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Great adaptation of another Neil Gaiman book
on October 21, 2009
I had never seen this film which is an adaptation of another Neil Gaiman book, but I had seen the trailer and I had gotten curious. So I bought the movie on DVD (when it came out on DVD) and after I had watched it, I love it. The film is made in the stop-motion animation by Henry Selick, the director of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas...though I not really interested in that film.
In the film, Coraline Jones and her parents, Mel and Charlie move from Pontiac, Michigan to Ashland, Oregon in the Pink Palace Apartments, which is a converted mansion that they share with retired actresses Miss Spink and Miss Forcible and retired Russian circus performer Mr. Bobinsky. Coraline's parents are busy working on a gardening catalog, which leaves them with little time for Coraline.
On a walk with a dousing rod, Coraline meets Wybie Lovat whose grandmother grew up in the house, and a cat that Wybie says is feral. They find an old well on the hill above the house. Wybie is a little surprised that his grandmother agreed to rent to the Joneses; usually she tries to find tenants without children. Later, Coraline's mother gives her an old ragdoll that Wybie brought over. A note says that he found at in his grandmother's old chest. The button-eyed doll looks strikingly like Coraline. He also tells Coraline that his grandmother had a twin sister who disappeared as a child, and that he's never been inside the house. Later Coraline finds a small locked door that had been wallpapered over, and when she insists her mother unlock it, she is surprised to find nothing but a brick wall.
That night, Coraline is awoken by the sound of mice, and follows their trail to the small door. Opening it, she finds a passageway instead of the brick wall, and crawls through it. On the opposite side, she finds herself in the "Other World," which is inhabited by button eyed doppelgangers of her parents. The "Other Parents" seem to be much warmer and attentive than Coraline's real parents, particularly her "Other Mother," who does everything she can to impress Coraline. Coraline continues to return to the Other World and is entertained by "other" versions of Wybie and the neighbors.
Over the course of several nights, Coraline spends time with the fantastical Others, but when she falls asleep, she finds herself back in her normal world. Coraline's attempts to compare her normal world with that of the Other World raises tension between her and her mother, who slowly tries to be more affectionate to Coraline. During her third visit, she is warned by the black cat, who can warp between worlds but can only talk in the Other World, that not all is as seems in the Other World and to be careful. That's all I could tell you folks, you will have to see the film for yourself how it ends
I am thinking of reading the original book...I know that is a bit unorthodox but that's me. This is an awesome movie, very well written, and the animation is excellent. The story was perfectly funny and full of suspense. I don't have a favorite scene (as I said many times), because I love the whole film - from beginning to end.