Kevin Lovell from Screen-Connections has participated in nearly all of my Halloween Fifteen/Mayoween blogathons, and I couldn’t be happier that he’s back yet again for another film review. This time, he takes on Coraline, the 2009 animated feature from Henry Selick based on Neil Gaiman’s story. I’m also very pleased that this happens to be one of Kevin’s favorite animated films (as he’ll note below), because that always makes things even more fun. Read on to find out exactly why Coraline ranks so high with Kevin, and definitely check out his excellent website!
One of my favorite animated films of all time, ‘Coraline’ tells the story of young Coraline Jones who has just moved into a dull, new home with her folks who always seem far too busy with their writing to spend any time with their lonely daughter. Upon discovering a miniature door oddly placed within the living room of their new home, Coraline eventually makes her way through and discovers another version of the world she occupies, in many ways a mirror, yet with improvements on every aspect she has become fed up with in her real life, including new versions of her parents that with the exception of their peculiar button eyes are everything she had ever hoped her real parents could be. Unfortunately, when something seems too good to be true, it often is and Coraline soon discovers there are indeed far more terrifying forces and intentions at work in this seemingly perfect version of her life than she had initially realized.
Written for the screen and directed by the talented Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) and based upon the novel by Neil Gaiman (American Gods), ‘Coraline’ is a truly unique, gorgeous and occasionally somewhat frightening (especially for the younger viewers) dark fantasy about the struggles of a young girl, the opportunity of something better and a few lessons to be learned along the way. A family film that may just enthrall adults more than children and is filled with heart, terror and some beautiful undertones, then completed with breathtaking stop-motion animation that comes together into one of the most visually stunning and darker family films that I’ve ever had the pleasure of. Not to mention one that would make an absolutely perfect addition to your Halloween viewing lineup whether you’re looking for a great family film or simply a solo watch for a perfect October night’s viewing.
‘Coraline’ certainly isn’t a Halloween centered film and is also considered a family film in most regards, yet don’t let that deter you when considering adding it to your Halloween viewing lineup as it should fit in as perfectly as the rest of your genre selections. Complete with a horrifyingly beautiful world, a frightening villain and some eerie images, along with a fantastic overall adventure and even a few supernatural aspects, ‘Coraline’ makes for a splendid Halloween movie selection, and one the family households can also more comfortably enjoy with the little ones.
For those interested in including ‘Coraline’ in your seasonal October viewing lineup and don’t already own the film, there are a few options to go about doing so. While the film unfortunately isn’t currently available on the most common subscription streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, those with HBO subscriptions can stream the film via HBO GO as part of their plan. The film is also available for purchase and/or rental on most of the large digital retailers including Amazon, iTunes, VUDU, etc. for those who don’t mind dropping a few bucks on it (it’s certainly well worth the cost if you can afford it), and you can of course also purchase your copy of the Blu-ray at your favorite retailer should you prefer.
On another note, I would also like to urge fellow 3D enthusiasts to check out the 3D version of ‘Coraline’ if you’re able to do so. As the first stop-motion animated feature originally filmed in 3D, it’s my preferred viewing method for the film (I’m not sure I’ve ever actually seen the film in 2D) especially with all of the gorgeous and indelible imagery present within. For those with 3D capability, the 3D version of ‘Coraline’ can be rented on VUDU and an anaglyph 3D version of the film is also included on the US Blu-ray release (or at least on some editions), although the required green/magenta anaglyph 3D glasses initially included within may sadly no longer be provided.