Coraline (2009) Poster

(2009)

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8/10
An Instant Classic
Feisty eleven-year-old Coraline walks through a secret door and discovers a parallel reality. That reality is sort of similar to the life she already knows yet deeply unsettling in a number of ways. Coraline (voice of Dakota Fanning) begins a journey of adventure and self discovery when her parents (Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman) relocate the family to Oregon from Michigan. No one in this new space has time for her so she spends her time exploring her new neighborhood with an talkative local boy named Wybie Lovat (Robert Bailey Jr.). After discovering the odd neighbors all of whom are true characters, she is still bored somehow.

All of this immense undertaking is courtesy writer and director Henry Selick, director of Nightmare Before Christmas, and the well crafted adaptation of Neil Gaiman's international best-selling children's novel. To Selick's credit this is the first 3D stop motion ever made; stereoscopic 3D. Selick himself worked on the film for three years. The style is stunning and the story is an unwavering fairy-tale nightmare that has some genuinely scary moments. is a masterful movie and an exciting tale of mystery and imagination.

In the rotting nooks and crannies of Coraline's new home the real story begins and where she discovers a hidden doorway behind the wallpaper. Inside is her alternate space where there are doubles of her distracted parents now lavish loving attention on Coraline, the oddball neighbors are friendlier, and her pesky friend long longer speaks. Only her parents' eyes now black buttons give a clue that something isn't quite right.

Selick has created a world as much for adults as children as there are references dotted throughout that the young won't understand. The imagery, however, is very child like. Both talents live side by side and bodes well for Selick's previous work in Nightmare before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach and even Monkeybone. His work has always been fascinating. Gaiman is to be credited with the story for sure, but this is Selick through and through. This film is sure to become an instant classic and as well executed as this movie is it should be.
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10/10
What an artistic movie
dwarfrunesmith30 April 2011
The Movie Coraline is an animated film well worth watching more than once. SPOILER ALERT The movie starts out introducing Coraline, voice actor Dakota Fanning, who is new to the Pink palace and is soon introduced to the black cat, voice actor Keith David, and Wybie Lovat, voice actor Robert Bailey Jr., who both are stalking Coraline. We then meet her mother Mel Jones, voice actor Teri Hatcher, and her father Charlie Jones, voice actor John Hodgman. Corallines' new life is shown to be less than wonderful as she meets her other tenants and is unable to realize her dream of gardening. Soon she discovers another world, which is much better in every way tailored specifically to Coraline based on information gathered by a spying Coraline doll carried by Coraline unknowingly. The other mother quickly turns villainess, as she is unable to get Coraline to do what she wants. With the help of the black cat, Coraline is able to escape the other mother and return home saving other children's souls who were less fortunate than she was. As well as her parents who were trapped to lure Coraline back to the other world.

The movie end with Coraline now happy with her real world and realizing she had everything she needed there all along. The theme of wanting more than what you already have and not seeing how good you have it is common among films today. However, the creative imagination of Coraline takes a spin and makes a very unbelievable situation seem plausible. The motif of the movie is seen often as the theme is drawing on what is real and what is too good to be true. When the sound and lighting are as controlled as in Coraline the Director can really impress upon the viewer a believable world that you can see yourself involved. The songs used make the world's first the regular world and then the other world seem like a place of dreary and boring plainness and then a world of pure imagination yet also terror. When the other world is dissolving the technique of fading the edges into white is pure genius.

The angle also helps you see through a subjective viewpoint in the majority of the scenes, even though it is not truly the camera angle but how the slides are drawn to show certain angles. The theme is so crucial in Coraline because few people would think the way Coraline is acting at the start of the movie might even be bad but as the movie progresses you see how she is flawed in her original outlook and judgments of her parents and new neighbors.
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10/10
Coraline.
DoctorWhy10 February 2009
As a Neil Gaiman fan, I was, of course, very happy with the book "Coraline", and was extremely excited to hear that a movie was being made for it. I had very high expectations from director Henry Selick after seeing 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' and 'James and the Giant Peach'.

I was not disappointed.

It followed the book surprisingly closely, though there were a few anomalies (the character of Wybie, for instance, didn't exist in the book). It had that Tim Burton-esquire feel about it; terrifying, but in an entertaining sort of way. There were one or two scenes which were a little over-the-top for younger children, but that's to be expected.

You could just tell from the opening scene alone that you were in for a treat. Hauntingly beautiful, well choreographed, and, plain and simple, a bit terrifying; it really hooked your attention and promised a good time.

However, there were two problems throughout the movie that I could spot:

One was that some scenes were a little choppy in the animation; almost like they hadn't quite taken enough pictures to make it run smoothly. Unfortunately, with stop-motion animation, this is difficult to avoid, and it isn't overly distracting anyway.

