‘Coraline’ appeals to kids of all ages

15 years ago
For Your Enjoyment
By Troy Haines
    Through the years there have been many movies that were marketed as kid’s movies but were intended to appeal to a broader audience. Most of these movies were fairly kid-friendly but contained subject matter, usually humor, which was directed at adults. Usually these kinds of jokes don’t detract from a child’s experience because it goes straight over their heads and they don’t even know they’re missing anything.

    Coraline is not one of these movies. Coraline does appeal to people of all ages, as evidenced by the fact that everyone in the theater with me seemed to really enjoy it. These were not just people taking their kids to the movies either. There were young couples and old couples, college kids (and even a pack of unusually quiet and respectful 14-year-olds), many families, and a dad taking his two young daughters out for a night on the town who sat right in front of me.
    Judging from the movie-goers’ reaction to Coraline everyone seemed to enjoy it equally, but the content of the movie didn’t seem to be designed to appeal to different people in different ways, so you might ask “Why then did everyone get something out of it?” The answer as far as my experience went is that Coraline, which was an absolutely stunning visual film, creeped everyone out in the same way.
    Coraline starts out a bit slow, but is so visually captivating that you don’t really notice that the story hasn’t kicked in. The movie, which starts a little bit slow, is about a young girl who is fed up with her parents who don’t cater to her every whim. She manages to stumble into a world where everything seems perfect on the surface but which gradually reveals itself to be a thinly veiled nightmare. It plays on all of the fears that we had as kids that we thought we had shed as adults. Coraline shows us that we can still be scared of the dark.
    Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a scary movie in the traditional sense. I don’t think it will give anyone nightmares. Instead it plays to the things which scare us on a subconscious level. We are afraid of abandonment, of being alone, of the unknown. Coraline tickles these fears in a way which makes the movie almost deliciously exciting.
    The kids and the adults all squirmed at the same times, laughed at the same times, and left with the same sublime little smiles on their faces. Because of this I highly recommend seeing Coraline as a date or with the kids. You won’t be disappointed.

Grade: B+