Language: English, Russian
Genre: Animation, Thriller
Director: Henry Selick
Writers: Henry Selick, Neil Gaiman
Music: Bruno Coulais
Cinematography: Pete Kozachik
Robert Bailey Jr.
This Gothic animation feature comes from Henry Selick, the man who brought us THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1993), which is frequently mistaken as Tim Burton’s work (actually Burton is only the co-producer and co-writer, as a matter of fact, Burton directed his debut animation feature not until CORPSE BRIDE in 2005).
The dark palette of our indomitable Coraline’s fairytale distinguishes itself from other light-colored Hollywood cartoons interwoven with motley kids-friendly visualizations and vapidly didactic tone. Since the opening scene, my expectation of being thrilled had been hovering high, and I baldly assert that its audience’s threshold age could be much older, which should had been a deadly challenge for a mainstream animation, nevertheless the film conquered its demographic range and gained a sprightly success in the box office and a nomination of BEST ANIMATED FEATURE in Oscar 2010.
Speaking of the film itself, the 2-D character-designing deserves some standing ovation, the wackiness resides seamlessly inside each of them. Meanwhile the narrative reflects a deep empathy upon everyone’s own grown-up issues, such as there is no unearned harvest in the world, never believe something which is too good to be true.
The voice cast is superb, I even could not recognize it’s Dakota Fanning if I had overlooked the opening credits and Teri Hatcher carries a nuisance between her two opposite roles as real mother Vs. evil mother.
One little complain here, I am still not able to figure out the whole cause and effects of the evil mother’s “button-eye” plan, which lacks a plausible explanation for me to digest. Besides that, the film excels in every each way to be considered a successfully unorthodox innovator in its own category.
P.S. The film reminds me of SPIRITED AWAY, another master piece from Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki.