Movie Review: Coraline

I recently watched Coraline with the kids.  The movie was pretty clever and well done, but I found it highly derivative.  Here is what it made me think:

  1. BeetleJuice (1988) –  My goodness, the artwork was so reminiscent the genius BeetleJuice, but more importantly, I found a strong similarity to the main characters (Lydia/Coraline) and to her relationship with her parents, especially her mother.
  2. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964) – The noses especially, but generally, the stop-motion genre is almost defined by these 60’s classics.  Some might say “homage”, I say it was a little too close.
  3. Labrynth (1986) – The story was very similar.  Maybe there are only 8 plots (or whatever), but I just couldn’t shake the similarities.
  4. Spirited Away (2001) – (Or any Miyazaki movie)  There were such striking similarities, I found myself saying, “Gee this is just like Miyazaki!”  I meant it as a compliment.  They paid attention to detail and really nailed some of the kid-isms.  The creativity and natural wonder were spot-on.  But not in an original way.  It was a very nice copy of the Miyazaki way.

Don’t get me wrong.  It was a perfectly good movie.  We enjoyed it.  I just thought it was derivative.  If you liked the movies above, you will like Coraline.

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