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Worth Seeing: Coraline

Published February 6, 2009 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Images property of Focus Features
Coraline Poster Coraline
Coraline is just the kind of kids' movie I like. It's totally F'ed up and freaky. It'll scare the crap out of them as well it should. Something's gotta toughen them up.

Review: Coraline


It's finally the first real Henry Selick movie. Nightmare Before Christmas was executing someone's vision, a fine accomplishment at that. James and the Giant Peach was a 30 minute short smushed in between repulsive live-action segments. Monkeybone was a mix of things but this is a full-length stop motion animated movie from start to finish by Selick. An adaptation, yes, but it's Selick's adaptation.

I have an eye problem that makes me unable to see the 3-D effect when things pop out of the screen. I can still see the depth, which is great, and if nothing else, this technology and projection makes theatrical images with detail almost at Blu Ray quality. At least it's not fuzzy and grainy like most theatrical exhibition these days.

Coraline really has horrible parents. They just dragged their kid along but they want nothing to do with her. They're harsh and judgemental. This isn't one of those, "Oh, you'll understand when you're older" deals. They really suck.


The other world is full of magical visuals with themes to think about. "Fixing" people's traits is a doozy and there are many more suggestions buried in the fantasy.

When it starts getting really intense, the images are more haunting than scary. They suggest a life of tragedy more than just some monster. And imagine, the Other Mother would have to get pretty freaky to become a worse alternative than the first one!

Coraline is a great adventure through this warped, F'ed up world. I can't even see a major portion of the aesthetic and it's still quite a sight.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Images property of Focus Features
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