I took my little ten year-old companion to see ‘Coraline‘ last weekend.
So why not give my two cents about it? (Plus, I didn’t know what else to write about this week.)
Much like my little review of ‘Igor‘, I won’t be going the normal ‘movie review’ route. As in, no story synopsis and naming all the people involved and all that. You can search that stuff on Google.
I prefer to talk about the experience of seeing the movie. First impressions. My impressions. Story stuff.
But not give it all away or anything.
I have not read the book or the graphic novel. I went in cold with no expectations.
And I have only seen it once. When I watch a movie for the first time, I’m all in ‘viewer mode’ and not thinking too much like a storyboard artist or industry person. I like to let that go and just watch.
And hopefully enjoy.
While I can name a whole whack of things that stink about going to a matinee full of kids with a kid, sometimes it’s a delight.
This time was a delight. Yippee.
First off, it wasn’t too crowded. Second, there was an equal amount of adults in the theatre. Third, the movie rocked the Casbah.
I was worried going in because we were going to see it in that ‘Real 3D’ crap. Yes. I said crap. We saw ‘Bolt‘ in that 3D crap and it was fuzzy and useless to the story as far as I was concerned.
I would have preferred to see it, you know…normal.
Note to all big-wig filmmakers in Hollywood: We don’t care about your stupid wowee zowee technology as much as you want us to. We hate having to wear geeky-looking glasses and keep adjusting our eyes while just being gouged at the box office to justify the expense of said glasses. That we didn’t want in the first place. Get over the whole ‘Real 3D’ thing already! It’s just ‘Real Annoying’.
So I put on my glasses on top of my other glasses that I need to like, see with and waited for the movie to begin.
And lo and behold, the 3D thing was actually working! It fit the style and looked pretty good. I think this stuff works better with stop-motion animation rather than computer animation. It has a better ‘we’re in the set too’ feel. So they get brownie points for that.
Visually, this movie is amazing.
You get sucked in right away and taken inside Coraline’s world.
Coraline’s highly-detailed-oh-my-god-that-must-have-taken-forever-to-animate world.
(OK, the industry-type part of me leaked in a little.)
One of my first impressions was that I loved the character of Coraline. She was smart. And adventurous. Not all ‘girly’ and silly. Love that.
She’s someone a little girl could want to be like and not want to make me hurl.
The acting was top notch. Yes, there are celebrity voices, but they didn’t stand out as a ‘who’s who’. You just enjoyed the acting and the voices felt like the character’s voices. Good casting.
But it’s the animation acting that I’m really talking about. Great stuff, fun to watch and draws you in.
The story was wonderful. What I liked is that it has an ‘old classic story’ feel while remaining somewhat modern. As in, Coraline’s parents work on computers all day.
The story wasn’t sugary and cute. It has a creepy side. A slightly disturbing side. That whole ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ feel.
It was a refreshing change.
Was there anything that bugged me? Yes. There were a couple of minor story issues that nagged me a bit when it was over. But nothing to make me say it is anything less than great. (I can leave that stuff for a more in-depth analysis when the DVD comes out.)
So what do I mean by “the Coraline effect”?
I mean ‘Coraline‘ did one of those rare things to that movie theatre audience.
It shut them the heck up.
Except for one young little boy (who was getting a little freaked near the end), that theatre was silent for the whole movie.
People didn’t move. My ten year-old companion didn’t move.
Everyone sat. Everyone watched. Nobody spoke.
They were taken inside that story.
Thanks ‘Coraline‘. I needed that.
So readers, should you see it?
Here is the storyboard blog’s tri-perspective recommendation:
For animation types: For the love of all that is good and holy, YES! You will appreciate this movie on all levels. A must see.
For the kiddies: They’ll love it. They will get sucked in to this story and stay mesmerized. BUT it is a little creepy-scary for very young ones, I think. So be careful with the under-six crowd.
For ‘regular’ adults: You’ll probably like it with or with out some kiddlets with you. If you’re the type that feels weird seeing a ‘kid’s movie’ alone, then rent some out. Or suck it up and go see it anyway.
It’s just good old-fashioned storytelling that works.
With some amazing eye-candy to go along with it.
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