Indie-Mation Club Week 13: ‘Coraline’

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Welcome to Indie-Mation Club’s film for Week 13! A spooky number warrants a creepy movie, and few movies fit that tone better than Laika’s first feature film, Coraline, based on Neil Gaiman’s book of the same name.

Coraline has just moved to a new town, far from her friends, apparently for her parents’ work with gardening. The new house is large, pink, and old, with odd neighbors for Coraline to meet. It’s not long before Coraline discovers a small door that leads to a secret fourth apartment in the house; everything seems better on the other side of the tunnel, but nothing is really what it seems.

Stop-motion is proven as an excellent medium for creepy – The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Corpse Bride (animated by Laika for Warner Bros), and even the Aardman Wallace & Gromit shorts – and Laika’s Coraline took that to the next level. The film is essentially a family-friendly thriller, with scares packaged in bright colors and monsters wrapped in clever designs.

Coraline is rated PG for thematic elements, scary images, some language and suggestive humor. It’s cool but creepy, and may not be suitable for children younger than 7 (depending on the child, really).

Check it out:
Amazon ($)
Google Play ($)
iTunes ($)
VUDU ($)
YouTube ($, Free)

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About Kajsa Rain Forden

Kajsa is a writer from foggy San Francisco, living in sunny LA. She spends most of her time writing, binge-watching animated movies, and working in web design. With a soft spot for stop-motion, her favorite films are Coraline, Castle In The Sky, and The Thief and the Cobbler (Recobbled). You can find her on Twitter, or Pinterest, and most other social media @TheKajsaRain, or at Disneyland.
  • Michael Joseph

    Coraline is also not an independent animated movie. Indie animated movies get wide theatrical releases.

    • Coraline did have a wide theatrical release on February 6, 2009. I’m not sure that rule applies as a limitation for whether a film is indie or not. For example, we’re including some Barbie movies in our line-up, very few of which were released in theaters.

      • Michael Joseph

        The whole “Indie Animation is outside of Hollywood” thing is mostly meaningless, as major animation studios like Pixar and Blue Sky aren’t based in Los Angeles. Laika belongs to the upper classes of animation studios no matter how it’s been faring.

        • Which is why I said “mainstream/” and also pointed out the Barbie films. We’re being a bit loose with our definition as we add and include more well-known films, like Laika’s, along with lesser known animated films that deserve more attention, like Sylvain Chomet’s or ‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed’ (see a couple weeks ago). We’re pushing for more awareness of the animated worlds outside of Disney, Pixar, Illumination, etc.

          • Michael Joseph

            That still makes little sense. Why can’t you let me lay out the criteria for Indie Animation. Since this whole thing makes no sense at all, there are many little-known animation studios that are in the mainstream, such as Aardman Animation (behind Chicken Run) and Klasky Csupo (behind numerous Nicktoons like Rugrats and The Wild Thornberries).

          • I’m not stopping you – if you want to lay out all the criteria you’ve got for indie animation, be my guest. Our series is loose and we put it together for the fun of it, to review both the fan-favorites outside the mainstream, like Laika or Aardman, and the much lesser known that deserve attention. Writers and readers alike suggested many of our films and have kept our list growing. It’s fun, we’re enjoying it, and it’s spotlighting other films many people, even animation fans, may not have seen yet.
            As I said, feel free to outline any and all criteria you think we should apply to the series – maybe that will help us grow the series more. For now, we’re keeping it open to more interpretation than strict criteria.