The other was Coraline's mother was a little... angry. Yes, she's supposed to be constantly frustrated and such, but I think she went a little overboard. Fortunately, Teri Hatcher redeemed herself with her portrayal of the Other Mother, which was brilliant.

Coraline earns a 9.5 out of 10.
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8/10
Wonderfully imaginative animation; a visual masterpiece
ingloriousbasterds26 January 2009
Henry Selick, the director of " The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "James and the Giant Peach", once again takes us to a world full of imagery and wonder...but this time...some of it is actually frightening. It was filled with such magic and enchantment that I completely forgot that it was a dark tale..until the occasional scares filled the air. It has some highly fun and amusing characters in it also, and that is the strongest thing of the movie. After viewing it, I came to the conclusion it was basically an "Alice in Wonderland" tale (girl entering new and strange world, plus the cat that talks makes it obvious) but this world has a dark twist. Filled with a great cast and terrific visionary, I feel this movie is fun for all ages (who says kiddos shouldn't be scared?)
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8/10
Great, the village stalker … Coraline
jaredmobarak6 February 2009
OK America, before you go blindly into an animated film with your young children, why don't you do a little research on what they are about to witness. A PG rating and stop-motion animated aesthetic do not always make a child-friendly adventure. Based upon the horror novella by acclaimed author Neil Gaiman, Henry Selick's Coraline is chockfull of heavy material, dark story threads, and bleak possibilities. For a guy like me, those things equal undivided success; for a child aged ten, those things equal nightmare filled evenings and parents writing angry letters to Focus Features for subjecting their children to lewd and horrific imagery. Well guess what parents? No one is to blame but you. I'm not saying keep all youngsters away, but do use some discretion on whether your son or daughter can handle the fantastical elements. This is very much Alice in Wonderland displayed in all its non-Disney possibilities. A cautionary tale on being careful what you wish for, our heroine must discover the difference between a world of people neglecting her and that of people doing all they can so that they may give her all she could ever want in the future. Life is not about getting it all right now, but instead a slow and steady climb built on love and trust, one whose benefits far outweigh the whirlwind romance that is never truly as it seems.

Remember folks, this is a story that won the 2002 Bram Stoker Award for Best Work for Young Readers; it's not all sing-songy like Selick's masterpiece A Nightmare Before Christmas. With that said, however, it is very, very good in a very, very different way. Be prepared for a methodically and deliberately paced story. More psychological terror than jump out at you scares, the tale of Coraline escaping into a parallel world, perfectly mirrored of her own only inhabited by animated dolls, is one of enlightenment and discovery of what love truly means. Do we all want the parents that dote on us? The guardians that will do what we want and when we want it? Of course we do. But that idyllic utopia doesn't exist, especially in the times for which we live today. Children need to be raised and supported and that takes money and a lot of hard work. What may seem like neglect in the eyes of a child is really two people doing all they can, sacrificing their time, in order to give him/her a chance at success. Only when Coraline sees the manipulation and truth behind the "kindness" her Other-Mother gives her does she realize what she has back at home.

What we are shown is a world through a tiny door in the wall of an old triple-segmented home. There are stories about this door used to explain the disappearances of some local children, including the sister of loudmouthed and shy Wybie Lovat's grandmother. Only a weathered black cat appears to know what is going on, what the too good to be true farce beyond the door is actually masking behind it. This cat can travel between worlds and therefore knows it all, allowing him to warn Coraline by orchestrating events via those she encounters. A disgruntled child is easily malleable and fooled when doted upon and given sweets and a smile. The mantra "never talk to strangers" is never more applicable than it is here. With something a tad off-kilter in the fantasy world, Coraline finds herself shaking it off and relishing the opportunity to experience all that she had dreamed of, not knowing that if her parents succeed with their new gardening catalog, those dreams will be fulfilled in reality. Patience is a virtue and youngsters unfortunately don't learn that fact until they are all grown up, finding ways to apologize to their parents for being such confused and naïve monsters.

With some very nice voicework—Dakota Fanning shines as our titular heroine; Keith David's baritone brings the cat's mixture of foreboding and help to life and Robert Bailey Jr. gets the nervous tick and stammer on the nose for Wybie, (short for WhyBorn, now that's a name you hope your parents never considered)—you do find yourself enveloped in this world. A rare thing for an animated film to begin with a cast listing, it thankfully doesn't detract from the escapism by making you think of the actor rather than the character. This fact works best with the mother, played by Teri Hatcher. I would never have been able to pick her voice out, but that just enhances it all the more, breathing life into the stop-motion clay form on screen, becoming the wolf in sheep's clothing villain necessary for it all to work.

Definitely soak in the aesthetic and intelligent storytelling as Coraline is for a thoughtful audience willing to delve deep into metaphors and hidden meaning. There is no "approved for your Attention Deficit Disorder child" stamp of approval here. In much the opposite direction, don't be surprised if your child hates you for making them sit through it. However, it is a tale that will resonate for a portion of the public, hitting on their own feelings of selfishness and wanting the spoils without the work. When your child is intellectually mature enough to handle a rich and deep story, you as a parent will know. When he or she can see a couple of big-bosomed, large older women dressed as mermaids with pasties and not laugh or get uncomfortable, that is when you should let them see Coraline. It is ultimately a film for all ages; one that shows you as adults how it all will get better—junior will one day understand the sacrifices you are making—and you children a fantastical world to escape to with consequences that will shake you into the realization of what you have right in front of you at home.
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10/10
A masterpiece
"Coraline" is simply one of the best animated films ever made: The plots is brilliantly developed, the animation is detailed and beautiful to look at, the characters are fascinating and interesting, and the world created by Neil Gaiman and Henry Selick it's simply captivating, but mysterious and dangerous and well.

Clearly influenced by "Alice in Wonderland", "Coraline" is charming and macabre at the same time: At first "The Other World" seems like a dream come true, but there is also a constant sense of danger in the air.

Dakota Fanning makes a great work as the main character, and Teri Hatcher is flawless in her role of the Mother (And the Other Mother as well) of Coraline, not to mention the excellent performance of Keith David as the cat.

"Coraline" is one of the best movies of the recent years, and it is the best movie of Henry Selick as director since "The Nightmare before Christmas."
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Very enjoyable fantasy with superb animation
ametaphysicalshark7 February 2009
Henry Selick's "Coraline" is a smart adaptation of Neil Gaiman's extremely popular award-winning novella. Selick's screenplay is excellent and faithful without being a carbon-copy of Gaiman's story, and Selick adds some of his own dialogue to the film, so his contribution is most certainly not only visual, and chooses which dialogue to use from the novel wisely. Less of a horror story than the novella and more of a dark fantasy, "Coraline" features a well-written and well-drawn lead character and brings the novel's bizarre world to life without compromise. The film's fantasy world grows more bizarre each time we see it, and is as discomforting as it is fun. I missed the singing rats from the novella, but this was more than compensated for by the visual splendor of the garden scene, and there are numerous other examples of the changes from the novel making total sense as Selick's vision of the story differs from Gaiman, but doesn't betray the original work of art, only compliments it. The voice cast is very good and one cannot praise the spectacular animation enough. I was very pleased with the 3D presentation here, it was very, very rarely (only once or twice) used as a 'cool effect', and overall was very tastefully used to give the visuals more depth. Perhaps the first really good film to have a wide release in 2009, and looking at the next few weeks I see more than one film I'm moderately interested in, so this might end up being a pretty good year.
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9/10
Henry Selick's latest film is a delight!
uruseiranma5 February 2009
Almost 3 weeks ago, I attended a screening from Ain't It Cool News to see Henry Selick's latest film, 'Coraline.' I was excited because the screening would showcase the film in 3-D technology, and there was the chance to do a Q&A with Director Henry Selick (unfortunately due to bad weather, Mr. Selick did not make it to our screening).

Before going in to see 'Coraline,' I had read the book on which the film was based. While many acclaimed it for it's storyline, I found it rather dull and predictable. I've been surrounded by fans of Neil Gaiman's work, though so far had never picked up a book written by him (though 'American Gods' did pique my interest).

Going into the film, I was not quite sure what to expect. I had had tastes of the film from the trailers, but the general consensus was that Henry Selick had tarnished Gaiman's story, turning it into 'Disney fodder.' The truth is: the film manages to be both charming and creepy.

For those not in the know, "Coraline" tells the tale of Coraline Jones, who moves to a new town and a house with several strange characters. As well, Coraline's parents just seem to have no time for her, and so she takes to exploring her new abode by herself. In her exploration, she uncovers a small door in the house, which seems to lead to nowhere. But upon revisiting the door late at night, it opens onto a parallel world that is much more whimsical and fun than the real world.

The one difference is that in the 'Other World,' almost all the inhabitants have buttons for eyes. But still, the other parents in this world pay attention to Coraline, and the rather blasé atmosphere of the real world is electrified with color and interesting flights of fancy. It seems just so perfect...or is it? Henry Selick manages to take Neil Gaiman's story, and crafts a world that just seems to take great advantage of stop-motion in a world where the obvious choice would be to go for a totally computer-generated world. Seeing minute details such as Coraline's clothing made of actual material makes the world seem even more magical, where invisible giants manipulate the Lilliputians in this miniature world.

Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, and a number of other vocal actors give voice to a number of wonderful characters, with Hatcher really doing double and triple-duty with her vocal talents. Fanning on the other hand, fleshes out a character that seemed rather dull in Gaiman's work. Her voice gives Coraline the life that I didn't think was possible.

One unsung hero (along with the countless animators who will be passed over in the press junkets) is the composer, Bruno Corlais. Mr. Corlais had never crossed my ears until the screening, but his music lends a touch of brilliance to the film, and makes it seem almost like a European production. Growing up in he US in the early 80's, I saw a number of stop-motion productions from Europe that played on the Nickelodeon show 'Pinwheel.' Corlais' music just transported me to that simpler of times when music didn't need to be 'commercial.' His score really helps to establish the world as well, and uses some instruments that may sound foreign to American ears.

And if anyone is questioning if the 3-D is worth it-it is! This isn't the fly-in-your-face #-D that was seen 2-3 decades ago. It's subtler, but gives dimension to the miniature world of 'Coraline.' I think if you showed this film to a child in 3-D, they'd go home dreaming of creating their own little worlds of stop-motion puppets.

For the year 2009, 'Coraline' so far (as of 2/6/09), is my first enjoyable film experience. I'm hoping my other upcoming film hopefuls (Watchmen, Up, Transformers 2) will also make me feel as positive.
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9/10
Saw a screening last night......FANTASTIC!!!
stza-130 January 2009
i went into this movie knowing 1 thing. It was by the same guy who did Nightmare Before Christmas. so right away i knew i was in for a pretty great movie visually, if nothing else.

as it turns out, the musical score was amazing, as well as the 3-D animation and the storyline.

to those who think it won't be as creepy as the book. i can't say much for the book, having not read it. but i can say that the movie is pretty creepy in it's own right! all i can say is that i'm going to see it again when it opens. probably for a 3rd and 4th time as well.

for those who are looking for a good time with the kids, i highly recommend this. for those who are looking for a good 'trip' movie, i highly recommend this. and for those who think the magic in movies are gone, PULL-EEEZ go see this!
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10/10
Another New Standard In Artwork
ccthemovieman-11 September 2009
Well, it's happened again: another animated movie that can I describe "the greatest-looking animation I've ever seen!" (This has happened several times now in the past few years, and especially when them available on a stunning Blu-Ray disc transfer).

You literally have to see this animation to believe it.....and I'm talking about the 2-D, not the 3-D (which is not even in the same ballpark.) Forget the 3-D glasses and watch this as you would any other movie....and get the Blu-Ray, if you can. You'll be extremely impressed at the colors and detail, and just plain blown away by it all.

Not only to the colors and detail dazzle, but the inventiveness here is really fun to watch and items change from one form or color to another. It reminded me of the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" but with more sophisticated art.....but the same cleverness.

To me, all of this made the story almost secondary but the latter is very interesting, too. The story is unique; quite different, with a good message getting everything you want not always being as attractive as that sounds. Once "Coraline" meets here "other" parents, you'll really get hooked into this strange story filled with weird images and characters.

I only wish the Coraline had been a little bit nicer kid since it's easier to root for someone when they're likable but the story should keep you guessing and in suspense. That made the last half of the film very easy to get engrossed in because so many bizarre things happen here, you don't know how it's all going to end. Thus, I found myself not being concerned about her personality flaws. The minor characters in this story, by the way: such as "Mr. Bobinsky," "Miss Forcible" and "Miss Spink" - are a real hoot.

I'd say this film is more for adults than kid, especially if one appreciates great artwork and creativity.
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10/10
Amazing and unique!
Isabella Malain10 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I am eleven years old and I absolutely loved this movie. Every bit of it was fantastic. I read the book before I watched the movie and was quite satisfied. I, for one did not have any nightmares of such. I think adults are completely overestimating what children can't handle. This was a fine movie. But maybe some of the elements weren't appropriate for younger viewers, like when Miss Spink and Forcible were performing in the other world. I may be different then other children because I can tolerate more scary elements. This was creepy and very original. I loved how twisted and strange it was. The movie was very good and I do suggest some of you actually allow yourselves to enjoy it without criticizing the moment you see something that seems inappropriate. I am a huge Neil Gaiman fan and trust me if I can endure The Lost Boys, I am pretty sure I can endure this. Parents, stop being overprotective and allow yourself to see the good things.
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8/10
Exceptional, but probably not for younger viewers
MartinHafer7 March 2009
CORALINE is an exceptional movie and I really have to admire the folks who made it. However, I should point out that this is NOT a movie for younger viewers because the movie is basically like walking into a nightmare. I think I'd be very hesitant to take a child younger than 10 to see it--it is that dark and scary.

