Saturday, February 7, 2009

Film Review: Coraline

Film Review: Coraline
I had the opportunity to see Coraline yesterday... in 3D!!!!  Coraline was the first feature film I've watched in 3D and I was really impressed.  It made what is already an amazing piece of work even cooler.  Of course, I'd still like to see it the normal way, simply because looking through 3D glasses for a long period of time is probably not all that great for your eyesight.  Anyways on the movie itself...
I sat pretty much mesmerized the entire time.  Since I am an animator my eyes were zooming around the screen trying to capture as much as possible.  I have a tendency to dissect animated films, which is both a blessing and a curse.  On the one hand I get to fully respect the work that has gone into the film and learn a few new tricks from observation, yet the flip side is the story tends to get a little bit lost for me.  Coraline is one of those films with a tried and true story to tell, so I didn't really run into the cons all that much.  I was actually reminded quite a bit of Miyazaki's Spirited Away, since both films deal with female protagonists with parent issues escaping (thrust into) another world.  
I loved the set design and artistry of Coraline.  It's truly a staggering accomplishment.  I am so pleased that Henry Selick chose to go the stop motion route.  There is more magic in stop motion in my eyes than most all the 3D animations piling up at the cinemas.  Something about the fact that hands made these worlds down to the last detail.... a human element that doesn't make the world feel too perfect.  Little things like the way the cat's hair moves around, remind you there is an animator at work... and a REALLY good one!  
The sound design needs to be addressed as well.  Imagine if the world's sounds shut off and you had to reproduce them.  How would you find the perfect sound for every action?  The sound team did an amazing job creating all the subtle background noises that fit perfectly with the action on screen.  The score for the film is also fantastic and moves along at a leisurely pace.  

Basically... see this film as soon as you can!  Catch it on the big screen, you won't regret it.  Coraline gets FIVE STARS in my book.  I'm buying this when it comes to DVD.  Much thanks and respect to Henry Selick!

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