Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Coraline" - what "Ponyo" should've been

My review of "Ponyo" was pretty clear: I was disappointed, but understood that a great artist like Hayao Miyazaki merits leeway. HM made a pure kid's movie with little story, development, or stakes. My guess is he made a movie for really young children... "Coraline," however, was also released this year, and also billed as a kid's film. It has everything that "Ponyo" lacked.

I see buttons for eyes and think this relationship will end badly
Our eponymous hero is a smart and willful teen. Her parents are totally absorbed in her father's writing career. Moving to a new town finds Coraline bored and creeped out by her new digs. But the house has a secret room (of course) that leads to a parallel world - one in which everything is slightly wrong. She meets duplicates of her parents, and they recognize her as their child. They're nearly the same, save that these parents dote on Coraline - and their eyes are buttons. For all the kindness and attention she receives, this new world doesn't seem like a nice place to live...