Thursday, February 12, 2009


The showing of Coraline in 3-D at the Metreon this evening was packed, though I spotted only one kid. It is a strange movie for sure, having much of the macabre atmosphere of Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas. It's a complex mix of stop-motion puppet animation & CG. The grotesque character designs & detailed settings are the best things in the movie. I enjoyed many of the bizarre set pieces, such as the musical number featuring an aging & buxom Botticelli angel performing for an audience of scottie dogs.

The plot feels arbitrary. I was never sure what the rules of this particular world were supposed to be. Many elements, such as the 3 ghost children, came out of nowhere. I have not read the original Neil Gaiman story, but someone would seem to have mother issues. Mothers in the movie are either neglecting or controlling, but never actually mothering. The heroine, though not a pleasant character, is at least courageous.

If you see this, be patient enough to sit through the credit roll. There is a short but very cool piece of animation tacked on at the very end. It looks like it may have been part of a test that never made it into the final film.

No comments: