I'm a huge deal hunter and so when I saw that Coraline on Blu-ray was on sale for $10at Amazon I was all over it. It's one of the absolute favorites in our house so I thought I'd check out the reviews and what other folks thought. Most were very positive but the one I cannot get out of my head gave it 1 star because "Not suitable for young audiences. Despite that we consider our self an open-minded couple, we believe that because of the darkness of the plot this film should be rated PG13 not suitable for young kids. My disappointment is because this film is advertized as a cartoon for open audiences." (D. Fernandez "FL, USA")
Reading this my head immediatly goes in a million directions, firing back a hundred reasons why he's wrong. My first thought is that it's not about being open-minded it's about what kind of mind do you want to have? One of the greatest, if not The greatest fantasy is about going to another world, one not far off from the one you live in but about finding a door that leads somewhere other than where you are, and for Neil Gaiman to so artfully create that and for Henry Selick to capture it in the film is thrilling. A child watching such imagination cannot help but wonder where there own mind could take them.
Yes, it is dark, she wants to sew buttons on her eyes, but if you can get past that one note of creepy, there's a great lesson that every kid needs to learn..."There's no place like home." The more you think about it the more unnerving it really is. The Other Mother tries to, in a sense, kidnap Coraline by sewing buttons on her eyes, but how is that any worse than watching Pinocchio on Pleasure Island, or Eric ram a ship through Ursula in the Little Mermaid, or every other Disney movie where the villian somehow dies in the end? Cartoon means nothing, animation, stop motion animation, computer animation; they're all just trying to tell a story. If you're thinking any movie/show that labels itself animated is for kids then you've never watched Adult Swim.
I am not a parent who pays attention to the ratings. I know my kids and what they can and cannot handle and frankly there is subject matter in far too many PG/PG-13 that I'm uncomfortable with. When I was young my parents did the same, what we were told is that we weren't allowed to watch anything stupid, and I do my best to keep stupidity far from my children as well. I suppose that goes back to my initial thought of 'what kind of mind do you want'? I hope that my children, many years from now, leave my house with the ability to think; to not pigeon-hole themselves into whatever the rest of the world is telling them, to be able to have a conversation, to be able to form their own opinions regardless of mine. It's amazing as an adult how many people you meet who cannot think.