But then the real problem occurred to me, and it wasn’t that Selick’s version had made changes. It was that those revisions had turned the initial text into its opposite, retaining the general shape of the plot but gutting the thematic content.
The independent young woman of the novel is, in the adaptation, sublimated into one half of a heterosexual couple.
Once outside she is alarmed by noises and runs down a hill terrified; there’s some screaming.
She’s then nearly run over by a person on a bike, who looms threateningly over her while she sits in the dirt.
Tellingly, her response to being told to avoid an old well is to “explore for it, so that she knew where it was, to keep away from it properly” (5).
(And pay attention to that well, too; it comes up a few times.) However, in the film, Coraline simply wanders from her new house onto the grounds out of boredom rather than a desire to explore.