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Coraline: Movie/Book Review

A lonely, attention-seeking girl is bored of her rusty, worn-out home. Her parents pay no attention to her, and the neighbors are eccentric freaks. Then, she finds a doorway into a parallel, looking-glass world of her life. Who is the heroine of this strange tale? None other than Coraline, the feisty, blue-haired, courageous girl who embarks on a bizarre, frightening adventure to find just what she wants in life. Coraline is a heart-stopping, delusive adventure movie, made to please audiences of all ages.
In the movie, Coraline finds herself living in a falling apart, roach-infested home, called the Pink Palace, much to her disgust. Her mother and father spend hours on end inside, being dull, boring, and irritatingly inattentive. As a result, the first half of the movie is the main character absentmindedly exploring her home, visiting strange neighbors, such as the disturbed ex-circus star, Mr. Bobo, who claims he is the ringmaster of a grand mice circus, and a pair of ex-thin-and-pretty-actresses, now large, round, odd old ladies who fawn over their pasts and their Scottish Terriers (both dead and alive). Coraline also reluctantly befriends a nerdy, awkward boy named Wybie, short for “Why Born,” and a sleek, black cat while out exploring, both characters who later provide interesting plot twists.
Once Coraline finds her way into the other world, the movie has a powerful sense of foreboding when it reveals that Coraline’s “other mother” – as well all characters in this parallel universe – have black button eyes. Yet, the heroine disregards that once she sees what a marvelously interesting world this is compared to her old one. From gorgeous, Wonderland-like gardens to delicious meals, Coraline feels that she wants nothing more. Until her other parents uncover what she must do in order to get her wish. . .
Instantly, the rest of the movie is unleashed into a wild, stunning adventure as Coraline musters up the courage she never thought she had to fight against a spidery evil that used to be the “other mother,” she could never have dreamed of facing. The entire movie has a theme of spiders’ spinning its web, which Coraline must fight her way out of, and of mysterious spying dolls that started the whole adventure.
Coraline is an animated film, similar to the stop-action movies made by Tim Burton, such Nightmare Before Christmas, filled with fantastical characters, suspenseful action, and a thrilling climax that would cause the audience to be on the edges of their seats, silently cheering on the valiant heroine.
The novel Coraline, written by Neil Gaiman, itself is filled with frightening imagery, occult descriptions, and simple yet powerful language that an elementary student could read yet an adult can see the darkness. The beginning of the story happens within the first two chapters before the interesting book becomes scary and mind-probing. The novel captures a horrifying world, made to steal the souls of unsuspecting children.
The movie was satisfactorily accurate to the novel, except for a few digressions. For one thing, there is no spying doll or Wybie in the book, although in the film, he did help move the content of the story along more complexly. Also, while the movie shows several wonderful visits through the door into the other world, the book only describes one interesting, freakish one, before Coraline realizes what a dangerous place it is. The book itself is an easy read, quick to the point, and frighteningly descriptive of the “other mother,” leaving the reader as breathless as the viewer is after watching the film. Other than that, the movie did a fantastic job depicting the scary section in which Coraline is vainly trying to escape from the other world once and for all.



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notebookgirl said...
Jan. 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm:
Yours is the first movie review I've found today that isn't, in my oppinion, choppy or full of gramatical errors that make me cringe and for that I say thank you so very much! I saw the previews for this movie and found them, frankly, disturbing. So while I may not ever watch this movie, I thouroughly enjoyed reading the review... if that makes any kind of logical sense
 
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