Coraline is a Children’s horror film and, unsurprisingly, has been quite controversial within parental forums with some arguing it is too scary for it’s PG rating. The Nightmare Before Christmas – also directed by Henry Selick – provoked a similar reaction yet is a firm family favourite with a strong cult following. It’s very different from a regular children’s film, which may account for its success. Likewise Coraline is a refreshing break from the same-old same-old and pushes the envelope on children’s entertainment. It’s frightening in a surreal, psychological way evocative of nightmares with a sprinkling of creepiness. But by embodying these intangible childhood fears it also tackles how to deal with them, and is ultimately empowering and uplifting.
Coraline is a stop-motion animation and the hand-crafted feel is particularly appropriate to its theme. With the introduction of computer-generated animation stop-motion, which is a painstakingly slow process, is becoming increasingly rare. Coraline’s visuals are breathtaking with minute attention to detail in every frame. It’s a work of art with beautiful, atmospheric scenery and luscious, touchable textures. I could forgive a multitude of sins for something this pretty.