HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
Shock of the Future, The
Friday
High Life
High Noon
Comes a Horseman
Scandal in Paris, A
Greta
Fight, The
Pink Jungle, The
Skiptrace
Double Date
Mind of Mr. Soames, The
Long Shot
Sherlock Holmes
Amazing Grace
Monitors, The
Memory: The Origins of Alien
Mesa of Lost Women
Banana Splits Movie, The
In Fabric
Sisters Brothers, The
Aniara
Flamingo Kid, The
Queen, The
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
   
 
Newest Articles
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
   
 
  Coraline The Hardest Button To ButtonBuy this film here.
Year: 2009
Director: Henry Selick
Stars: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith David, John Hodgman, Robert Bailey Jr, Ian McShane, Aankha Neal, George Selick, Hannah Kaiser, Harry Selick, Marina Budovsky
Genre: Animated, Fantasy
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Coraline Jones (voiced by Dakota Fanning) has just moved into this old apartment building in the middle of nowhere with her parents, two experts in gardening and agriculture who she feels neglect her in favour of their work, which currently entails writing a garden manual. This leaves Coraline to her own devices, as she does not know anyone around here or even if there is anyone around here, so she decides to try dowsing for the well she has heard about. As she follows the twig she has picked, she becomes aware that she is being watched, first by a black cat and then by a figure on a motorbike...

But he's not the person she should be worried about, in this majestically creepy work from stop motion animator Henry Selick, making a great return to the screen after two middling features that failed to some degree to live up to his modern classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas. There was a spot of controversy about the film early on in its release as there were those who were unsure if it was suitable for children, not relishing the thought of having to get up in the middle of the night to comfort their offspring who had been given nightmares by this, but as it was even if it seemed to be better appreciated by adults, families flocked to it regardless.

It seemed stop motion was the medium to turn to if you were not Pixar and wanted a dose of respect from your audience for all that painstaking effort you had put into your creation, but Selick had obvious skills in this field and adapting one of Neil Gaiman's Alice in Wonderland-themed stories was ideal for his talents. Assisted by a group of skilled voice actors easily bringing the characters to vocal life, the director and his team of immensely patient animators took what could have been very much in the debt of the Tim Burton films in this vein and made it their own. So much so that the sequences set in the real world looked about as macabre as those set in the fantasy ones.

Not this this was a flaw, it was simply the manner in which Coraline turned out, and the only way you know the title character has entered the parallel universe is that it seems a lot brighter - for a while. Told by her father to go exploring so she is out of his hair, she finds a small, locked door in a wall and bothers her mother until she unlocks it for her, but all they find behind it is a lot of bricks. However, they don't know it but the damage has been done and the way is open for the forces behind the little portal to invite Coraline in. When she goes to bed that night she is awoken by a mouse, follows it and ends up going through the door and finds herself in another, almost identical home.

Almost identical down to the parents, except for some reason they have buttons for eyes. Yet they're so nice to the girl that she starts to prefer them to her actual mother and father who appear to barely tolerate her: the food is better, there's more to do, all in all it's more entertaining. No matter that the only friend she has made in the real world, the bike-riding Wybie (Robert Bailey Jr), here has a double who cannot speak (through no desire of his own), Coraline is oblivious to the fact that there is something sinister going on. It is from that point, where the plot seems to have begun to footle about with nothing much, that the mixed feelings about mothers emerge to strengthen the narrative. Mothers can provide love and fun for their children, sure, but here Selick concentrates on the main two nightmares about them: that they have been replaced by someone else, and that they never loved you anyway. It's a rich seam to mine, and Coraline does it with admirable flair and eccentricity, a true gem. Music by Bruno Coulais.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2543 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Henry Selick  ( - )

American animator who memorably brought Tim Burton's creations to life with The Nightmare Before Christmas. Like Burton, Selick worked at Disney (on Pete's Dragon and The Fox and the Hound) before branching out on his own. Later feature films were a charming adaptation of James and the Giant Peach, odd fantasy-comedy Monkeybone and much-acclaimed Neil Gaiman adaptation Coraline.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Derrick Smith
   

 

Last Updated: