Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Coraline Movie vs. Book

Coraline by Neil Gaimen
Coraline with Dakota Fanning

Coraline is a story about a bored girl who discovers a secret door and on the other side finds a twisted copy of her own family and world.

The movie and the book have very similar storylines. There is the door that is sometimes open and sometimes not. There is the skewed version of Coraline’s world on the other side. There is the slow realization that it is not a good place to be. And then there is the battle to save herself and her parents. And everything in both is creepy and eerie. But although the book was a full, complete story with plenty of depth of its own the movie felt compelled to add elements to it. They were not bad exactly, but they were unnecessary and didn’t really add anything to the story so I don’t see the point. The movie adds a boy neighbor and a doll that looks like Coraline. They are both rather important to the movie but not in the book at all. There were a couple of scenes that were made bigger, more theatrical that worked in a movie that could not have been described well in a book. There are other things that got added as well that don’t detract from the story but I would have liked to see the movie stick more closely to the book. The characters are slightly different too. The mother is less just preoccupied and more angry all the time. The man upstairs has been turned into an eccentric gymnast always jumping and swinging instead of just the man upstairs with a mouse circus act. And Coraline doesn’t seem as clever in the movie. She has help she didn’t have in the book and she doesn’t figure certain things out that she does in the book. So I liked some of the characters more in the book. But not by a lot. They were both fun and creepy. The book edges out the movie in my opinion but the movie is good too.

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