Be careful what you wish for. The grass is greener on the other side. The need to be loved. These came to mind while watching Coraline, the new 3-D animation film based off of Neil Gaiman’s dark fairy tale of the same title.
In this Alice-like tale, Coraline finds a secret door in her new home and discovers a similar, but better life. There, her other parents pay attention to her and want her around so much that they don’t want her to go. To stay all she needs to do is change. What’s one little adjustment? Coraline must rely on her wits, resourcefulness, and courage to return to her ordinary life.
The cast was good all around: Dakota Fanning (Coraline), Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman (parents), Robert Bailey Jr. (Wybie, a strange boy), Ian McShane (Mr. Bobinsky, a neighbor), and Keith David (a stray black cat). Also among the voices were the hilarious duo, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, as the elderly old biddies next door. As a long time fan of their humor, they were an absolutely fabulous surprise.
Coraline was good, worth seeing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if next year it receives an Academy Award or a Hugo Award, the latter of which is given for excellence in the science fiction and fantasy realms. Notably, it is the first stop-motion film to be shot in stereoscopic 3D. Henry Silick, who directed the Nightmare Before Christmas, really kept to Gaiman’s style. I’ve heard from others that it stands up well to the nightmarish novella. Given that fans of books or writers are the toughest to please, that’s a big compliment.
During a recent visit to NYC, a friend asked if I was interested in seeing Coraline, to which my immediate response was “YES!” I liked it a lot and would see it again. That it lept out at us added to the fun. Seeing the film has pushed Gaiman’s fairy tale up on my list from “possibly” to “will read”. Books are usually better than their movie versions anyway.
Anyone see and/or read either version or both? What did you think?