Aug 09

Coraline the Movie

Posted by Carlos in Reviews

CoralineThis past week my family and I saw Coraline the movie, directed by Henry Selick. This was an excellent movie which becomes even better once you know how it was made. The movie stars Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, and Jennifer Saunders to name a few, but the true stars are the animators.

The movie is based on the story of the same name written by Neil Gaiman. It is the tale of a little girl who moves into a new home with her parents. Her parents don’t pay her much attention as they are workaholics who work from home. She discovers that her new home is the entrance to a different world where her ‘Other’ parents dote her with non-stop attention. She later realizes that things aren’t always what they seem.
If you have read the book, don’t worry the movie is different enough to be entertaining, but not so much that it is a completely different story.

What makes the movie spectacular is how its made. Stop-motion animation (according to Wikipedia) is ‘an animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own’ (think of Rudolf, the Red Nose Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman). So the entire movie (characters, set and all) is made up of miniatures that are moved one bit at a time to make the movie. This means that one simple scene usually takes weeks to shoot because in order to get one second of the movie done, the animators must move and take pictures of the scene 24 times. The movie has an added complexity because it was also shot in 3-D. In order for them to do this, they had to build special hardware to hold the cameras in place.

If you purchase the DVD, I would highly recommend that you watch ‘the Making of Coraline’ feature after the movie. This feature will give you an appreciation of the movie, and when you watch it again (as I know you will) you will see how fantastic it really is. Especially when you learn that nothing was computer generated.

I have seen many stop-motion movies in my day, but I have to say that Coraline is the best I have seen to date. I would highly recommend it to all.