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Coraline
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Coraline More at IMDbPro »

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

I know it's only the beginning of February, but this may already be one of the best movies of the year

10/10
Author: scoutcraftpiratess from United States
7 February 2009

Here's the deal. I'm an elementary teacher. This is a movie based on a popular children's book. Of course I have to see it. I hope everyone appreciates that. So I dragged along a date to pick up some 3D glasses in a theatre full of bawling children... who quickly settled down once the story line got going.

This is quality that has not been seen since "The Nightmare Before Christmas". "Coraline" is an absolutely spell-binding story with a solid foundation in childhood innocence combined with the eerie and bizarre. I loved the book, and this for the most part stayed very true to the book--most differences were more of expansions of the story than glaring changes. Coraline and her family move into an apartment building full of strange characters. Coraline is sad and bored and her parents just don't seem to have time for her. The only other kid around is weird. So when she stumbles upon a passage way to an alternate and magical world controlled by her Other Mother, Coraline is understandibly thrilled. And then the horror begins...

The animation (or rather, stop-motion) is incredible, and I don't think the movie would have been the same with any other medium. I loved the cast. The soundtrack is properly creepy. This new 3D program is far from gimicky. But still, what truly makes this movie is the haunting story and that is probably what will hopefully make it memorable.

I don't know if I would be bringing the babies into this film, but I did read the novel to my first graders last year and they enjoyed it. Frankly, I would prefer to think of this as a family movie rather than a "kiddie film" as I consider the novel a children's novel. It's one of those stories that will appeal to all ages.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Dark and inventive film even if it is perhaps too scary for particularly young children who will not understand the context and only see images

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
6 June 2009

I had not heard of the book on which this film is based but the involvement of Selick was enough to convince me that it was worth a look even before the uniform spread of five star reviews of it starting appearing in the media. I wanted to see it even more when some of the same media outlets starting having "complaints" from parents who had taken their toddlers to an animated film safe in the knowledge that NOBODY had ever, ever made an animated film that wasn't aimed at toddlers. Well, actually it turns out that, as well as countless other films, this is not a film for very young children – by which I mean children who are not yet old enough to be able to cope with a narrative and be able to take their heads into a story, there is not a specific age on that, which is why generally one expects parents to do the job of weighing that up on behalf of the humans they created.

As I'm not a parent I'll not pretend to be able to advise others but I certainly know that the film will scare kids because it is dark enough to make me enjoy it on that level as an adult. This is not to say that it is not a family film though because outside of those being overly protective, this is the modern equivalent of a Gothic fairytale or a ghost story around a campfire – something that will chill and grip a child with a fear but not to the point where reason or hope goes out the window. As such it is a great film because the story is strong at the core with an engaging scenario that reminds me of the "ideal" world of David Lynch, where the darkness is only just below the surface. So it is for Coraline where the supposedly perfect family behind the door turns out to be much more sinister. Throughout the telling the delivery makes it fun and engaging – with a patient pace that isn't ever slow but never seems to be rushing things. The "message" isn't rammed down our throats but is there for children old enough to think through what they are watching.

Although I didn't see it in 3D the film still manages to look great. Whether it is the warmth and softness of the perfect family home, the weird and wonderful creatures or the effects in the later reveals of the "other" mother. It all looks great with the animation being technically impressive but the imagination also being a big part of it. Some of the images will be too dark for younger children but, aside from providing age-appropriate scares for older children, it is well pitched. The voice work helps things without being particularly distracting in the way that some of the "who is that" voice work in other animated films can be. Fanning seems to have gotten past her precocious-sounding stage and does a solid turn in the title character. Hatcher is better though, capturing sweetness while being sinister and easily being evil later. Saunders, French, Hodgman, David and McShane all do good turns but again do so without being themselves, if you know what I mean.

Coraline is not for everyone and should certainly not be seen as being for all ages simply because it is animated. It is an engagingly dark fantasy with content and imagery that provides an effective Gothic fairy tale for those older children able to process it beyond what they see. Of course it is another sign of quality that, in the absence of any child of any age, adults can still easily enjoy it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Decent movie with a good message

7/10
Author: d-kampen from Netherlands
31 May 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Let's just get this out of the way I thought this movie was a bit boring. Especially the first half of it because it was quite slow and the characters weren't that interesting and throughout the movie both Coraline and (regular) Wybie were even a bit irritating. But the second half was a lot better and more entertaining.

But this movie looked great, the combination between computer-animations and stop-motion really made it special and beautiful, and you can see that a lot of effort was put in to it.

Although the characters weren't that interesting the voice-acting was good and I especially liked Keith David and Ian Mcshane.

Overall I would give this movie 7.3.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A dark fairy tale.

8/10
Author: lewiskendell from United States
1 February 2016

Coraline is a modern day, adult fairy tale. Neil Gaiman is known for his imaginative, genre-bending tales, and Coraline is no exception. It shifts in tone from whimsical to frightening to somber, but it's all presented in a truly engaging manner.

Even if the story wasn't as good as it is, Coraline would be worth seeing for its strikingly beautiful art style and fluid animation. It's different from that used in The Nightmare Before Christmas or Corpse Bride, but it does remind one of them.

Kids may like this film for its pretty images, but it lacks the snappy humor and wackiness that many modern fairy tales have. It takes a older child or an adult to appreciate the subtleties, melancholic sensibilities, and depths of Coraline.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Eyes or plastic button?

9/10
Author: (superbmov) from Belgrade, Serbia
28 January 2016

Did you ever have a rag doll? Whatever is the answer you're probably going to like this move... Its all in rag style and its completely in stop motion... Its similar to the nightmare before Christmas but yet different...This is the longest stop motion move so far, you will see that there is lot of work put in to this! Most of the kids will like this movie and find them self in it... Its artistic and visual style is great and and actors are good for kids movie... But the place that this movie really shines its story and message that movie refers... It has some small flaws, but they are passable... After all its kids move it doesn't have to be perfect! Just watch it! High recommendation!!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Good.....but not a classic

6/10
Author: shani_dayo from United States
2 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I only recently watched Coraline after hearing so many positive things about it. I think it has some moments that causes the viewer to think about the deeper hidden meaning of the story, hence the whole "be careful what You wish for" title on the DVD. The moral is obvious and simple, which is not necessarily a bad thing, it depends on how it comes across. Basically the movie is about a 12 year old girl who has parents that could care less about Her, She finds a door to a secret world, thinks it is all fun and games but soon learns otherwise.....from what I heard I expected a little bit more out of the plot, the trailer makes the movie look a lot more interesting than it really is to be honest. The movie has good moments towards the end, but before then the movie was a little flat. There could have been more detail about the main villain of the movie "the other mother" and why exactly She kept children's souls locked away. I must say however the voice acting, and animation were on point. This film is probably enough to entertain a kid 12 and under but it is not my taste.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Dark, Twisted, and an Utter Joy

8/10
Author: Joshua Mitchell from Here
3 January 2014

I'm not sure quite what it was about Henry Selick's Coraline, but it feels like an indie animated short film. Perhaps it's the animation, or maybe the off-kilter story, but Coraline has a very home-spun, gutsy feel to it, that very much reminds me of an art-house animated short film. It possesses many of the same qualities, and (like similar short films) does things that "normal" animated films would never even consider attempting. So as a massive fan of animated short films, I found Coraline to be 100 minutes of sheer joy and wonder.

Coraline is adapted from Neil Gaiman's book of the same name. Coraline Jones is a neglected child (her parents are often much too busy with work), so now that they've moved to a new home, away from all of her friends, Coraline is truly lonely. What's more, she hates life, and she hates her situation. But when she discovers a door to an alternate world- a better world- Coraline is happy again. She has different parents and friends there (though they all have buttons sewn onto their faces in place of eyes, though everyone's so nice, Coraline hardly cares). Alas, the fantastical and dreamy world that Coraline has discovered isn't all it seems. And indeed, this place of beauty and amazement slowly transforms into a twisted place of horror and fright.

I guess I should quickly point out that I do not recommend this movie for younger children. Even though teens on up should find a lot to love here, this film is way too intense, disturbing and potentially traumatizing for young viewers. Coraline really pushes the PG rating, but in my opinion, it's all the better for it.

One of director Henry Selick's previous films was The Nightmare Before Christmas. Most people often mistake that film as a directorial effort by Tim Burton (due to the trademark Burton visuals). And while Coraline is indeed a dark fantasy stop-motion film with creepy visuals, it has its own unique visual style that's completely different from Burton's. I don't think too many people should mistake this for a Tim Burton movie, as Selick's directing makes Coraline feel like a completely different kind of beast, while retaining many of the things that make Burton's work so enjoyable.

And while I'm talking about them, I guess I should add that the visuals are gorgeous. In fact, they're downright stunning most of the time. The stop-motion animation is beautiful, and it gets better and better as the film continues. At times, the animation is so smooth and detailed, one could be forgiven for mistaking this for a CGI film. Coraline is one of the most visually astounding films I've had the pleasure of viewing.

Thankfully, there is more to Coraline than just visuals. The story is one of remarkable depth. While the idea of children transporting to an alternate dimension is not an uncommon one (this has been explored in countless books, novels and films, both recent and old), it's the world itself that sets it apart (and in many respects- above) other similar stories. This alternate reality isn't so different from Coraline's own that it has a Alice In Wonderland type contrast from the real-world to that of fantasy. It has a distinctly dream-like quality that causes it to seem ridiculous and outlandish, and yet, sometimes oddly believable. Other films have attempted this kind of surreal quality, but few have accomplished it. Count Coraline among the few successes.

Every bizarre and creepy thing that happens in this film simply delighted me. So rare it is to find an animated film that truly dispenses with the idea that animation is a medium for children. After all, animation is just that: an art medium; not a genre designed to baby-sit toddlers and pre-teens. It is truly a treasure to find an animated film that understands that this art medium is just as much for adults as it is for children. Not only that, but Coraline also seems to understand that at times, it can be an even more effective style of story-telling for adults than live-action. Indeed, such eye-popping visuals and clever character designs simply could not be utilized in live-action to the same effect.

