Coraline Director Henry Selick Scares Children - And Likes It

Filed under: In The News

Henry Selick likes to scare children. And the director of the new film Coraline, opening February 6, is very good at it. "I absolutely believe that all kids love a good scare."

Tell us about Coraline. It's based on a best-selling children's novella by Neil Gaiman, and it's definitely not "Freckle Juice." It's "Alice in Wonderland" meets "Hansel and Gretel" set in modern times.It's contemporary but timeless -- an ordinary girl (voiced by Dakota Fanning) faces extraordinary, classic evil.

What's so scary about that? This is an alternate world where Coraline's parents are always fun and not working all the time. At first it seems like everything there is better than real life, until she finds that the "perfection" is anything but. Also scary: Everyone in the other world has buttons sewn over their eyes and there's a a closet populated by the ghosts of dead children. But just like in Nightmare Before Christmas [Selick's beloved stop-action film from 1993], when Sally's arm falls off, we see leaves. We're not trying to traumatize anyone.

Kids Movies 2009

    Earth
    Disney's first nature film follows three animal families -- polar bears, elephants, and humpback whales -- on their journey across the planet. And for every ticket sold during the film's opening week, Disney will plant a tree in your family's honor. Have fun and do good.

    Disney

    Hannah Montana: The Movie
    If you have a tween girl in your house, you've probably known about this movie for months. It's essentially a longer version of the Disney Channel TV show, but with new songs and a slightly more complex plot. Your daughter will love it, and you'll be happy you took her. We promise.

    Disney

    Up
    The latest in this year's crop of 3D movies is the improbable story of a crotchety old man and an excitable little boy who fall into the adventure of a lifetime. Kids will love the 3D technology, and parents will appreciate the humor and fast-moving plot.

    Disney/Pixar

    Coraline
    Newbery Award winner Neil Gaiman's magic realist novella comes to the big screen in a mesmerizing, scary adaptation. Coraline's new flat has a secret door in it; on the other side is a world just like hers but seemingly so much better -- until she discovers it's frightening secrets. This is definitely a big kids movie.

    Focus Features

    Hotel for Dogs
    What happens when you combine kindhearted siblings, and empty house, and a pack of stray dogs? Why, the Hotel for Dogs, of course! The perfect film for kids who love dogs (but be prepared for post-movies pleas for a puppy).

    Nickelodeon

    Inkheart
    Meggie's father has a magical power: when he reads aloud, stories come to life. Now Meggie must rescue him from a fictional villain come to life. Brendan Fraser stars as the supercool bibliophile dad in a film guaranteed to get kids interested in reading.

    New Line Cinema

    Pink Panther Deux
    While most parents will roll their eyes at the thought of another Pink Panther Movie, kids will love Steve Martin's slapstick humor and funny mispronunciations. Take the kids and try to remember what it was like to watch the original Pink Panther movies -- you might find yourself laughing at the pratfalls, too.

    Sony Pictures

    Under the Sea
    The first in the year's crop of 3D movies for kids, Under the Sea is a documentary about the costal regions of Southern Australia, New Guinea and the Indo-Pacific. Narrated by Jim Carrey, this is a movie that will thrill and educate the kids.

    IMAX

    Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience
    Not willing to take your tween to a Jonas Brothers concert? How about the next best thing -- the 3D concert movie! Earplugs recommended if you're over 16.

    Walt Disney Pictures

    Race to Witch Mountain
    Remember back when kids movies were smart and funny and exciting, like Escape to Witch Mountain? Here's hoping that the sequel will be all of that. But really, any story about a UFO expert and two kids with paranormal powers is the perfect Saturday afternoon matinee, for kids and parents.

    Walt Disney Pictures



Why did you cast Dakota Fanning? Dakota first read the script when she was only nine years old (She's 14 now; stop-motion animation takes a long time), and she responded immediately, understood the character and loved the darker elements.

Are we talking Saw Jr? It's more like "Pinocchio" and "Fantasia," R.L. Stine's "Goosebumps" series and camp fire stories. If those tales from the Brothers Grimm have lasted hundreds of years, there's something about them that people like to hear. The best stories were always the scary ones.

Like a roller coaster? It is, that feeling of not being in control for a moment and getting scared. It puts the hairs up on your neck and sends a shiver down your spine. But just as the roller coaster takes you back safely to the start, in the end, good has to triumph over evil.

Coraline is best suited for ages eight and up.

ReaderComments (Page 1 of 1)

FollowUs

Flickr RSS

TheTalkies

AskAdviceMama

AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.