Coraline, not Caroline, she says when people mispronounce her name. Voiced by Dakota Fanning, Coraline is introduced as a typical angst ridden kid who is sick of her life. She stumbles upon a tunnel which brings her into a dream world, and it is everything she ever wanted.
The premise sounds like Alice in Wonderland, but this is much darker and more mysterious than your usual slapstick for children. In the “other” reality, her parents are fun and she gets whatever she wants, but the movie cleverly leaves threads to make you think that everything is not what it seems.
The plot really gets going when the ruler of this alternate reality is revealed and Coraline has to save herself and her family from the villain. The action scenes are exciting and the musical score is good. This movie uses stop motion animation, which takes some time to get used to as most people are used to CGI animated movies.
The skillful animation mixed with an eerie dark tone creates a mind-boggling world that both Coraline and the audience steps into. I don’t want to talk too much about the plot because I would hate to spoil anything, but Coraline is certainly a very scary movie. I wouldn’t be surprised if I had nightmares about this film.
My only negative point is that some of the songs were unnecessary. I doubt anyone was expecting to see a musical, so some of the musical numbers felt redundant. The singing parts slightly messed up the pacing of the film, especially when you are starting to discover what’s really going on.
Despite my nitpick, Coraline is still a very well constructed movie. The adventure is heartwarming and everything ties up nicely at the end. Coraline comes highly recommended for anyone who wants to see a good animated film.