Part of what makes "Coraline" such a good movie is the characters. There are so many unique and interesting characters in this story. Coraline, for example, is far from your everage eleven-year-old girl portrayed in film. Roger Ebert explains in his movie review of the movie that, "She's unpleasant, complains, and has an attitude". It is refreshing to see a contrast from the happy-go-lucky little girl that most films portray. Another great character, frightening as she is, is the Other Mother, also known as the Beldam. Ebert states that, "'Coraline' is disturbing not for gory images but for the story it tells. That's rare in itself: Lots of movies are good at severing limbs, but few at telling tales that can grab us down inside where it's dark and scary." It takes a very well made character to be so terrifying without falling back on the use of gore. A lot of skill is required to create such dimensional and interesting characters, and they are what help bring this story to life.
The theme "Be careful what you wish for" is shown through the startling film, as Coraline soon realises that this "magic world" she wished for is anything but a paradise. Although Coraline's life could be better, she lives in a good home, with all the basic necessities, and her life could certainly be worse. Wishing for this utopian world where everyone worships her is what brought the curse of the Beldham upon her. By the time that she realizes that she wants no part of this sinister world, it is too late, and the Beldham has her in her trap. Not wanting to become one of the Other Mother's "dolls", she makes a deal with her and is able to save herself, her parents, and the lost souls that had been imprisoned. Not only is this film able to show the theme in a striking way, but it is also able to be resolved to give viewers a sense of conclusion.
Anyone who has viewed this film can concede to the fact that "Coraline" has beautiful animation. After 83 weeks of filming, this stop motion claymation film was brought to life. Being the first film of its kind to be offered in 3d, it took a even deeper step to pull viewers into this dark world. Not only is the cinematography aesthetically pleasing to watch, but it helps set the mood of the entire film. Every scene helps bring about the gloomy, uneasiness of the film. Even in scenes where the other world is made up to be a bright, beautiful place, the style and animation make it hard to trust that this place is truly harmless. It is easy to observe all the hard work put into making this film what it truly is - a masterpiece. With years in pre-production and filming, it is difficult to not be in awe at every scene.
On the other hand, some people say that "Coraline" is a bad film because it is scary, and marketed as a children's film. This point of view makes sense because the film is rated PG, and it is quite terrifying at times. However, the official genre of "Coraline"is a fantasy thriller. In the rating it says that there are frightening images. Parents should be well aware of what kind of movie they are having their children watch, and know their child well enough to know whether or not they would be able to handle the content in the film. A. O. Scott explains in his review of the film that, "the cultivation of fright can be one of the great pleasures of youthful moviegoing." Many children enjoy a bit of a scare, so it is unfair to judge a film based on the ignorance of parents.
There are many elements of 'Coraline" that make it such a great movie. The characters are very unique, and make the story interesting. The theme holds a good lesson and is portrayed through the film very well. The animation helps show the mood of this film, and makes it aesthetically pleasing. It is important that we give "Coraline" the credit it deserves, instead of just blindly assuming that it is a bad film. It is important to make decisions for ourselves, and go into anything - movies, classes, etc - with an open mind. Otherwise, you may miss out on something very extraordinary.
Weaknesses: One issue I had was that the antagonist (Teri Hatcher) didn't quite feel like a great villain. I'm not sure what I'd have added to improve that off the top of my head, it's just something that could've been done better. While I feel Coraline is a strong lead, I wouldn't call her likable. She has several moments where she attempts to be funny or quirky, but comes across as kind of mean towards the boy in town. I don't know how to put my finger on it, but something about this movie didn't completely enthrall and engage me quite the way the top animated films I've ever seen have.
Overall: This is a very good, just not great film. The animation and story are both damn good, it just never reaches the heights of the best animated features I've seen.
I love how it slowly became more and more creepy, the dream sequences are well done, and make me feel like I'm there.
The movie was released on the US on February 6, 2009, making 16 million during the opening weekend and 124 million worldwide. This production gained a large number of awards like "Annie Awards", "Academy Awards" and a "Golden Globe" nomination.
The film is based on a girl who recently moved to a new house in Oregon. Coraline has typical family problems where parents are too occupied for their children, and that makes her sad, lonely and frustrated. By feeling this way, she starts exploring her new house trying to find something fun in addition to her neighbors. In all of this situation, Caroline is being watched by an evil and hungry witch by means of a doll that looks exactly like Caroline but with button eyes.
As the movie goes on, she finds a mysterious key and starts visiting a "perfect" parallel world in her "dreams", where everything is what she has always wanted. But there were some sort of things that were very strange and dark in this new world, so she starts questioning things. When she finally got some answers from three dead kids, she starts to plan her scape doing everything she can and turning into a menace to the witch. In order to get rid of that world she needs to pass a lot of tests and hard work, because if not, she would be stuck in it forever and the evil witch will feed on her for the rest of her life. At this point she understand how much her real family means to her despite every problem and that she would give her all to get her parents back. This motivation gives Coraline a touch of strength, and with the help of some friends she starts this horrendous adventure.
The footage in this movie is amazing. It takes the stop-motion to whole new level, using 3D printers and having different parts of just one character body to make everything more realistic. The film involved 450 people to help with the project, including all types of professionals. Another thing that makes the movie environment is the stunning music performed by Michele Marina, John Linnel, Kent Melton and Bruno Coulais.
In my personal opinion this is a tremendous movie not only because the spectacular footage but because of the amazing lesson and its way to show it. One of them is the reality that we are living now days, were parents don't have enough time for their kids because they have other priorities, causing a worrisome impact on kids, and leading them to a rebel status or to do dangerous things without their parents noticing because they aren't present. But also it let the kids to understand that their parents do love them despite they are always present or not and try to understand that they are working for the future of the family. Another moral the movie shares, is the importance of valuing the things we already have and to love our family the way it is. To not get blinded by material things, because at the end it is what it is, material.
It is a story where all kind of audience can get identified and it attracts a lot of people of different ages. Even though it looks like a children movie it isn't that innocent or sane as it looks. The movie could be a little traumatic for some kind of minor audience because it has very impacting scenes. This quality is a very distinctive one, because usually cartoon movies or this types of films where there are no actors, can lead us to automatically think that this is just another kids movie, which can be a good and a bad thing. A good one because the adult audience can get interested in the film and they can talk about it to others and gain viewers. And a bad thing because parents can take their little kids to watch it, thinking it won't scare them. Of course everybody reacts different and there are kids who totally love the film.
The end of the movie can make us feel that a sequel can come out of it. The film let to our imagination what finally happened with certain things that were obviously unconcluded. They can make a second movie and it would have a lot of success if it come like the first one or even better. But of course, the making of a movie like that isn't totally easy and it takes years to complete it, so lets hope for a sequel in an near future.