I have just awarded myself with the award for “Worst Parent of the Week.”
Qualifications for the award? Choosing ‘Coraline’ as a family movie. Not using common sense. (In my defense, the copy I checked out did not say “From the Director of The Nightmare Before Christmas” across the top.)
Here is what I found now after watching the movie with my poor now disturbed four year old. This research is what I should have done BEFORE choosing the movie: (from parent’s guide)
Sex and Nudity:
-Two women with large breasts are performing on stage. One of them is wearing pasties, but it is in the context of “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli.
– A man claims that he has writer’s rash on his rear end. Nothing is said, he is cut off before he can say where he has it, and just points to it.
-There is quite a lot of suggestive humour throughout. Most kids under 11 won’t get it.
Violence and Gore:
– A parental figure expresses the desire to take out a child’s eyeballs and replace them with buttons. The needle and thread are shown several times.
– A girl is shown banging on a mirror with her fists until it shatters, though no injury results.
– A parental figure transforms into a grotesque and frightening figure who threatens a child.
– A parental figure has murdered three small children.
– A parental figure operates farm machinery to threaten a child with bodily harm or death.
– A child is imprisoned in a dark place with three eerie ghosts.
– We see a boy who has had his mouth sewn with stitches so that he is permanently smiling.
– A cat kills two rats over the duration of the movie.
– We see a wall covered in real dead dogs stuffed with sawdust, but with angel clothing on.
– A man’s body is reduced to a horrific vegetative state as punishment for his actions.
– A woman transforms into a monster.
– We hear tales of people’s eyes getting ripped out, and being replaced with buttons. We do not see this, only the ghosts of the people mentioned in the tales.
– A cat rips a monster’s button eyes off.
-A mother says that her daughter, Coraline, has scratched her knee.
-A parental figure smashes a girl into a wall several times.
– Some of the scenes from the “other” world may/will frighten.
– The second half of the film is chock-filled with images and ideas that should be very frightening to most.
– The safety and security of “home” and “parental love” are turned upside down. – The “Other Mother” turns into a terrifying monster whose button-eyes are ripped out by a cat and traps a girl in a cone in the floor who is tying to get out, very intense and very frightening.
-The “Other Mother” and “Other Father” want to sew buttons onto Coraline’s eyes, but you never see them do it.
There was more, but I think you get the idea…
LESSON LEARNED! I will only make this mistake once.
Here are a couple sites to help in the movie decision making process. Please parents, I’m begging you. Our kids get enough of this stuff in real life.