The day after they moved in, Coraline went exploring....
In Coraline's family's new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close.
The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.
Only it's different.
At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind-up angels that flutter around the bedroom, books whose pictures writhe and crawl and shimmer, little dinosaur skulls that chatter their teeth. But there's another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.
Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only hope of rescue. She will have to fight with all her wits and all the tools she can find if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself.
I've always toyed with the idea of picking up Coraline- the book, or watching the movie, but never did get around to either. However, in light of this being Spooky October and on Vera's recommendation, I decided to try not one but both and do a comparison review of sorts- so here we are!
Coraline, the 2002 book by Neil Gaiman, and the 2009 movie of the same name are both about a little girl who has just moved to a new house with her parents. Stuck in the house and quickly running out of ideas to entertain herself when her parents are too busy to pay any attention to her, Coraline stumbles upon a locked door in her drawing room. When she manages to get her mother to open it for her, Coraline discovers that there's nothing but a brick wall behind it. However, on later discovering that the bricks have disappeared, Coraline walks through the door to enter a world that is identical to her own...but not quite. The people have buttons sewed on where their eyes should be, and they might not have the bestest intentions- the woman who calls herself Coraline’s “Other Mother” is hellbent on trying to bribe Coraline into staying there forever, and the rest of the story is basically all about Coraline's fight to keep her evil Other Mother at bay.
The movie, on the other hand, managed to captivate me from the start to the end, and the details that had gone into each scene worked in great favor of it. The movie built a rather more captivating world and characters while still sticking to the original story line and isn't that just exactly what we look for in adaptations? It offers so much visually and the minor changes only served to improve things where the book failed at times. This is not to say the book isn't great though- the author has a way with words that's very engaging and the book is very much worth a read if only for the brilliant writing. However, if you want to give only one of these a chance, I'd say go ahead with Henry Selick’s fantastic adaptation already!
...Or have you read/watched Coraline already? Did you like it as much as I did or possibly even more? What worked for you in the movie version that I failed to mention? Let's talk in the comments below!