009


Have you gone to see the movie Coraline yet? No? Get going already, because it's awesome.

Coraline Jones is bored. With her parents both busy working as writers, there's not much for Coraline to do. So she spends her time exploring the new flat that she and her parents have moved into. There's eccentric neighbors living in the same building. Miss Forcible and Miss Spink are retired actresses who keep a pack of their dearly departed dogs stuffed on a shelf and feed Coraline 50-year-old taffy. Mr. Bobinsky upstairs is a gymnast who is working on his mouse circus.

And in perhaps the greatest departure from the novel, Coraline makes a new friend in Wybie, grandson of the house's owner. He gives her a strange doll he found that looks exactly like Coraline, and that's when things start to get strange.

One day while counting everything around the house, Coraline encounters a strange little door that leads to another apartment just like her own, except better. There's an Other Mother and an Other Father, an amazing garden, a piano that plays itself, and the food is way better.

But things aren't quite what they seem. Her Other Mother and Other Father have buttons for eyes and if Coraline wants to stay forever, she'll need to have buttons sewn in her eyes as well.

This delightfully creepy book could have been translated any number of ways to the screen, and most of them would have been completely wrong. But the gorgeous, stop-motion movie is funky, eye-poppingly beautiful, and completely perfect for the tone of the story. Even Coraline's ordinary world looks fantastic, and the only word for the Other World is AMAZING. The delights that the Other Mother initially prepares for Coraline are stunning.

When you think 3-D, you might be thinking chintzy, but the effects are subtle and well-suited for the movie. There is of course the little moments with things flying out of the screen, but they were a real enhancement.

The source material is most definitely creepy, and the movie does not skimp on the creepy factor. In some ways, the movie is scarier than the book because instead of just imagining the hideous monster that is the Other Mother, you actually get to see her as a boated spider-creature. And oh yeah, the bat-dogs are pretty creepy/cool.

I loved this book and I loved the movie. It is a very rare thing when that happens, so I commend the film makers for bringing Gaiman's vision to the screen.


Melody said...

I didn't know the movie has been released! I need to check the cinemas here! Thanks for the lovely review, Kim! :)

Chris said...

Oh all these wonderful reviews! I can't wait to see it!!

bermudaonion said...

I've heard this is a good one. Thanks for the review and the pictures.

mariel said...

Dang! This isn't out in the UK for ages!

Anonymous said...

You've been nominated:

Nymeth said...

It's rare for me to love a movie as much as the book too. I can't wait to see this!

Rhinoa said...

It isn't out in the UK yet, but it shouldn't be too much longer hopefuly. I can't wait to go see it!

Stephanie said...

I never had the chance to see it last weekend, but plan to within the next couple weeks!

Literary Feline said...

I can't wait to see this movie! I am so glad you enjoyed it. :-)

Alice Teh said...

There is still no sign of it showing here in Malaysia but I'm keeping my fingers crossed...

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

I haven't read the book but we just saw the movie over the weekend. It was WEIRD but the stop motion animation was the best that I've ever seen.