Coraline is one of the most beautifully animated films ever made. It truly shows that stop motion animation is not dead, and that it should not be overlooked. Coraline is based on the novel by the same name by Neil Gaiman. It is about a little girl named Coraline, voiced by Dakota Fanning. Coraline and her parents, voiced by John Hodgmen and Teri Hatcher, move to a new house. Coraline finds this new place boring, even though she meets crazy neighbors. She soon finds a small door in her house that leads her into an alternate version of her house. Everything is more magical, wonderful and fun there. There are versions of her parents and neighbors, who she finds more fun and interesting. Even though this new place seems fun on the out side, Coraline is smart and quickly realizes that this world is much darker and twisted than it may appear.
Half way through the film is when it gets a little stranger. It gets very video game like at two different points. First the the second darker would actually brakes apart and reforms again, as if she was inside of a computer, Matrix or Tron style. Right after this she is instructed that she needs to collect three different objects. Which feels very much like any modern platform adventure game. The story progressively gets darker and scarier. Coraline is rated PG and is made to be a children film. But the story gets so dark and twisted that it is easily one of the scariest PG films I have ever seen.
I was lucky enough to watch the film in Stereoscopic 3D. This added an extra element of depth and amazement to the already rich visuals of Coraline. The best part about the film is that there is always something new and interesting to look at. With the two different worlds, the scenery always switches up before it gets stale. The stop motion animation was so fluid and believable, in this area of computer generated images, I was constantly questioning if it had just been created in the computers. I know better to question it because I know that it is fact all classic stop motion. One very interesting aspect of Coraline’s production was they did use the help of computers, but not how Pixar uses those tools. The entire film of Coraline was created by stop motion animation puppets in camera. The interesting thing was how they actually created the puppets. With the help of 3D programs, they created character and objects on the computer. Once completed, they actually used a 3D printer to print out the finished parts. Then they would have the characters and object in the real world to animate in camera, the classical stop motion way.
Coraline was directed by Henry Selick. The true man behind the animation of The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach, not Tim Burton. This was Henry Selick’s first full stop motion animation feature film without Tim Burton, and in my opinion, hit a home run. I am looking forward to Heny Selick’s next project.
Avatar is a film that only a few people might have heard of. It has gone under the radar for far too long. Everyone must know that Avatar is easily the greatest film of all time, if not greatest thing of all time.
In all seriousness, James Cameron’s Avatar is just another mediocre blockbuster movie that is now the highest grossing film of all time.
The story of Avatar deals with humans invading the planet Pandora for its resources but the native humanoid alien race, The Na’vi, are unhappy with the humans. The humans created a handful Na’vis that they can control with their minds and inhabit the body of with the help of machines. One human in his Na’vi avatar body goes rouge and gets involved with the native Na’vi culture. He struggles with being a human in a Na’vi body as the struggles between the humans and the native Na’vi worsen.
The story conflict of Avatar is simple, Man VS Animal. You may try to find a more complex conflict of it being Man, with the motivation of Greed and with the help of Machines VS Animal, with the motivation of Faith and with the help of Nature. However, Avatar’s basic story helped it become so successful. It is so generic that the story could be a metaphor for many different real world conflicts from the past and present and from round the world. This is appealing and relatable to many people and cultures around the world.
I did enjoy Avatar and had more fun during the viewing of it than many of the other 10 best picture nominees of 2009. But that is the problem with Avatar, it was just a movie experience that was made for you to have fun while watching it. Once the last frame of Avatar is shown, the experience is finished and you do not think about the movie itself again. You might think about the amazing visuals, but not about the story or the characters or about the film as a whole. All the other best picture nominees are long lasting deep films and have made me think about the story and characters weeks later. Many of them were depressing with characters struggling through real world situations. Since the others nominees were depressing, that is the only reason why I can say I had more fun viewing Avatar but it did not make me think or care about the film like the other depressing films did. The only thing Avatar has going for itself is the visual 3D roller coaster ride for your eyes. The visuals might be amazing, but that does not make a good movie. The music was just as bad as the visuals were good. The story and characters were undeveloped and there was too much Papyrus.
Avatar is a movie made to be a movie. It will be nothing more than just a movie. It is an experience meant to be had in theaters with 3D glasses on, like I did with my friend Michelle Fischer. I would recommend anyone to experience Avatar this way, but I could not recommend Avatar as a simple home viewing. Because of that, Avatar fails at being something more and is just a simple short term experience.