My friend, Erik, and I went to see Coraline today.
I know...Tim Burton and stop animation. I was fine with Nightmare before Christmas. I even liked The Corpse Bride. Well, apparently, I don't know. I have since been corrected that this little gruesome tale is not by Tim Burton but by the director of Nightmare before Christmas. Whatever. Birds of a feather.
But oh, my Coraline.
The best word I can use for this movie is disturbing. It isn't the animation. It is the message.
This is no kids movie.
The tag line is Be careful what you wish for. Well in this case, Coraline wishes that people would not call her Caroline and that her parents, who are work obsessed, and to be frank, pretty damn rude to her, would pay attention to her. Wow, what a horrible thing to wish for. I can see why you wouldn't want to wish for that.
To be seen. To be noticed.
Enter Alice's little door to another world...one where mom and dad actually love spending time with their daughter and people can actually correctly pronounce her name. Have homemade meals. Plant gardens together. Things are magically, in a weird way, but magical.
Enter Mommy Dearest. Mom is not loving and she is a total psycho monster. Dead kids and sewing buttons over eyes. Mouths sewn closed. Husband who is apparently a pumpkin. Dolls that are the Eye of Sauron in the dark stop motion world. There is the stuffing of dogs and Coraline's only salvation lands up being a cat.
I am rambling because I can't get my head around this.
At dinner tonight, my best friend Dawn and my husband were talking about how they both hate The Wizard of Oz. I didn't have to watch it every year when it came on and to be honest the Lobby Pop Gang creep me out. But I can appreciate the rest of it. There is a big world out there to explore but don't forget to appreciate what's in your own backyard.
Dawn can't get past the Flying Monkeys. Stuart says that the moral of the story is that you should give up your dreams and just like what you have, no matter what. I disagree with that.
But Coraline...I truly cannot see the value in its message. It seems to take whatever you have because if you hope for more, if you hope for validation and being accepted and appreciated, then you are risking going through hell. Give up those ideas. Stay where you are because some day, when those you care about and love have a moment that is convenient to them, they just might throw you an emotional crumb. AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!
Give me a break.
Sorry, Coraline, I am giving you 2 stop motion thumbs down.