Self-Esteem and Body Image
Self-Esteem and Body Image: 3.5 Stars
Coraline is an average girl with short blue hair and a yellow raincoat. She doesn’t bother with dresses or make-up, but just wants the opportunity to play outside in the rain. The film never focuses on Coraline’s appearance so much as her childish behaviors and her persistent attempts to get her parents’ attention.
Plot: 4 Stars
When Coraline first meets her “other” parents, she believes she’s found a more perfect version of her unhappy life. In a short amount of time, she is even willing to give up her real parents completely to live happily ever after in this “other” world. But she changes her mind the moment she realizes that she’s in danger. Coraline is clever and determined enough to escape from her “other” mother’s trap. And when she comes home and realizes that her real parents have been captured, she is brave enough to return to the “other” world to save them.
Room for Improvement:
Gender Roles – Women
Gender Roles – Men
Gender Roles - Women: 2.5 Stars
Coraline is a young girl who is interested in gardening and small adventures. She isn't particularly driven or ambitious, but she has an independent and imaginative spirit. She might have had more to offer if the writers had spent more time developing her character, but most of the film is dedicated to the action that takes place in the "other" world.
Gender Roles - Men: 3 Stars
Coraline’s friend Whybie appears to be as ignored and lonely as Coraline. Unfortunately, Coraline dismisses him early on and he never becomes a fully fleshed out character. To his credit, Whybie includes Coraline in his games and stories while he’s around, and only dismisses her when she begins talking wildly about the people in the “other” world. In most respects, he is a helpful and supportive friend.
Character Development: 3 Stars (Spoilers)
What’s strange about this story is that Coraline only changes her mind about living in this perfect dream world when she realizes her new parents' frightening plans for her. Coraline doesn’t change her mind because she realizes how much her real parents do love and care for her. She doesn’t change her mind because she realizes she’ll have to give up going to school, or because she recognizes her limited opportunities to learn and grow in a world where everything is perfect all the time. It leaves the audience to wonder what Coraline might have chosen had this dream world not come with such a hefty price.
It’s disappointing that Coraline never confronts her parents on the fact that they’ve been neglecting her, and that her parents never apologize or take the time to explain why they haven’t had time for her. Coraline doesn’t end with a heartfelt reconciliation or a satisfying glimpse of a brighter future. The best we get is the comfort of knowing that, at least for the time being, Coraline has escaped the temptation to try to find something better and learned that she loves her parents as they are.
Family: 2 Stars
Coraline offers a pretty bleak depiction of a family with two working parents and an equal division of household chores. Coraline is disgusted by her father’s cooking and complains that her mother never makes dinner. One of the reasons that Coraline is drawn to her “perfect” family is that her “other” mother cooks exquisite meals rather than working, while her “other” father spends his time writing silly songs and playing with her in the garden. While this is certainly someone’s idea of a perfect family dynamic, it's built on a pretty clear imbalance in terms of gender equality. But more importantly, it contains a subtle suggestion that Coraline’s mother is responsible for the unhappiness at home - and that her decision to pursue a career, rather than focusing on domestic responsibilities, has resulted in Coraline feeling neglected and unloved.
Coraline is the tale of a young girl who feels ignored by her overworked and inattentive parents. She finds a secret passage in her new home that takes her to an alternate world where everyone has button eyes, and her “other” parents are always loving and available. But Coraline soon learns that her “other” family is more sinister than she thought. She narrowly escapes being trapped in this “other” world forever, but returns home only to find that her real parents have been kidnapped by her “other” family. Coraline must return to this “other” world one last time to free her parents, without becoming a prisoner herself.
Kelly is a labor law