“Coraline” It’s Ok

Genres: Kids/Family, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Animation and Adaptation

Running Time: 1 hr. 40 min.

Release Date: February 6th, 2009 (wide)

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements, scary images, some language and suggestive humor.

Distributors: Focus Features, Universal Pictures International (UPI)

Director: Henry Selick

JJ Rating: B

Coraline (Dakota Fanning) is not Caroline, for one thing, and she’s not in a family that she particularly likes at the moment. They move into a new home that has a secret door that she goes through. She ends up in a mirrored reality that gives her everything she wants from life, but it comes at a price that she’s not so sure she’s willing to pay. Coraline.

I find it funny when an actress or an actor happens to be in two movies that open at the same time. It’s just amusing. I wonder what they think when they are told their films are opening against one another. Which ones do they want to win the box office? Do they have a preference? It’s just interesting.

I saw the Real-D (3D) one. It was pretty good because of that. But I think that the story was a bit dry for my taste. It was really long. Animated films are not made to be so long and drawn out. It felt like it was a 30 minute short that was stretched out. I nearly died. Part of my very smart rules is that comedies cannot be longer than an hour and half and now I add that animated films cannot be longer than 88 minutes. Because the attention span of a child doesn’t stretch to an hour and forty minutes. That’s asking way too much of a child as well as an adult that grew tired of the ugly cat on the screen.

Henry Selick is a good director. He has a knack for stop animation films. He has done several. It does look like his work from the past and what better complement than to know the director than by their work?

The overall look of Coraline was fantastic. The stop animation was amazing. The characters were very unique and different from one another. Their looks were exotic and creative. The music that accompanies the film as well as a song by two characters was pretty special and funny. The problem was the storyline was just not good enough to cover the entire hour and forty minutes without making people feel like they were being tortured by father time. As with most animation Coraline did not have a connection. I didn’t feel invested in the film as I do for other animated films.

Coraline is a long film. I don’t see how a child will sit through this without becoming antsy and wonder when it’s over. On top of that there are a few scary aspects to the film itself that deal with ghost and witch like things. It’s not magical in a pleasant way and it’s not entertaining in a pleasant way. It’s just alright in an ok way.

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