HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Bushido Blade, The
Jiu Jitsu
Blind
Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie
Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?
   
 
Newest Articles
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
   
 
  Coraline The Hardest Button To Button
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, FantasyBuy from Amazon
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 4862 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: