Monday, October 31, 2011

Ride With the Moon in the Dead of Night

Happy Halloween, one and all! Today I'm going to talk about another Neil Gaiman classic, "Coraline." 

Written in 2004, "Coraline" tells the story of a little girl who isn't quite neglected by her parents, but they aren't very attentive either. They pass her back and forth, give her busy work to do, but Coraline is bored, even after exploring her new home and meeting her colorful neighbors. One day while searching through the new home, she finds a small, locked door that piques her curiosity. She begs her mom to unlock the door with the key she found in the kitchen, and is sad to see there is nothing but a brick wall behind the door. 

However, that is not the end of the story. 

At night, the brick wall moves aside to create a tunnel to a fantastic world that Coraline is all too eager to be in. In this new world, her parents are attentive, they make food she actually enjoys, and there are plenty of things to do. 

But this utopia has a price...

In 2009, Coraline was adapted into a feature film by Henry Selick, the creative genius behind "Nightmare Before Christmas." Though there had to be minor changes to the story to make it work on screen, it stays very true to Gaiman's original work. The changes enhance the story rather than take away from it. The film is done in stop-motion animation and the voice cast is an incredibly talented mix of actors. I saw it i the theater in 3D, and bought the 3D edition on DVD.


Also in 2009, a graphic novel of "Coraline" was released. It is the same story as the book, and doesn't use the art style of the movie. It is wonderfully macabre, and is exactly the kind of book I loved as a child. Though the original book has some illustrations, I think "Coraline" plays out very well as a graphic novel.


"Coraline" is a great movie to curl up on the couch to watch on a cold, dark Halloween night, or a great book to snuggle in bed with. However the story finds you, you'll enjoy it.