I went to see the Coraline 3D this weekend with my younger brother. Having read and enjoyed the book I was looking forward to the film. I remember seeing an early trailer for the film and being slightly disappointed by the style of animation they’d opted for – it seems a little soft and colourful.
Neil Gaiman can be so evocative in his writing that you do form your own mental picture of what’s going on – my image was reminiscent of the animation in The Nightmare Before Christmas. That said, I was coming around to this style and once I saw it there’s no denying that it’s absolutely lovely.
The film was directed by Henry Selick (who also did The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach) and Coraline had the same creepy vibes.
I’ve embedded the trailer above but here’s a quick summary of the film; the protagonist of the film is one Miss Coraline Jones who moves to a new house with her workaholic parents. A bored Coraline whilst exploring her new home.finds a small door closed off by bricks – that night however she manages to get through and enters a parallel universe. Everything in that universe is the same but better – and she can stay there forever, her Other Mother tells her, so long as she lets the Other Mother sew buttons into her eyes and love her. It’s around this point Coraline realises that life through the little door isn’t so great, her Other Mother is a bit psychotic, and that she’s going to have to fight for her life and that of her parents if she wants to get back home.
Of course there are some key differences between the book and the film, there always are and, in some ways, there should be. The one that irked me though was the invention of a brand new character – Coraline’s neighbour Wybie. It has been stated that he was invented so that the film wouldn’t just be a girl walking around talking to herself. But that’s not what happens in the book – she talks to the cat! I do think that part of his story was interesting – he gives Coraline a doll that looks like her and it transpires that the Other Mother, who manipulates to alternate universe so that everything’s to Coraline’s liking, has been spying on her via this to find out her likes and dislikes.
If you watch it then I do highly recommend it in 3D. I often think that some films in 3D do not really utilise the technology. With Bolt the 3D seemed to be an afterthought – there was nothing about the film that caused any major impact by being in 3D. Coraline does – it’s a spooky story with a great villain who does pop out at you. And I’d wholly recommend it.
EDIT: My brother loved it too, so I think it’s a keeper for all ages.