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the mouse circus alone is worth the price of admission

February 7th, 2009 by erin

We went to see Coraline this morning. I have been looking forward to this for ages, I adore the book and I adore Henry Selick so the combination of the two made me downright giddy with anticipation. (I even painted Coraline-inspired art while I was impatiently waiting for the film to be released.)

It is only playing near us in 3D, which I was somewhat concerned about. I have rather wonky eyesight so I don’t always see things in 3D and such all that well. Remember those Magic Eye posters that were all the rage years ago that looked like abstract patterns but had images hidden in them? Never saw a single thing in those, am somewhat convinced that it was a big conspiracy.

But despite mild reservations we decided to give the 3D a whirl and I’m glad we did. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I could see a lot more of it than I’d expected to and it gave everything a glorious depth. I spent most of the film baffled by the artistry of it, the animation is downright amazing. And it’s a testament to the skill of the creators that I kept forgetting that it was all done by hand, the film is that absorbing.

The level of detail is astounding, the Scottie dogs and the mouse circus and each and every button. The characterization, especially of Coraline herself, is wonderful. Have I used enough favorable adjectives for you to tell that I adored it? I kind of did.

It’s definitely a different animal than the book. But I’m rather fond of cases where the book and the film are distinct, separate pieces of art. A book is not a film and a film is not a book, after all, and I think this is a very good example of a film that isn’t exactly like the book in a number of ways but still successful in its own narrative and form.

There are some teensy changes that I wasn’t entirely pleased with, but most of them were minor. Really, I was too mesmerized by the world to be bothered much by passing bits of plot. I loved the aesthetic of it, the feel of the film as a whole too much. I played on coraline.com quite a bit when I got home, just to stay in that world a bit longer.

Highly recommended. And I’d recommend the 3D version, too, it definitely added a dimension to the experience.

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3 Responses to “the mouse circus alone is worth the price of admission”

  1. carey says:

    it’s been a long time since i read the book–since right after i moved to chicago, i think–so going into the movie was kind of like entering the world for the first time. even in 2d, it was stunning, breathtaking, amazing, beautiful, adjective, adjective, adjective. also, i would like one of those coraline action figures.

  2. erin says:

    I’d re-read (well, re-listened to the audio version) a couple months ago, so it was pretty fresh but the film was still a very new experience in comparison.

    You know, I hadn’t even thought to look for toys until you said that, and now I want action figures too. And blue hair.

  3. fahrrad says:

    Dies ist ein gro