When the film begins, you are blown away by the amazing stop-motion film work. I assumed it must have been computer generated, but amazingly the film was made using models and figures with interchangeable features. It is many generations beyond the old Rankin-Bass animation or even "The Nightmare Before Christmas" (also by the folks who brought us CORALINE). The artistry was amazing and so many little details and touches made the film look magical. In addition, I found a theater where it was shown in 3-D and I really think it's well worth the extra money to get the three dimensional experience because it was flawless.

The story is about a young girl who is unhappy. Her family just moved into a weird old Victorian era home but the parents are so busy with their job that they don't have much time for poor Coraline. Later, however, Coraline discovers an alternate world--one where everything looks a lot like the real world but seems perfect--so perfect that she'd rather live there. However, being a scary story, things of course aren't as they seem and this leads to a confrontation that could spell doom for the girl and her parents.

Excellent all around and I have no serious complaints. A very good film for older kids, teens and adults....but not little kids, as the film will probably scare them out of their wits. Don't let the PG rating fool you--this is NOT like a Disney or Nickelodeon film but more like an even more intensely dark Roald Dahl story done in stop-motion. Neil Gaiman is the author of this tale and my daughter read his story and the film and although they were different here and there (the film adds Wybie, for example), she said both were equally wonderful.
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Creepy, in a really creative way.
renedelagza031 January 2009
When i saw a teaser of this film i didn't imagine it would be a fantasy/horror movie for kids. That's great because there aren't many, and it must be difficult to display a colorful world with the right amount of frightening elements not to leave a child having bad dreams up to adulthood.

Coraline is a girl who wishes she'd had more attention from her parents, a prettier place to live and better neighbors. After she discovers the entrance to an apparently enhanced version of her reality, she'll soon find out that too much perfection can't be real.

Good and imaginative story, delighting visuals, creepiness from the beginning and a couple scary scenes make this an enjoyable film.
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9/10
Imaginative story, amazing visuals and uniquely great music.
Tommy Nelson6 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Henry Selick's latest movie, and his first in 8 years is a true treat. It was excellent in every way, except for the emotional punch, which wasn't even really necessary. The 3-D is very good, and without the 3-D, though the movie would lack the depth, it still would stand out. It is the visuals that make this movie so great, but the characters, plot and music are all top notch too, which add up to a fantastic film.

Coraline (Dakota Fanning) and her family have just moved, and Coraline is bored. She has no friends in this new place, and her parents are quite intent on ignoring her. The only other kid that lives close by, Wyborn (Robert Bailey Jr.), is irritating to Coraline, and she finds the dolls in her room to be better friends. After Wyborn gives Coraline a doll that looks like her, strange occurrences begin to happen. Coraline finds a small door leading to an alternate, seemingly perfect universe where her button eyed parents feed her good food and give her presents for no reason. This universe is not all that it seems, and Coraline learns this the hard way.

Henry Selick has always been about the visuals. His first film, "The Nightmare Before Christmas", showed that his knack was for the sights, and amazingly, his animation and style has evolved. "Coraline" is just as good looking as any of his past works, if not more so, and the animation has gotten better and crisper. Every little set, and every character is bizarrely designed to fit into this surreal movie.

The main critique for this film seems to be that it has no emotion in it. Though emotions aren't a prominent aspect of Coraline, there is emotion. Coraline doesn't have a clicking relationship with her mom and dad, but that's why she loves the other mother and father so much. Coraline as a character has enough emotion to be the lead to a film like this. This wasn't meant to be a tear jerker animation. It was clearly made to bring Neil Gaiman's strange plot to life with dazzling animation.

Doing the music is Bruno Coulais, and briefly They Might Be Giants. Mr. Coulais's score is beautiful, and strange, and most importantly, fitting. The music sounds how Coraline should sound, and it is a great listen. It is easily comparable to Danny Elfman's score for "The Nightmare Before Christmas". They both have catchy, sad and unique music all rolled into one. They Might Be Giants also wrote a song, which is nice sounding, though nowhere near as catchy or lovely as Coulais.

If I had any problem with this film, it would be that it didn't dive far enough into the alternate universe, but even that didn't lower the movie in my opinion. This was an excellent animated film, and is one that can actually be qualified as a family film, in that all members of the family can and probably will enjoy this.

My rating: *** 1/2 out of ****. 100 mins. PG for mild language, violence and mildly sexual animation.
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10/10
Rare Magic
dumontaaron55-14 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
**** (out of four)

By Aaron Dumont

A work like Coraline is, much like Pixar's Up, a relieving work. The state of mainstream cinema today---a cynical feeding tube of explosions, borderline-playboys, one-dimensional insults to characters and character development, and pretty much vapid cultural nothingness---seems always to be steeped in a complete lack of ideas, thought or obstacles. That, among several other things, is what makes Coraline so special. Of course, it's still a great work when standing on it's own, but such an unlikely breath of fresh air is simply difficult to come across these days---Coraline is well-near rapturous. The endless sense of unsettling terror, of mystery, of complete perplexity---the kinetic, vibrant balance between emotion, adventure and hallucinatory near-myth is purely stunning. In the wasteland of today's arts and entertainment medium, one so dense with mediocrity that intellect can barely survive in it, Coraline finds itself in the humble, calm, albeit mundane world of a young girl named (ever-so-obviously enough) Coraline. Coraline, bored with her limited surroundings, workaholic parents and (utter lack of) contact and friends, goes exploring in her twisty, spirally house, before finding a small door, leading through a pulsating, acid-like tunnel, before getting dragged right into a darkly perfect alternate life, with an Other Mother, Other Father, delicious meals, ridiculously luxurious mansion/garden/shows and magic/et cetera. Though as Coraline gets more and more obsessed with this psychedelic happy-circus alternate life, she begins to become disillusioned by a series of unfortunate findings; the mandatory buttons-for-eyes, the Other other's insanely cruel punishment towards Coraline's only friend, the trapped souls... I won't reveal much more; such a movie needs to be experienced. During the final moments of the movie, the dusky, cloudy shades from previously bloom into complex interplays of lights, shadows, primaries, often wandering off into more psychedelic regions, often entering a twisted dream logic and topsy-turvy psyche, though the brilliance of Coraline is that is stays earthy and on its feet even when it has its head and arms embraced right into the wildest of fantasies, dreams, nightmares and puzzles---the terrifying, vertiginous scene where Coraline has a final standoff between her and the Other Mother, is one of pure, handcrafted imagination; it's something so antique yet so inventive, something nostalgic yet open and liberating that it can only be one thing, something difficult-to-recognize but more than welcome: genius.
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8/10
Cute.
startumbler927 February 2009
I had no intention of seeing this, but my friend and I were bored on a Friday night and I had free tickets to a movie theater. The only movie playing at 9:30 at night was Coraline. I had heard of the book before, but I never read it so I didn't know what to expect.

The animation was amazing. Every character looked awesome and had so much detail to them. With the 3-D, nothing really popped out of you, but it just gave it an extra depth that made it more real. I think it was so cool.

The movie was really cute. If you haven't read the book, it'll keep you in suspense. I really enjoyed the movie and recommend you see it. :)
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10/10
2d is beautiful, 3d is full immersion!!!
santiken27 June 2011
To watch this movie in 2d is to watching the 7 star version. To watch in 3d on a 65 inch Panasonic Plasma 3d TV and the 3d BluRay version DVD is mind blowing and a feast for not only the eyes but for touch...yes, some of the scenes were done so well it felt like you could reach out and touch them in my living room. I would say they were even better than Avatars 3d which up to this point I thought was the most spectacular...but this stuff is just so good, so real, a whole different kind of TV. 2D Blu Ray even though it's super sharp, super colorful, just cannot compare to the added visual power of 3D and that's where the movie takes off...forget the storytelling, forget the characters, even though many were quite interesting, and sit back and enjoy immersion TV...some day they will make a 3d movies were the story is equal to or better than the visuals and then it will be a new dawn in television.
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Dark, Stylish, Visually Amazing .... and not really for young kids.
vram229 February 2009
First - if you see this movie, try to see the 3D version - not all presentations are in 3D. Second, know that this movie is way too dark (IMHO) for kids under 10. Not only could the visuals be too intense, but the pacing is not that of a children's show.

OK - that said, this movie is great. The strength is in three areas: visuals (scenery, characters, and little 'details'), style (this is movie is simply a work of art - a very dark and offbeat style) and emotional impact (the film visually evokes a lot of childhood feelings about growing up).

The basic setup: A little girl and her parents move into a big, mysterious old home. One night, she learns that a little door in the house opens into a passageway to a parallel world. In this world, there are alternate versions of her parents, friends and everything ... as she journeys back and forth, she learns more and more about this world ... and the story progresses from there.

If that sounds a bit too simplistic, there's more to it in the full story. Plus, it's presented in a serious and dark tone - which adds to it's mystique. The only area I can knock it is in a tame use of 3D. There are definitely some spectacular 3D parts, but the way it's used in general makes it fade into background

If you're drawn to the visual aspects of movies, then this is must-see movie for 2009.
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8/10
Dark and Creepy
Claudio Carvalho13 December 2009
When Coraline moves to an old house, she feels bored and neglected by her parents. She finds a hidden door with a bricked up passage. During the night, she crosses the passage and finds a parallel world where everybody has buttons instead of eyes, with caring parents and all her dreams coming true. When the Other Mother invites Coriline to stay in her world forever, the girl refuses and finds that the alternate reality where she is trapped is only a trick to lure her.

