"An adventurous girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets."

         Ah yes Coraline, the story of an 'adventurous girl' that finds another magic world! That tagline more or less sums up the original story "Coraline" which was written by Neil Gaiman. I'm less sure it's an accurate description of the movie. From a plot perspective, I think the movie was really successful, more or less following the path of the book, it's the characterization in this movie that sort of weirds the crap out of me.  So let's talk about that:

       I read a review on a fundamentalist Christian site's review of the movie, and I found, underneath the preaching about 'a woman's place' that there were some sort of creepy vibes coming off the movie. One wonders why Coraline really needs to go to some other world where everyone worships her, because in this world, she can apparently do whatever she wants. Her dad is a huge wiener, who answers to Coraline's mother as if he is some sort of slave. Honestly, Coraline's parents seem pretty indulgent of her, making her seem like nothing more than a snooty little bitchling. Worse yet we have the insertion of a character not in the book, Coraline's 'friend' Wybie, who is also for some reason the only character in the movie who isn't as white as the driven snow. Yes, the only black character in the movie is Coraline's personal punching bag, who she doesn't treat like a person at all. To the contrary, she calls him 'why were you born' and yet for some bizarre reason he seems to enjoy her abusive treatment!  This could all be a lot of coincidence, but the movie certainly injected some things into Coraline that I didn't remember in the book.

     So in short, Coraline was a movie that entertained me with it's plot, and otherwise generally creeped the hell right out of me with its matriarchal and racist undertones.

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