Mini-review: Coraline

Coraline is the latest movie by the director of the classic The Nightmare Before Christmas. But more importantly, it was made by Phil Knight’s birthday present to his son, Laika, a (stop-motion) animation studio from Portland. Laika is dear to my heart because one of my classmates’ parents worked at it back when it was Will Vinton Studios, so we would go on tours in elementary school. Way fun.  I had all sorts of Raisins propraganda as a child.

So on to the plot. Coraline is your typical children’s tale: a young girl moves far away from her friends coralineand her parents spend all their time working and not paying any attention to her. Luckily she finds a magic portal that takes her to a land with her Other Mother and Other Father who shower her with mango milkshakes and lavish her with attention. Only problem is the Other Mother wants her to sow creepy black buttons on her eyes.

At heart, the story is nothing original. But it’s done so well! The movie is festooned – and yes, I just used the word festooned – with interesting and imaginative characters. And, much like The Nightmare Before Christmas, this movie is very dark. Heck, they have a character named “Wybie”, which is short for “Whyborn” because his parents didn’t want him. The child in front of us had to be taken out from the movie because she got too scared about halfway through. But the real star of the movie is the animation. It must be a combination of stop-motion and a little computer animation. The detail was amazing and everything was really very exquisitely done. The animation really worked to help with the mood, too. Stop motion is great for a creep movie because the movement is always slightly unnatural and makes everything very unsettling.

It’s rare that I don’t have anything bad to say about a movie, but I can’t think of anything off the top of my head. I’m not sure how keen I’d be to see it again, but it was definitely worth it for anyone to watch it at least once. A tip of the hat to you, good sirs, a tip of the hat.

The Coral – “I Remember When” [mediafire]