"Coraline" is a dark and creepy animation that follows the style of Tim Burton in "Corpse Bride" or "The Nightmare Before Christmas" with non- likable characters. In addition, there is no subtle message for children. Therefore, it seems to be primarily recommended to adult audiences. The nightmarish environment is supported by awesome cinematography and a great music score. None of the characters is totally likable .My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Coraline"
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10/10
So Many Things Going On Here
Pozdnyshev16 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the best movies I have ever seen. It is simply a triumph. If you haven't seen it, you're missing out. Although I wouldn't recommend it to anyone younger than 16; there are some pretty messed-up undertones swirling around here.

The first level is the craftsmanship. It raises the bar of stop-motion work to a level higher than it has ever been before. The voice acting is impeccable. And the music is haunting, inspired, and practically couldn't have been improved upon. This alone adds up to a superbly entertaining experience.

The second level is the writing, which is where the real genius is. On the surface, it appears to be a story about a likable little girl who learns a lesson about appreciating what you have in life. This story is told by introducing a villain -- the Beldam -- who attempts to exploit Coraline's boredom with her family by trying to tempt her into trapping herself in an alternate world. Coraline, in true hero fashion, resists the Beldam's temptations, and all is well with the world.

However, below this lies a third level, borne out in certain details. Who is the Beldam? Where did she come from? She's not quite like the villains in other fantasy worlds, like the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland or the Witch in Wizard of Oz. The Beldam is quite aware of Coraline's "real" life outside of the fantasy one, and uses that knowledge to try and entrap her. She is not a despotic ruler of some cuddly fantasy world; she's an evil sociopath operating in OUR world. That is creepy.

The paranormal overtones with the "water witching" and the ghosts help to suggest that the Beldam is an evil spirit who is attached to the house. There are countless stories by people who have nothing to gain by lying about having been terrorized by discarnate entities that know things about them.

Perhaps most creepy of all, though, is the omnipotence of the Beldam suggested by seeing her face in the real world's garden at the end. As if to suggest that Coraline has only done what she was expected to do. Again, what is the Beldam? Some personality so cunning that he/she is capable of completely controlling people without being held accountable for it.

Now THAT'S f*cking scary.
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9/10
Very Creepy
kdnor201121 April 2011
When people think 2009 in animated movies, they probably think of Pixar's Up, it went on to win best animated feature and even got a best picture nomination. Well as great as Up was, I have to disagree with the Academy, because Coraline was my favorite animated film of that year. This has to be one of the creepiest animated films I have ever seen. According to Doug Walker, Don Bluth had a saying that you can show kids as much dark stuff as you want as long as it all leads up to a happy ending. If that's true, than Coraline is like a modern day Don Bluth movie.

OK, negatives first, Whybie got annoying at times, it has a few immature moments that clash with the dark tone and it doesn't work, and it might be a little too dark for kids.

This is a creepy flick, the colors and lighting really add to the dark atmosphere. The relationship between Coraline and her parents is actually really good, that is how kids really act, granted real kids might swear a little more, but this film shows a real relationship between parents and kids. The characters are a lot of fun, and acted very well. It's pretty funny at times, and even has a catchy song from the other father. Plus it's nice to see animation that isn't computer generated in this day and age.

Coraline is one of the creepiest, and best animated films I've ever seen. It ranks up with some of Disney and Pixar's best flicks. Although I actually think it might scare young children, so if you have a child under 10, you might want to watch it with them.
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10/10
An instant all-time favorite
Rare Addict14 February 2009
First off, the visuals in Coraline are absolutely, undeniably breathtaking. I managed to catch this film in 3D, and I have to say that I admire the way that it's used here, as it doesn't rely on constant "flying off of the screen and into your face™" moments. In fact, this is probably the most effective 3D movie I've ever seen, right up there with 2007's Beowulf (which, coincidentally, was also co-written by Neil Gaiman). That said, I'm sure that Coraline looks almost just as beautiful in 2D, as nearly all of the environments are just so incredibly lush, and the ones that aren't are bizarre and spooky.

Ontop of being one of the best 3D films I've ever seen, this is also one of the scariest animated films - period - that I've watched. Seriously, there were several kids in the audience screaming during the movie's opening credits (which involves a cloth doll having her innards removed and replaced by The Other Mother, and is definitely one of the more creepishly enjoyable moments of the film). I'm not sure if I would recommend Coraline to anyone under the age of 6.

