REEL REVIEW: CORALINE

Coraline Movie Poster

Title: Coraline
Screenwriter: Henry Selick
Director: Henry Selick
Release Date: February 6, 2009
Synopsis: An adventurous 11-year-old girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets.

From Coraline Rave …

One of the aspects that I absolutely love about the movie is the animation. Even almost 10 years after its release, Coraline is still visually stunning. I also appreciated that even though I  recognized some of the actors, like Teri Hatcher, Dakota Fanning, Ian McShane and Keith David (who was perfection as the voice of The Cat), their voices weren’t distracting and didn’t take me out of the story. I don’t really like when animated movies use super famous actors to voice the characters for name recognition, but their distinctive voices don’t work. This was a movie where it worked!

… To Coraline Rant

Now, it’s ranting time! Yoooooo! Can we talk about how terrible this movie portrayed Coraline’s parents? I was really disappointed with the interaction between Coraline and her parents during the movie. The movie made it seem like she was the most unwanted child ever, and that was not the case in the book. The book makes it more believable that Coraline would want to save them from the Other Mother, and it seems like the movie needed to be beat the audience over the head with an overbearing tension between Coraline and her parents that would make Coraline wanting to stay on the other side a logical conclusion.

Why must the audience be beat over the head with tension between Coraline and her parents? Yes, her parents are busy working and doing all the adult things, but they still show their daughter some semblance of love and affection. The movie lacks those aspects of Coraline’s relationship with her parents that makes her want to save them from the Other Mother. If I was to just go by the movie’s portrayal of Coraline’s parents, I would wonder why Coraline wants to save them at all!

Who Run The World?

Although I didn’t like how one-dimensional the movie made Coraline’s parents, I absolutely HATED the addition of the story’s most unnecessary character Wyborne. I don’t care what my beau says, Wyborne does not move the plot, and he doesn’t provide necessary exposition. Wyborne was shoehorned into the plot for the boys who can’t relate to a story that centers around a girl. I recognized it immediately because I’ve seen it before in the movies about marginalized characters.

The story includes a character from the dominant culture that is actually not needed for the story because the bigwigs in charge think people from said dominant culture could not possibly related to a marginalized character, even though marginalized people do it ALL THE TIME! I recognize it most when it involves a white character being centered in a black story (i.e. The Blind Side). In the case of Coraline, it was the boy saving the day when the story was actually about a clever girl who used wit and bravery to save herself and her parents from a most certain death.

Overall Opinion

Can I say that I wasn’t excited about watching this movie? But, if you were able to get through my rant, then you are obviously not surprised. In all honesty, I wasn’t blown away by the book, so I was avoiding the inevitable movie watch. The only thing that motivated me in finally watching the movie was remembering catching a glimpse of Wyborne in the past while someone else was watching the movie and that character not being in the book. We all know I am not a fan of adding unnecessary character in the movie. All in all, the movie was is absolutely beautiful, but I just couldn’t get into this story.

The Final Grade

Burnt Popcorn: In addition to the movie completely tanking Coraline’s parents and her relationship with them, for absolutely no logical reason, Wyborne was added to the story. His addition took away key plots of the story where Coraline got to be the hero. For that point alone, this movie will be a forever fail for me.

Your Turn

So…are you a fan of the movie version of Coraline? Let us know in the comments! |RL

P.S. Want more Coraline? Read the book review!  Join the quotefest!

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