Between the Covers: Stories from My Bookcase

Monday, May 2, 2011

Coraline–Be Careful What You Wish For

I finally got to see this wonderful animated film on TV last night. We almost moved on to another channel, but I was intrigued by the opening billboard, even before I found out what the movie was. Good thing we didn’t switch channels.


Since learning of the movie, I’ve thought about the book it was based on, written by Neil Gaiman. I’ve wanted to read it. I hesitated then, but after seeing the movie, all the more that I want to read the book.

Coraline moves into the Pink Palace Apartments with her writer parents. They have a nice garden in the front yard but no one has time to do any gardening. Quite ironic as her Dad writes about gardening, and her Mom is the Editor.

So the young girl is pretty much left to herself. She meets a new friend, Wybie, grandson of the landlady. He gives her a doll the very next day – a doll that oddly looks exactly like Coraline in her yellow raincoat. Wybie isn’t allowed inside the pink house – her grandmother’s twin sister disappeared there when they were kids.

Shortly after the arrival of the doll, Coraline discovers a small door. It was wallpapered over, and it opens to a brick wall. She and her mom figured it happened after the house was divided to three apartments. But that night, Caroline discovers otherwise.

The door led to the other house, where the Other Parents dwelled. And the story went on.

How many times did you ever wonder how things would be if your parents were better than you thought they were? I’d always known I was blessed with my parents, but for sure there was at least one time in my childhood when I wished they were more “giving,” hahahahaa!

What if you actually had a choice? But it meant completely giving up your parents, and the world as you knew it. Hmm.

Suddenly, I remember the push and pull factors of Child Trafficking that we discussed day in and day out when I was still working for an NGO. Dysfunctional families push kids away. The promise of a better life pulls them into situations of exploitation. The Other Mother is just like an illegal recruiter. So parents, be warned, do not ignore your kids. And kids, be warned too, don’t be lured by shiny things, good promises and yummy food.