CATEGORIES Animation, Focus Features, Family Films, Trailers and Clips, Trailers and Clips, CinematicalBefore I get started, I should probably let you know that I was a child of the 70's and 80's, so I'm used to a little more grit in children's entertainment (I mean, have you seen Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang?). But, the times have 'a-changed', and now parents are afraid to let their kids read Charlie Brown in case they get too depressed. Which is why I have to ask myself (and you) whether Neil Gaiman's Coraline will be too scary for its own audience? Focus Features have released the final trailer and an extra clip from Henry Selick's stop-motion animated tale, and it's as chock full of freaky imagery as you would expect from the man who brought us The Nightmare Before Christmas. But you still have to wonder: who was the film made for? Because it really isn't scary enough for the grown-ups, and yet it might be too intense for the kiddies (especially the wimpy ones ... only kidding).
The story of Coraline could have been taken right out of a fairy tale (like most of Gaiman's work). The action centers on Coraline, a young girl who enters a fantastical universe where everything seems to be the exact opposite of her life at home; attentive parents, constant entertainment, you name it. But here's the catch: to stay, you have to be willing to sew buttons over your eyes – and yes, it looks as creepy as it sounds.
Maybe I'm starting to sound like the old geezer telling the young'ins about "back in my day", but isn't the history of children's entertainment full of disturbing stuff? Think about those old stories like Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, and Cinderella (anybody remember the part where Cinderella's sisters hack off parts of their feet? I know I do). There was some pretty messed up stuff going on in those stories, but there was a point. It was supposed to teach kids about life -- twisted life lessons to be sure, but there was a reason you were scaring the bejeesus out of your child; it was going to make them a better person.
Sure, Coraline might look a little creepy, spooky, whatever you want to call it, but that is what I love about it. Since when was childhood supposed to be all sweetness and light? Isn't it about time that kids start to learn about the darker side again? And what better place than in the safety of a movie theater seated beside your mom or dad?
So now I leave it to the parents out there. Is Coraline going to be the stuff of nightmares? Or can the kids take it? Sound off below...