Posted in Flick Central

Coraline, created by LAIKA, based on the novella Coraline by Neil Gaiman: a Film Review


Eleven-year-old Coraline has just moved into a mansion turned apartment complex with her parents.  As the move happens her parents are busy trying to get their latest book done before their deadline.  They aren’t able to keep Coraline entertained in her new environment and encourage her to go and explore the grounds.

She meets a boy named Wybee whose grandmother owns the apartment complex.  He is weird and eventually gives Coraline a doll that looks like her.  When she asks where he found the doll he doesn’t seem to know, but comes back later when his grandmother is upset that Coraline was given the doll.

As rainy weather eventually prevents Coraline from exploring outside she takes to the inside of her home discovering a locked passage on her adventures.  When the door ends up opening seemingly of its own accord Coraline follows the hall into another world.  Just like her own…but better.

Better food, better entertainments from the neighbors…and another mother and father.  As Coraline makes herself at home the Other Mother offers her a choice… she can leave, or she can stay forever.  The catch? She must have buttons sewn into her eyes.

When Coraline asks to be given time to make the choice and returns to her world she gets the feeling that the Other Mother isn’t going to let her go so easily.  When her parents turn up missing she becomes frantic.  Will the Other Mother let Coraline go…or will this turn into a fight for not only her life but a fight for her parents as well?

General Information:

-Genre: Stop Motion Animation, Dark Fantasy, Horror

-Creator: LAIKA, based on the novella Coraline by Neil Gaiman

-Length: 100 minutes

-Rating: PG (for dark themes and horror, mild violence, death and discussions of death, fantasy themes, some language and suggestive humor, scary images and other thematic elements)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Starz, YouTube, iTunes, DVD, Blue-Ray, or find it at your local library!

-Main Cast: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Ian McShane

-Page of Reference in RPO: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

Absolutely one of my favorite LAIKA films.  I watched it long before I ever read the book or the graphic novel but I fell in love with the delightfully dark story of the young Coraline.

Between her bratty and self-centered behavior and the strange and mysterious Wybee to the very disturbing Other Mother, LAIKA did a fantastic job utilizing their stop motion techniques to the fullest.  I honestly don’t thing traditional 2D or 3D animation could have really pulled off the jerky and creepy movements of the Beldam, the strange soupy movements of the Other Father as he disintegrates or the lithe and graceful movements of the Cat.

There is so much that can be said of this film.

The story does a great job of following what was in the book with the exception of adding Wybee (which is honestly a welcome addition and a fun companion for Coraline).  The characters are the same, the story follows very closely with little variation and the animation is just beautiful.

Defiantly a must see but beware with younger children.  Just because this movie is a children’s story it is dark and deals with very dark themes (both real and fantasy) and may be scary for some young viewers.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

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