Sunday, November 08, 2009

3D magic in Coraline

Watched "Coraline" in 3D. I'd already read the book, so there weren't that many surprises in the movie. Coraline's dad is slightly more fleshed out, perhaps, and there's the addition of Wybie, to whom Coraline can dialogue with otherwise she'll spend most of her on-screen time soliloquizing -- which would be practically the whole movie.

Yes, Coraline is lonely. Nobody pays much attention to her 'cos they're busy with work. Or they're partway off their rockers already. No one listens to her, much less get her name right (it's "Coraline," not "Caroline!"). She's left her friends behind to settle in a house isolated from civilization, and quickly falls prey to ennui. When she discovers an alternate reality in which all her wishes come true, where everything and everyone seems to exist for her pleasure alone, it's almost too good to be true.

I'm no book purist, so it's wonderful to see Gaiman's text come to life in 3D stop-motion animation. The story I already know. What I marvel at is the storytelling technique which is intricate in detail and so painstaking to put together. The 3D effects are a costly extravagance, but it does add to the magic of the experience.

If there's a moral to this story, I suppose it's that Coraline learns to accept people the way they are in reality, flawed as they may be. She realizes that if they simply conformed to her idealized version of how they "should" be, she might as well be wearing buttons in place of her eyes. And if everyone and everything revolved around just her alone, what a small world it would be to live in.

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