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Coraline is a Children’s horror film and, unsurprisingly, has been quite controversial within parental forums with some arguing it is too scary for it’s PG rating. The Nightmare Before Christmas – also directed by Henry Selick – provoked a similar reaction yet is a firm family favourite with a strong cult following. It’s very different from a regular children’s film, which may account for its success. Likewise Coraline is a refreshing break from the same-old same-old and pushes the envelope on children’s entertainment. It’s frightening in a surreal, psychological way evocative of nightmares with a sprinkling of creepiness. But by embodying these intangible childhood fears it also tackles how to deal with them, and is ultimately empowering and uplifting.
Coraline is a stop-motion animation and the hand-crafted feel is particularly appropriate to its theme. With the introduction of computer-generated animation stop-motion, which is a painstakingly slow process, is becoming increasingly rare. Coraline’s visuals are breathtaking with minute attention to detail in every frame. It’s a work of art with beautiful, atmospheric scenery and luscious, touchable textures. I could forgive a multitude of sins for something this pretty.
The cleverly named ‘A Dog’s Breakfast’* is an independent comedy written, directed and starred in by David Hewlett – whom you may recognise as Dr. Rodney McKay from Stargate: Atlantis. In fact there are more than a few cameos from the Atlantis cast including Hewlett’s real-life sister Kate (Jeannie), Paul McGillion (Dr.Beckett), Christopher Judge (Teal’c) and Rachel Luttrell (Teyla) – all in different roles of course!
Hewlett plays the obsessive-compulsive Patrick who lives reclusively in the house of his birth and relies on constants in his life to remain stable; these include his dog Mars, his sister Marilyn and the spiders that live outside his sitting-room window. When Marilyn introduces her fiancé, Ryan, Patrick becomes convinced he is trying to murder her and that the only way to stop him is to kill him first!
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"It is not a disgrace to fail. Failing is one of the greatest arts in the world." - Charles Kettering