Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Best of 09: Top Films

4. Coraline

This is the book that first made Neil Gaiman a household name. American Gods brought in critical acclaim, Sandman won every award possible, but Coraline placed him on countless bookshelves young and old. Why does this book resonate so? I think that Coraline's too busy parents make her quite easy to identify with. Most of us have been in her shoes (or felt like we were) at some point. Gaiman mixes this angst deftly with a classic dark fairytale equal parts scary, funny, and thrilling.

How would all this translate to the screen? Exquisitely. Coraline had a second great visionary attached to it in the person of Henry Selick the stop motion visionary. The colors and movement bring this fairytale to life, and the dark humor translates fantastically to the stop motion medium. The voice work is top notch, specifically Dakota Fanning as Coraline and Keith David as the wuss-puss. Add to this an ethereal faux French soundtrack by Bruno Coulais and you have an absolute classic.

Note: This is one of the best 3d films I have ever seen. Unfortunately the same can not be said of the 3d process at home with the old school red and green glasses. You still get the movie which is quite amazing on its own.

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