Monday, March 16, 2009

Coraline - Review

In keeping with my recent predix for animated feature, I thought I'd lay down my thoughts on one of 2009's first films of note, Henry Selick's Coraline.

The beginning of the film seems to move too fast, as though unwilling to make the audience wait for Coraline's discovery of the magical "other" world, but it's not hard to see why such impatience is the case; this environment is dazzling, colourful but dark, every eye-popping sight has a feeling of unease about it, and it's just wonderfully animated! By the halfway mark of the film things start getting really good, and much scarier.

As for the story itself, this movie has done what few movies have done to me before; made me want to read the book. While I still certainly think Selick's adaptation could have used a bit more length and detail, it's not short on depth. The Freudian parallel's between the two worlds (connected by tube that suspiciously resembles a birth canal) are vividly apparant, and the way that Selick carefully peels back the layers of Coraline's spunk to let us glimpse her inner sorrow is executed to heartbreaking effect. Still, a longer script would have done this film good.

If the rest of this year's animated entries are as good as (or can even improve upon) this one, then we may be looking at yet another great year for animation. But as I mentioned in my previous post, February release dates often means "No Oscar for you!"

*** out of ****

No comments: