A Not So Perfect World


Image credited to Laika Pandemonium Films

Liliana Garcia

Growing up, I had always been a big fan of movies and watched them whenever I had the chance. I enjoyed numerous amounts of movies from various genres but one movie I particularly loved was Coraline

Released in 2009, the movie Coraline begins after a girl named Coraline and her family move into a new home. While wandering the house, she discovers a secret door that leads to an alternate world that similarly replicates her own, yet in many ways, is better. After spending time in this alternate world, Coraline discovers the dark secrets held there when her parallel family attempts to keep her there forever. She must do whatever it takes to get back to her real life and family before it’s too late. 

Coraline isn’t a movie that people normally hear when asking a kid what their favorite movie is because of its dark and unsettling themes, but upon watching the movie several times, I grew a love for it for different reasons. I was always fascinated with the cinematic aspect of Coraline and the interesting setting along with the characters. The movie features a variety of mythical creatures and colorful illusions that captured my eyes and grew my love of cinematography and art. 

Aside from the visuals, I also connected with the movie through a deeper understanding which shaped part of my childhood as I grew up. In the beginning of the film, Coraline was regularly irritated with everyone and everything because she felt as though she was lacking many things in life, which ultimately made it boring. She was unsatisfied with almost everything in her life, so when she enters this alternate universe that features everything she’s wished for, she overlooks what she actually has in life. To this day, I feel as though sometimes I get caught up in the perfect world I envision rather than the one I am living in now, and I forget to appreciate what I actually have. At a young age, I learned to be grateful and look on the bright side of things, in which I noticed that life is better when you make the best of it. 

Throughout parts of the film, Coraline often felt neglected and unhappy due to the lack of attention and time she spent with her parents. When a person gets caught up with events in life, they occasionally forget what’s really important to them. I wanted to make sure that the people I cared for knew how important they were to me, so I spent any time I could with them because you never know how quickly things could change.

At one point in my life I questioned whether the “perfect world” I made up in my head, would actually make me happy. In the movie, when referring to Coraline’s alternate world, the black cat that helps guide her on her journey states, “You probably think this world is a dream come true, but you’re wrong”. I could have everything I’ve ever dreamed of, but that won’t guarantee happiness. If you lived in a world where you faced no challenges, what obstacles would be left for you to overcome? Though nobody should have to experience the tragedies of life, I think sometimes they’re crucial for us in order to learn and become a better person not only for ourselves but those around us. With the help of Coraline, I have learned over the years the importance of not taking things for granted and appreciating the happy moments spent with my loved ones. Your perfect world is what you make of it.