As far as the story and characters go, and for somebody who hasn't read the book, I was thoroughly impressed. It's an involving, sophisticated fairytale with a ton of heart, and one that I'm sure a lot of adults will enjoy. Ontop of Coraline being such a lovable protagonist, The Other Mother is brilliantly frightening in all of her forms, rivaling some of the best animated villains before her. Another one of my favorite characters was The Cat (voiced excellently by Keith David), who is used as a great "tool" near the end of the film. XD About the only problem that I had was that Coraline's real parents treat her with such disdain throughout the beginning of the movie. Again, even as somebody who hasn't read the book (though now I'm really wanting to), I still felt that that was a little...off.

Overall, Coraline is an excellent work of art that surpassed most of my already high expectations. Seriously, go out and see this movie, folks - in 2D or 3D. I'll definitely be seeing it at least a few more times while it's still in theaters.
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7/10
Curious, bizarre and dreamy
Simon_Says_Movies24 March 2009
When it comes to visuals, nobody does it quite like Henry Selick. In unimaginably original and absorbing fashion, Selick gives life to a written fairytale, just as he meticulously gave birth to the figures that inhabit the world of Coraline. More than any traditional fable of say, Hansel and Gretel, Coraline evokes more similarities to Guillermo Del Toro's, Pan's Labyrinth in its curiousness, bizarreness and dreamy essence.

Such material almost seems to discover Selick of its own accord and with his past visions, James and the Giant Peach and The Nightmare before Christmas, his use of stop-motion technology and now 3-D, perfectly portrays the mood and atmosphere of the story on screen. Yet, there is such a thing about being too quirky and outwardly eccentric and it is this self-awareness and bizarre coldness that keeps Coraline from reaching the heights that it may have been destined to acquire. This is however a strong contender for this years Oscar ceremony and I truly hope Selick will finally be recognized for his accomplishments in the fields of animation, stop-motion and film-making and storytelling as a whole.

Peppered with well assigned and memorable voice-work, the stars anchor the film further yet into such a memorable fantasy. Staring as the scrappy youngster Coraline is Dakota Fanning, who proves she is a very capable voice actress. Moving with her writer parents to the somewhat eerie Pink Palace Apartments, Coraline feels isolated both from her mother (Teri Hatcher) and father (John Hodgman) who are buried in their work while being separated from her friends back home. She entertains herself by visiting her odd neighbours, and avoiding the only other kid nearby, Wybie (Robert Bailey Jr.). One night however, a small door in the wall of the creaky apartment seems to call to Coraline and a wonderful alternate world reveals itself. This land of fantasy is filled with kindness, gifts and love (even though its residents have buttons for eyes); the opposite of the world Coraline has grown to hate. But soon a sinister essence begins to show itself and the young heroine must choose between this new world and the one she wishes to leave behind.

Of the few problems that impede Coraline, one of the most detrimental is the somewhat solemn and depressing mood of the film which is sure to put off some children, even if not the accompanying adults. Coraline's parents are distant and somewhat cruel to their daughter as they bury themselves in work and neglect her desire to simply have fun. Even worse, is that there is no catharsis to this character flaw at the finale, and it left me somewhat emotionless. There is also the aforementioned issue with the sometimes hugely apparent, self-referent wackiness, although I won't hold that against Selick and his personal vision. Above all, Coraline differentiates itself from other stop- motion films and will hopefully anchor itself as this generations Nightmare. Parents and older children will be engrossed by the visuals and those older will be given plenty to admire, even love and those younger will be given a film they can love more with each passing year.

7.5 / 10.0

Read all my reviews at: www.simonsaysmovies.blogspot.com
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10/10
A Fantastic Movie
firefliesgreen51214 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is a story about a girl named Coraline Jones and when they are moving into their new apartment she finds a small secret door in the living room. When she enters this weird and wacky world she has another mother and father. Except they have got buttons for eyes. Coraline soon finds out that her other mother is bad news. The mother just wants Coraline to be trapped in this world and she wants to sew buttons over her eyes to become one of them. Later in the film Coraline finds out that her parents are trapped in a snow globe and there are young children's spirits that want to escape to. Coraline has to get out of this world to get her parents back and to let the spirits free. I loved this wonderful, amazing adventure it is one of my favourite movies.
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8/10
this is what all movies should be
Will satisfy fans of the book I think, pretty close adaptation. They left a fews things out but thats to be expected but there are a few things in here not in the book that I love. One thing I did not really like was the character Whybe, as the fan of the book I think he was unnecessary but if you never read the book hes fine. The music was really fantastic, really puts the right feel in the movie. The real 3D is top notch, top of the line. The movie is beautiful to look at, its beautiful in everyway actually. There is even some adult humor that will go over kids heads too. I thought a lot of the scenes were rushed but overall the movie was great.
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