9 February 2009
I got to see Coraline with the kids this weekend. I really liked it, like the tone, liked the tunes, liked the message. A few things really impressed me.
The movie relaxed me. How often does an animated movie feel relaxing? Much less a scary movie, or a kids movie? Yes, it was scary, truly so. But it somehow did not wind me up in a nervous ball.
As I left the theater I noticed that the real world looked brighter and more inviting than the movie world. I usually leave theaters and feel the opposite: that somehow it would be wonderful to live in the movie world of bright colors and grand adventures. But somehow the production values of Coraline, which was a super-beautiful film, made the real world feel fresh and exciting.
I thought about this again as I read a review of the film today. Here’s how one seven year old put it…
That’s what the scary parts mean… they aren’t scary really, they just aren’t real. Stuff is boring a lot, but it’s real, and you wouldn’t trade even though you think you would. Like, when you’re at Disneyland you’re thinking, “I want to live here forever,” but you don’t realize that you don’t really, because pretty soon it would suck, because it isn’t real… and living all the time in not real stuff would get creepy. That’s what that scary part is about. Coraline is really cool though, because she’s brave and does what she knows is right. It was awesome.
Yes! Exactly! And that was accomplished not only through story, but also in the way the film presented itself. I’ve never felt anything like it. An attractive experience that left me wanting my own life, flaws and all.
What was scariest? For me it was the presentation of Coraline’s parents. They hit way to close to home. Do I ignore my kids the way they do? I’m afraid all too often the answer is yes. That scares me, maybe I can do something about it!