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Coraline is an unexpected, different and utterly beautiful, stop-motion animated movie. It’s based on the book with the same name written by Neil Gaiman. Henry Selick, who directed “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” headed this movie. Selick creates a magical world, which not only Coraline wants to get lost in but anyone who gets a peek will do too.

The unlikely road of Coraline to the big screen starts with the book it’s based on. Coraline is a children’s book that many have found a bit disturbing. The story gets darker and more adventurous as you go along. It might be because it’s not all yellow brick roads or chocolate factories. Maybe is the lack of adult supervision that 80s kids enjoyed, or the other mother’s macabre plan. Neil Gaiman always thought of Coraline as a kids’ story, which he wrote for her daughters. However, his literary agent, Merrilee Heifetz, thought the book was too scary for kids. Gaiman suggested that she should read it to her daughters, aged eight and six at the time, and if they find it scary he would send the book to his adult editor. Merrilee reported that they didn’t find the story scary at all and she would send it to Harper’s Children. Years later, the youngest daughter, now 15, confessed to Gaiman that she was terrified by the story but refuse to tell her mother because she wanted to know what happened next. And thanks to her fortunate lie, we’ve got a remarkable heroine in children’s literature.

The movie took Selick 9 years to make, he read Gaiman’s manuscript in 2000 and lived with the project for so long he even knew how the foliage would look. Selick thought that a movie adaptation of Coraline would likely last 47 minutes. When he adapted the book, he added his own touches to the story like Coraline’s neighbor, Wyborne and expanded the universe to a 100-minute story. The key peculiarity that sets stop-motion animation apart and Selick’s projects from other films is the attention to detail. For example, the multiple facial expressions made for each character. Animators made 3D models for characters and sets, so everything you see on the screen it exists in real life and was hand-made by dedicated artists. Various things stand out from this superb movie, like Coraline’s face made out of flowers and vegetables in the garden. Mr. Bobinsky’s mice routine and the other mother’s true form are eye catching.

Coraline Jones is a nine-year-old girl who recently moved to the Pink Palace Apartments with her parents. The other residents are the old performers Ms. Spink, Ms. Forcible and her dogs, who live in the basement; and Mr. Bobinsky, a Russian acrobat who occupies the attic. While exploring her house, Coraline discovers a small locked door in the living room’s wall. She begs her mother to open it only to find out a red brick wall behind it. The disappointment doesn’t last long when late that night she opens the small door to find an entrance to another world. A world similar to the one she came from, only it’s brighter, more interesting and fun. Her excitement doesn’t falter even when she meets her other mother, a woman identical to her real mother but with black buttons for eyes. This unusual detail plagues the settlers of this parallel universe. Coraline gets to meet the other Ms. Spink and Ms. Forcible and attend their irreverent performance. She and the other Whyborne, her annoying neighbor in the real world, are the only spectators at the other Mr. Bobinsky impressive mice show. She is enthusiastic about this new wonderful world until the other mother suggests sewing buttons onto her eyes so she can stay there forever. From here on out things get scarier.

Coraline’s remarkability comes from not backing down even if she’s scared or hurt. She powers through because it’s the right thing to do. This brave and unusual heroine has become a role model for girls everywhere. You must take a step inside the stunning world conceived by Neil Gaiman and brought to life by Henry Selick. Let Selick lead you through bright colors, humor, darkness and wonderment to a world not unlike ours but much more magical. This is not just a movie; it’s a true work of art. Coraline Jones will now live as a blue-haired, yellow raincoat, smart, nine-year-old, badass girl in our memory forever.

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