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Coraline (movie)

A 2009 stop motion animated fantasy film directed by Henry Selick.

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  • Jan 22, 2011
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Coraline is in my opinion one of the best kids films of the 2000's and one of the best kids movies I have ever seen. It is made by Henry Selick, the mastermind behind Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach, and is made somewhat in the style of a Tim Burton movie. The animation is simply breathtaking and the voice acting is wonderful as well. The only reason I'm not giving it a 90 or 100 is that it scared the hell out of me in the theatre, but not so much in the comfort of my laptop screen.

Coraline is the name of the titular character, Coraline Jones, an adventurous young girl with a boring home life and parents who don't pay attention to her. She also has some interesting characters living around her, like Mr Bobinski, an eccentric russian man who is training mice for a circus, and Ms. Spink and Forcible, two old actresses who stuff their dead dogs and are voiced by French and Saunders. Coraline also encounters Wybie, the grandson of the landlady who she dismisses at first sight as a stupid boy who talks too much.

But all that changes when she encounters a doll that looks just like her. That doll leads her to a tiny door in her apartment. That tiny door leads to an alternate world where everything is perfect and her Other Mother and Other Father lavish all their attention on her. However, everyone in this world has buttons sewn over their eyes and they want to sew buttons over Coraline's eyes. The more times she goes into the world, the more dangerous it becomes, as her other mother wants her to stay. When Coraline refuses, she tricks Coraline into a game. Coraline must find the eyes of the ghost children (if you want to know, watch the movie) and find her parents, who have been kidnapped by Other Mother.

I have not read the book this is based on but seeing this movie really makes me want to. Despite the fact that it is based on a book, its a creative premise with creative characters and good quality animation. That, of course, brings us to the animation. Henry Selick's films have always had good quality animation and this film is no different, having some of the most beautiful stop-motion animation I have ever seen. Something I did find truly terrifying is that the other mother looks exactly like Teri Hatcher (who voices her) and the design of Spink and Forcible actually look like Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley (even though Joanna Lumley has nothing to do with this). Needless to say, great animation for a good movie.

One problem I would just say with this is that some of the images are dark, even scary for younger kids, so I wouldn't watch this movie with anyone extremely young. However, that doesn't detract from it being a good movie, its just there are some scary images. Another thing that is preventing me from giving this a 100% is its mixed-up morals. Surely Coraline and her parents could reach some sort of happy medium on the attention thing? They don't have to lavish all their attention on her, but they don't have to outright ignore her either.

All in all, despite its faults, Coraline is still probably one of the best kids films I have ever seen and far from a blip on the radar of Henry Selick. It features breathtaking animation, a creative plot and characters, and some good voice acting. If you're tired of kids movies that rely on scatological humour and slapstick as opposed to quality, then this is the movie for you. Again, one of the best kids movies of the 2000's and one of my personal favourite kids movies.

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January 22, 2011
I've read the book and enjoyed it and I look forward to seeing the movie.
More Coraline (film) reviews
review by . March 26, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   Yes, yes; I know there is a BOOK called Coraline that was the basis of this film.      I have more time to watch a movie than to sit and read, sue me.      Now that that is out of the way -      Coraline follows a young girl and her parents who have moved from the city where her parents write seed catalogs (but in reality hate dirt). Coraline is bored to tears. She wanders around meeting the other eccentric residents of the …
review by . July 22, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I personally enjoyed this film, though my son refused to continue watching it, just for the mere fact of the dark eeriness that surrounds it. The director, Henry Selick, is much more like Tim Burton than I expected, though I believe they've worked together in the past. However, since I enjoy Tim Burton movies, I enjoyed Coraline. However, I would not recommend it to you if you don't have a humor or artistic appreciation similar to that of Burton's because Coraline is right up that alley.   …
review by . April 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Neil Gaiman is known mostly for his graphic novels and a handful of Children's Literature (not to mention an adult novel or two).  He's all over and has a pretty big cult following.  When he began writing Coraline it was mostly just a free write.  Hence, he didn't know where the story was going or what would happen next.  When he was finished with it, his first thought was: Henry Selick would like this.  And he had his agent send it off to Henry Selick who did, indeed, love …
Quick Tip by . January 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Neil Gaiman's work becomes adapted to the big screen in gorgeous stop-motion animation. This is a fantastic whimsical story about us being dissatisfied with what we have, and our desires that may tend to lead us to a darker path.
review by . May 28, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
You have to feel for Henry Selick. He got somewhat of a raw deal with his directoral debut feature The Nightmare Before Christmas.  Most of the credit and accolades for that film undeservedly went to Tim Burton, who actually only provided the story and some of the character designs. The style and aesthetic of that movie was assumed to be all Burton's, but, after seeing Coraline, it's clear how much was down to Selick.   Coraline is a stunningly well designed movie; beautiful yet strange, …
Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A huge breath of fresh air; gorgeous cinematography and reminder to cherish the things we already have. "Be careful what you wish for."
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Coraline was just so cute and mysterious at the same time... loved it
Quick Tip by . July 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A very interesting animated film, one of my favorites. I suggest watching it with as many people as possible
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
i stumbled across this movie at the redbox, i'd never heard of it. i rented it and was expecting it to be what it was marketed as, a childrens movie. it was great, just not great for kids in my opinion. the story was a little to twisted and grotesque for the younger kids.
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
There's more magic to Coraline than it appears. It's a good film that can be haunting, but it's nevertheless fun, and well put together. Fans of Henry Selick might want to check this out for the sake of curiosity.
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About this movie


For the last three years, the world's oddest and most talented animators, artisans, and puppet fabricators have been hand-making LAIKA's first animated feature film, Coraline. Led by Henry Selick, the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach, this team has created the first stop-motion feature shot in stereoscopic 3D. Based on the beloved best-selling children's classic by Neil Gaiman, Coraline is a fairy-tale nightmere steeped in classic storytelling, craftsmanship, and the old-fashioned art of moviemaking magic. In Coraline, a young girl walks through a secret door in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life - a better version. But when this wondrously off-kilter, fantastical adventure turns dangerous and her "Other" parents try to keep her forever, Coraline must count on her resourcefulness, determination, and bravery to get back home.
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Director: Henry Selick
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Release Date: February 06, 2009
MPAA Rating: PG
Screen Writer: Henry Selick
DVD Release Date: July 21, 2009
Runtime: 96 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios, LAIKA
First to Review

"A gorgeous use of 3D"
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