Coraline (US, 2009)

Mind boggling animation

Mind boggling animation

The film reminded me of Paul Berry’s brilliant short The Sandman (UK, 1991), particularly in the focus on eyes, and Coraline‘s Grimm inheritance makes sure that this fairy tale is properly scary. The stop motion animation is fantastic, it has the flexibility of CGI, particularly with the elaborate camera movements, without the technique’s ugly ‘plasticness’.

This was always going to be far more interesting than Monsters vs Aliens but it is interesting to compare its use of 3D. For Monsters I felt it was a distraction, in Coraline the use was more integrated into the animation probably because the visuals were so fabulous anyway that the ‘breaking of the screen’ (ie the moment when the images appear to come out of the screen) simply added to what was being shown. Whereas in Monsters the ‘3D moments’ felt contrived and so drew attention to themselves.

Of course Hollywood has sold whatever bits of its soul it still has to CGI, there were trailers for Ice Age 3 and Up in the screening I saw, and while it’s ridiculous, aesthetically, that Monsters should gross over $100m more than Coraline in N.America, the latter’s $75m isn’t bad.


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