(This post contains spoilers... although.. there's not really much to 'spoil' about Coraline but I will say if you haven't read or seen the film, don't read this yet. Read the book first, then watch the film, then come back here and tell me what you thought of both)
I watched the movie Coraline when it was first out and I loved it. I love stop motion animation anyway, so it already won me over.
I loved the score music for the film.
I love the eerie setting and atmosphere.
And I loved the story.
A young girl feeling bored and frustrated at home finding a secret passage way to a home identical to hers but seemingly far better with parents who give her far more attention... but with buttons for eyes.
Soon it all turns sour and Coraline discovers that her 'other mother' is not all that she seems.
I loved the moral of the story that sometimes things might not be great at home but it is still home. Your parents are still YOUR parents and sometimes they may not have time for you, sometimes they be too busy and snappy but don't fall for the grass which seems greener on the other side. That is just an illusion. This film is supposed to be a childrens film but.. I'm in two minds whether it actually ill. It's pretty much a childrens horror film and it does get scary! My youngest daughter doesn't like it when the Other Mother 'becomes scary'
I only just read the book this week. It was such an easy read- it helps that I already loved the film so much. There were many changes in the film from the book. Firstly, there is no 'Wybourne' and to be honest, you didn't really need him. But I do like that he was added into the film. Second, there is no doll- but again, another feature that wasn't really needed but a good little addition.
Thirdly, the mother isn't quite as mean in the book as she is in the film. She wasn't awfully mean in the film but she did come across as more stressed and just really didn't have time for Coraline at that time. The father was the same in both the book and the film
And the biggest difference was that although both was telling the same story, the premise was different. The book was more about being brave even though you're really scared. It was about facing your fears as a child and doing what you know is right. I can see now that the film does this but it wasn't really I personally picked up watching it the first time because I didn't really FEEL how scared Coraline was. She had a pretty tough attitude and it seemed pretty acceptable that although she was facing all these scary things, she would be smart, quick and unafraid.
The book didn't really give you much time with Coraline the 'other house'. I think she only visited it very briefly and then it all became very intense very quick. That is one thing I do prefer in the film over the book- Coraline goes to the other house on a few occasions and talks about her 'other mother and father' to her real mother and father and how much she enjoys being over there. So when the other mother offers her to stay for good at the expense of sewing buttons onto her eyes, and Coraline refuses, despite how wonderful she thinks this other place is in comparison to her real home, you do feel almost proud that she would never leave her real home.
Which do I pefer? Do you know what, now I sit here.. I'm not entirely sure. They're so the same but so different! I think I probably lean more towards the film. I do wish I could have read the book first and got an idea of Coraline and all the things around her going on and a proper development of it in my own imagination because, of course, having watched the film (SO many times) reading the book I was completely reimagining the film so I don't think it's quite fair to say I prefer the film when I didn't really get a chance to just experience the book.
I really love both. I can't even score these two because they are both a favourite. In fact, I'm half tempted to reread Coraline right now!