Coraline: Not the Book, But Still Worth a Watch   Leave a comment

Coraline.  I liked it. But I will certainly understand it if I’m one of the only people who claims to enjoy it. The movie didn’t really follow traditional movie plot formats (or, more precisely, it didn’t follow movie plot formats the way that you would expect a movie to.) The plot was unfolding a bit like a mystery movie rather than the expected way that a horror, suspense or adventure movie would normally unfold. Honestly? I can see a kid leaving the movie thinking it was awesome, while an adult would leave the movie feeling that the first third of it was too slow and boring. The first third was the type of exposition that I remember really enjoying when I was younger but not appreciating as much in later years.

And speaking as a Neil Gaiman fan who read the original book, I can say that the movie does differ in plot from the book, but I do not believe that this difference detracted from the story too greatly.

The one bad thing I can say about the movie (unless you would take my dancing around the phrase “slow to start” above as a bad thing) is that the animation seemed off a bit at the start. I could tell at times that the animation was stop motion (which I knew going into it, of course, but still…) The difficulty I had was a weird one. The motion wasn’t “jerky”, but it certainly wasn’t “smooth.” Honestly, it looked like computer animation…but only if the computer animation had about half of the individual pictures that the movie is made up of removed. I can also say that the movie was in 3D (even down to having the glasses handed out with the ticket), but the movie didn’t need to be, I don’t think. The film would have been just fine if it had all been confined to the screen in front of me (and honestly, very little of the movie jumped off of that screen, and when it did it never came too close to me…then again, I wasn’t sitting in the center of the audience, so my vision might’ve been skewed? Perhaps.)

Regardless: I enjoyed it and felt that my time and money hadn’t been wasted. I doubt that I’ll be watching it again in the cinema, but I wouldn’t mind owning it when it comes out on DVD. For people who are planning on watching it: don’t expect it to be The Nightmare Before Christmas, or you will be dissapointed. Don’t expect it to be Corpse Bride, or you will be dissapointed. Heck, don’t expect it to be Beowulf, Stardust, or the book it was originally based upon, or you could also be dissapointed. Just sit back and let yourself enjoy it. Or don’t, it’s a free country.

PS-Oh, and I was also a little weirded out by the fact that the movie apparently takes place in the USA. While I suppose that might make sense from a marketing standpoint on paper, I think that the Harry Potter series has shown us that a movie can do well in America even if it’s based in Brittain. I don’t think that the Americanization hurt the movie, but I’m not convinced it helped either. Either way, though, it didn’t bug me too much.

PPS-I went with a few friends, one of whom happened to be my sister, and she actually caught that a song in it was played by They Might Be Giants. I didn’t realize it until it was pointed out, but yes, it was certainly John’s voice singing it. And we watched for TMBG to be mentioned in the end credits to verify (I always love watching the end credits, and yeah, I know I’m in the vast minority there.) Nifty touch, in my opinion.


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