Saturday, February 07, 2009

The movie Coraline reminded me of....


Just saw the new movie Coraline with several 8-to-10 year old girls. It was amazing but freaky. It features many themes that are potentially disturbing for any age. It gets down to the basics of what happens if your parents ignore you and you decide to run away...what if your fantasy Mom turns into a monster...and for me, what is the nature of an evil, suffocating mother.

The movie was brilliant. The stop-motion animation was breathtaking. I'd say that whether it's too scary for a child depends on the child's temperament and sensitivity rather than age. This intense, thoughtful movie is meant to be challenging.

Dakota Fanning's vocal performance combined with the animation nailed the character of a disgruntled tween girl. Loved her convincing Michigan accent.

Here are the things that Coraline reminded me of:

The Wizard of Oz

The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Spiderwick Chronicles
The Ring (the super-creepy Japanese horror film. Just a little cross-over there but significant to me.)
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
Desperate Housewives (Terri Hatcher is the voice of the Mom, and the more evil she gets, the more she looks like a character from Desperate Housewives.)

and, the real-life case of Nadya Suleman, mother to octuplets + 6. I kept thinking about her when they explored the psychology of the perfect/evil Other Mother.

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