French and Saunders are the reason I gave this movie a look. And I’m ever so grateful to them.
I usually steer away from animations you see, but this was one of those days when I was intending to file the mountain of papers in the hall/clear that overflowing drawer of junk/varnish the kitchen cupboard. And, when faced with the choice between a sticky old tin, congealed brush and roll of masking tape or an animated film featuring one’s favourite comedy duo, it’s very easy to change one’s steering habits.
Coraline is the tale of a bored young girl who enters a parallel world where everything seems much better, at first anyway…
The plot may sound typical storybook stuff, and on paper maybe it is (the film’s based on the 2001 novella by Neil Gaiman, which I haven’t read). But it’s brought to life with such imagination on screen in this movie that it seems incredibly fresh and original. Take a look:
To activate the sound in the trailer: hold your cursor over the screen to reveal the control panel and click on the volume control in the bottom right-hand corner.
The reason I tend to steer away from animated films is because they’re usually aimed at children, but this stop motion masterpiece is a visual feast – a work of art in fact.
And, I don’t believe that this film is geared solely towards kids. Like The Nightmare Before Christmas (also directed by Henry Selick – no it wasn’t Tim Burton, he wrote and produced that one) it has a deep, dark, and complex tone.
You must see it if you haven’t already. It’s beautiful, vibrant, imaginative, artistic, full of eccentric characters, visual jokes, dark and creepy moments, a wonderfully sinister opening sequence, a sound moral message, a mysterious puss, a garden with a ‘wow’ factor, and vocal roles from Teri Hatcher, Dakota Fanning, Ian ‘Lovejoy’ McShane, and of course, French and Saunders.
In fact, as French and Saunders might say, it’s got it all. (All, that is, except 3D. Coraline was released in cinemas in this format, but believe me, the film doesn’t need it).