Topics: Coraline, Neil Gaiman, Stop motion Pages: 6 (2495 words) Published: March 26, 2011
Samantha Vraa
English 1106

Coraline is a horrific children’s book that was produced into a movie in 2009. Written by Neil Gaiman, the book was published in 2003 as juvenile fiction. Gaiman’s twisted ingenious mind has even frightened adult readers. This creepy fairy tale clearly draws much of its inspiration from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. What started out as a children’s novel became a hit movie in theaters. What is so spectacular about Coraline may be the colorful characters, the unexpected turn of events within the story, or the fact that it is the first stop(Stop?) animation movie to be viewed in 3-D. The combination of Gaiman’s story with Selick’s (who is Selick? Producer?) talent for movie presentation has made Coraline a remarkably entrancing and horrifying fairy tale for both readers and movie watchers as they experience the entrancing adventure of a little girl who learned the price of opening a door that was not meant to be opened.

Before Coraline hit the big screen it made an everlasting impression as a children’s horrific fairytale. It turns out that Coraline’s name came about because Neil Gaiman kept messing up spelling Caroline. Reading Coraline makes it easy for the first time readers to relate to her character when they think back to their current or past adolescence. Most people would admit to times in their young lives when they were relentless pessimists and complainers, who acted bored and coughed up attitudes on a daily basis. Everyone could share Coraline’s plight when they had felt that there was nothing to do in a new house and were reluctant to meet new people. Viewers and readers alike have also felt a special connection between her family and their own. Children always think about what the perfect mother would be like, and parents also try to be the best for their children. However, both age groups try to imagine something better. Unlike Coraline, no one had ever found a mysterious small door in the living room that led to an almost perfect alternate reality that catered to your every whim. The movie begins with viewers seeing a doll that resembles an African-American child floating into a dark house greeted by hands made out of needles. Accompanied by the traditional chilling soundtrack that follows all Tim Burton films the doll is refashioned. “Two hands disembowel a doll and then reassemble it with needle and thread. While not the most warm and fuzzy scene in any cinematic form, what makes it particularly ghoulish is the feeling that you could run your fingers through the doll’s sawdust innards and touch its button eyes” (Clark). The doll is then dressed in a yellow raincoat and blue jeans. As soon as it is finished the mysterious needle hands sends the doll out the window where it floats out in space. This is where we find out that the doll replicates our heroine Coraline Jones.

Coraline, voiced by Dakota Fanning, and her parents, voiced by Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman, had just moved into the Pink Palace, it is a pink house spilt into floors as apartments in the woodsy area of Oregon. Coraline finds the house completely droll and far from the home and friends that she knew. While she explores her new home she finds, as Pratt writes: “A [Russian Gymnast, Mr.Bobinsky, who lives in the attic] tells Coraline that he's training his circus mice to play music, and Coraline finds him vaguely alarming, if only because she can't tell whether he's serious or joking. Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, two aging former actresses, live downstairs with a coterie of Scottie dogs. The ladies are happy to dispense tea, inedible cookies, and advice, and they read Coraline's tea leaves, which indicate that she's in danger.” She meets Wyborn, voiced by Robert Bailey Jr., as Ebert describes, a “young hunchback whose full name is Wyborn, and it doesn’t take Coraline long to wonder why his parents named him that.” Wybie had found the doll that looked just like Coraline in his...
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