Genre - Stop Motion Animation/Dark Fantasy
Year Released - 2009
Running Time - 100 minutes
Rated PG (for some scary images/themes)
Directed by Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas & James and the Giant Peach)
Written by Henry Selick
*Based upon the novella written by Neil Gaiman (who also wrote Stardust & Mirrormask)
Dakota Fanning as Coraline (she is also in Uptown Girls, Dreamer, and Push - which also came out on Friday - I have yet to see it. She is also going to play the part of Jane - one of the female werewolves - in New Moon, the sequel to Twilight, coming out next year)
Teri Hatcher as Coraline's Mother/the "other mother" (she is also in Spy Kids. She was also in the "they're real and they're spectacular" episode of Seinfeld. She also played Lois in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman)
John Hodgman as Coraline's Father/"other father"
Robert Bailey Jr. as Wybie
Keith David as the cat (he is also in John Carpenter's The Thing & They Live, as well as Roadhouse, Marked for Death, and Platoon
Ian McShane as Mr Bobinsky (he also provided a voice-over in Kung Fu Panda)
Jennifer Saunders as Miss Spink
Dawn French as Miss Forcible (she is also the voice of "the fat lady portrait" that guards the Gryffindor Common Room in the Harry Potter films)
Rating: 5 Skulls
Curious young Coraline unlocks a mysterious door in her family's new home and is transported to an alternate universe that strangely resembles her own - only better. But when her "other mother" doesn't want Coraline to return to reality, our heroine must summon all her courage and ingenuity to go home and save her family.
My two favorite stop-motion animated films are The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach, and they both just happen to be directed by Henry Selick [who directed Coraline as well] I can now add Coraline to this list! This film was beautifully shot and the 3-D puts you right into Coraline's world. The imagery is both stunning and creepy at the same time.
We first meet Coraline exploring around her new home - a 150-year-old Victorian-style house that has been turned into apartments. While exploring, she meets the owner's grandson Wybie [which is short for Why Born] :-( and his 'free to roam about' cat.
We learn that Coraline's family just moved from Michigan - her parents write for a Gardening magazine and seemingly cannot be bothered with Coraline's constant attempts at attention.
During Coraline's meanderings around the apartments we meet the eccentric neighbors ~ upstairs lives a retired acrobatic circus performer, Mr Bobinski, who has taken to training circus mice. Downstairs lives two older sisters who were theatrical actresses, one of whom has an enormous bosom!
One day Wybie brings Coraline a doll that he found in his grandmother's belongings - the doll looks exactly like Coraline, with button eyes. . . While exploring inside her apartment, on a rainy day, Coraline finds a little door in the wall - upon finding the key [which has a button head] she opens the door only to find a brick wall on the other side. After heading to bed after a rather blah meal, Coraline is awoken during the night - she goes downstairs and finds the little door in the wall ajar, with light emanating from behind it. When she opens the door further, she discovers a tunnel that leads to another little door opposite. After crawling through the tunnel, she comes out in a room seemingly the same as the one she just left. She then hears her mother calling her for dinner ~ turns out that Coraline made her way into an alternate reality, similar to her own, except perfect in every way - in this world, her parents lavish her with the attention that she desires, the food is scrumptious, and the neighbors are not that odd at all. The only difference in this world is that everyone has buttons for eyes, and not all is as at seems. . .
Here's the Trailer:
Generally, I like to see movies on Friday, [opening day] however we went to pick up our oldest, from the airport. I wanted to take the whole family to see this one, but 3-D films are more expensive [it would have cost us $57.00, just for the tickets, and that's a matinee!] Saturday, we were out and about all day, so I couldn't see this one until yesterday afternoon [which is generally "family day"]
The reason that I'm telling you this is because I decided to take my two daughters [ages 4 and 8] with me. On the way to the movie, my 8-year-old kept telling my 4-year-old, "this movie might be scary - are you sure you want to see it?" I told them both that it would be fine - if the youngest got scared, she could sit in my lap and hide her eyes, while I covered her ears. . .
Turns out that it was my 8-year-old that got completely freaked! [the 4-year-old was totally fine!] :-)
Again, if it hadn't been for family day, yesterday, I would have gotten on-line to write this review, yesterday afternoon. Turns out, it may have been to your advantage. I want to say that my 8-year-old came into my bedroom, at least 3 times last night, scared from the movie. . . So, if you have any children the least bit sensitive, you may want to see this one first. Just a warning! :-)