The voice cast is solid. Dakota Fanning as Coraline Jones provides a believable voice for the title character. Robert Bailey Jr. as the geeky Wybie (a character created specifically for the film) is also perfect in the role. Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French are riotous in their roles as Coraline's elderly neighbors Miss Spink and Miss Forcible. Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman portray Coraline's parents (in both the real world, and the alternate one), and their performances are especially noteworthy for getting the tendencies of any parent correct, and Hatcher's chilling performance for Coraline's "other" mother.

The score, composed by Bruno Coulais is excellent. It's strange and inspired (like the film), and fits the picture like a glove. There's a great harp theme, and memorable uses of choir. The instrumentation is odd, and the score does feel very experimental, but I think it really suits the nature of the film.

Stop-motion films simply don't garner the attention of CGI animated films for some reason. While every once in a while, a Nightmare Before Christmas comes along and garners a lot of acclaim, mainstream audiences always seem to pass on these stop-motion endeavors. Frankly, I can't understand why. It's a terrible shame, of course, because stop-motion does so many things that CGI animated films dare not do. Perhaps that's why they're so often ignored by the mainstream. If this is so, then maybe it's better that they don't garner as much attention. After all, I'd rather have one stop-motion film every couple of years like Coraline, rather than getting the stop-motion equivalent of Madagascar every other month.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Every Story Has Two Sides To It

8/10
Author: nwereszczak from United States
26 November 2012

"You probably think this world is a dream come true, but you're wrong," said the cat to Coraline. This warning to Coraline (Dakota Fanning), in the film Coraline (2009), is something she has had in her head since the beginning. The director, Henry Selick, has made other mother movies that are also stunning. Richard Roeper compares Henry Selick's work: "Writer/director Henry Selick follows The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach with another meticulously crafted visual gem." This movie is visually stunning which intensifies the creepy scenes and leaves the audience frozen.

The movie Coraline is all about a girl who moves into a new home with her father and mother (Teri Hatcher). He life is boring and dull and her parents pay no attention to her. Coraline is not able to do what she wants and explores he new house and finds a small door. However it is all bricked up, but that night she finds the door again and the bricks are gone and she goes through. Coraline gets to the parallel world and meets her "other" mother (also Teri Hatcher). Everyone in the world has buttons instead of eyes. Her "other" mother and "other" father treat her as though she is the best thing in the world. Coraline is amazed with this other world and when she falls asleep she wakes up back in the real world. She thinks its all a dream until the next night where she goes back and she is faced with more wonders made by her "other" mother. She loves this world and never wants to go back to the real one.

To make a good horror film it was said that, "[ . . . ] by the time you get to the climax [ . . . ] your familiarity with the beast allows you to assess them in a different way" (Fear in the Dark: A Spine-chilling History of Horror Film). Coraline fills this criteria and is a good horror film. I don't think it is for young children or people who are looking for the biggest thrill but it is creepy in its own way. Overall Coraline sends great societal messages and a cute but creepy movie to its audiences and both children and adults with love the horror and thrill for a long time.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Fascinating visuals and imaginative film making.

6/10
Author: Catwings from U.S.A.
19 October 2012

Coraline is a film released in 2009 and directed by Henry Selick, who is famous for "The Nightmare Before Christmas" (1993). Coraline uses an animation technique called stop motion (stop frame), where it manipulates photographic subjects such as clay dolls or stuffed animals by moving them one frame at a time, so that it appears as if they move by themselves. The expressions of characters are rich like a human being.

The story starts off with an old house where Coraline moves in with her parents. Coraline finds no interest in the house, has no friends, and feels neglected by her parents. While she is looking around the house, she finds a small door blocked by a brick. However, only during her sleep, she goes through the door into another world, where another nice mother and father look after her. The "other" parents look the same as her real parents and they are way too nice for Caroline, except that they have button eyes. When she realizes what the other mother wants, she tries to escape from other mother's desire in the evil world and fights with the other mother in order to get her back to the reality.

Overall, the visuals of the film were imaginative and fascinating, but the story was still one you can predict. And this film is easily compared with "The Nightmare Before Christmas" which is better. So, I would say, this film is not something you want to watch in a theater.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Wonderfully atmospheric with exquisite visuals

9/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
23 November 2010

Adapted from Neil Gaimon's book, comes Coraline, a truly wonderful animated film with lots going for it. The atmosphere was wonderful, people may find it too dark, but I for one loved how dark it was. And of course the visuals are absolutely exquisite, I loved the backgrounds, character designs and the darkly bold colours. The music is nice and quirky while having an appropriate atmosphere, while the script is intelligent and well balanced and the story is well paced and compelling with very few dull moments. The characters are great, I love Coraline especially because she is very inquisitive, and I like that in a protagonist, and the voice acting is superb especially from Dakota Fanning and Keith David. Overall, loved the atmosphere, loved the visuals, loved the flick. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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