Wednesday, December 16, 2009


By D.E.Levine

Director: Henry Selick
Writers: Henry Selick (screenplay) and Neil Gaiman (book)
Producers: Claire Jennings and Mary Sandell
Executive Producers: Bill Mechanic, Henry Selick and Michael Zoumas
Line Producer: Harry Linden
Cast: Dakota Fanning, Terri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith David, John Hodgman, Ribert Bailey Jr., Ian McShane, Aankha Neal, George Selick, Hannah Kaiser, Henry Selick, Marina Budovsky, Emerson Hatcher, Jerome Ranft, Christopher Murrie, Jeremy Ryder, Carolyn Crawford and Yona Prost
Original Music: 100 Minutes
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Genre: Animation

Coraline is already making history as the first stop-motion feature ever made in 3D, but additionally, it is delightful.

Based on a popular children's book, the story is based on the age old concept of "the grass is always greener." Moving into the "Pink Palace", a dilapidated old mansion with her busy parents, Coraline finds that no one seems to have time for her.

Although the other tenants are somewhat eccentric, none succeeds in elevating Coraline's spirits and she remains in the doldrums.

After discovering a secret door and climbing through a long passage, Coraline discovers an alternate reality Pink Palace with a warm and loving Mother and Father. The eccentric neighbors perform amazing vaudeville acts in this reality and Coraline feels accepted and loved.

Unsettling though is the idea that the Mother and Father's eyes have been replaced by black buttons, like dolls.

After making several visits to the alternate reality, Coraline becomes convinced that it's better than the life she's living. To remain, however, she must have her eyes removed and replaced by black buttons.

Before she can make her choice, the Other Mother shows herself to be evil and Coraline's real parents disappear.

At this point Coraline is faced with the task of saving herself and her family.

While intriguing and entertaining, for very young children the lost parents and three ghost children will prove disturbing and unsettling.

Except for that, for older children and adults, the film taps into dreams and nightmares involving Mothers, monsters and heroic children.

The sets and puppets are imaginative and the 3D effects make the world come brilliantly to life.