Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Coraline

Be careful what you wish for....

Last week I OD-ed on food at buffets so I'll start off this week with a movie review, if you don't mind. :)

*clears throat*

If you think cartoons/ animated movies are just for kids, please reconsider and watch Coraline (which I hope will help change your mind at least a bit).

The movie is actually based on a novel written by my favourite literary genius**, Neil Gaiman:
(** I don't care what people may say - To me, comics are part of the modern literary landscape, and Neil Gaiman is behind the Sandman comics, so he's a literary genius. If you want to be fussy, he has also written several books so actually, he's covered, either way...)
Normal girl in a fantastical parallel world...

I admit that I felt a bit wary, as movie adaptations of books/ comics tend to disappoint... but Henry Selick who wrote the screenplay/ directed it did a FANTASTIC job.
(Well, he did direct The Nightmare Before Christmas, so I guess I shouldn't have even doubted him even for a moment...)

On the surface, the storyline seems pretty simple and not at all unique - just a story of a little girl who discovers a wonderful, magical parallel world...

... but to me, it stands out through the complex layering of that classic story element with beautiful visuals, good character development and a dark undertone:
"I wonder where this door leads to?"...

Honestly, even the opening sequence sort of creeped me out - it seems innocent enough (Someone sewing a doll) but the movements and tone hinted of something menacing:
Doll Making Class 101...

... and this element flows through out the film, where there are (at first) small details that hint of something not quite right:
"What's wrong, honey?"...

All in all?
(Like I said) Watch it please! :)

The storyline might be simple but it's an interesting movie to watch.
(It lost to Up in the 2009 Academy Award's Animated Movie category but I think it gave it a good fight for the title - It probably fell short because the movie had a lot less of a soppy, feel good factor)

Note: Don't be fooled - It's not CGI!
Of course they had to embellish here and there with some CGI... but for the most part, it's actually painstakingly detailed stop motion animation:
Teeny tiny but beautifully detailed set...



Main characters:
- Dakota Fanning as Coraline Jones (voice)
- Teri Hatcher as Mel Jones/ Other Mother/ Beldam (voice) <--- Good work, Desperate Housewife! :)
- Jennifer Saunders as Miss April Spink/ Other Spink (voice)
- Dawn French as Miss Miriam Forcible/ Other Forcible (voice)
- Keith David as The Cat (voice)
- John Hodgman as Charlie Jones/ Other Father (voice)
- Robert Bailey Jr. as Wyborne 'Wybie' Lovat (voice)
- Ian McShane as Mr. Sergei Alexander Bobinsky/ Other Bobinsky (voice)

Synopsis:
A young girl walks through a secret door in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life. On the surface, this parallel reality is eerily similar to her real life - only much better. But when her adventure turns dangerous... and Coraline must count on her resourcefulness, determination, and bravery......

(Note: Synopsis adapted/borrowed from Rotten Tomatoes, which gave this movie a great rating of 89% fresh!)


Here's what some others thought of the movie:
- joshuatly.com v2
- k0k bL0k: Koumpounophobia
- 加油站


I LOVE NEIL GAIMAN,
J


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5 comments:

Che-Cheh said...

I watched this on HBO recently. LOVE IT! Didn't know it was by Neil Gaiman.

CUMI & CIKI said...

GREAT SHOW! Oh.. i KNEW i forgot to write about something LOL :P

Brother B said...

I love love love Neil Gaiman's works.

Brother B said...

I love love love Neil Gaiman's works.

J said...

to Che-cheh:
It was based on a (children's) novel he wrote a few years back. :)
(The book's pretty good but I guess if you've seen the movie then it defeats the purpose because it comes pretty darn close)

to ciki:
YAY! I love it too. Ah, we have such great taste, horr? :)

to Brother B:
Me too! Me too!
Everything from Sandman to Lucifer to American Gods! :)

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