Coraline Jones is a girl of 11 who is feisty, curious, and adventurous beyond her years. She and her parents have just relocated from Michigan to Oregon. Missing her friends and finding her parents to be distracted by their work, Coraline tries to find some excitement in her new environment. Coraline seriously doubts that her new home...
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Coraline Jones is a girl of 11 who is feisty, curious, and adventurous beyond her years. She and her parents have just relocated from Michigan to Oregon. Missing her friends and finding her parents to be distracted by their work, Coraline tries to find some excitement in her new environment. Coraline seriously doubts that her new home can provide anything truly intriguing to her, but it does; she uncovers a secret door in the house. Walking through the door and then venturing through an eerie passageway, she discovers an alternate version of her life and existence.
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A visual stunner that takes animation to thrilling new heights.
Based on the graphic novel by Neil Gaiman (Sandman) and re-conceived by director Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach) in 3-D stop-motion animation, Coraline (voiced by Dakota Fanning) opens a world of twisted wonder when she passes through a secret door in her new house and suddenly discovers an alternate existence mirroring her own life but making it so much more interesting and satisfying until her Other Mother (Teri Hatcher) tries to turn her little visit into a permanent one.
Fanning is the ideal Coraline -- curious, fickle, frightened and determined. She does an excellent job bringing to life this young girl suddenly caught up in an extraordinary adventure that rivals what Dorothy went through on the road to Oz. Hatcher is properly bland as her real mother and slippery as her Other -- she's clearly having fun ditching Desperate Housewives. Standout is Keith David, voicing an exquisitely drawn but quite mysterious Cat. There's also brief but amusing work from the team of Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French (Absolutely Fabulous) as Coraline's very very British and very eccentric neighbors and an even wackier Ian McShane as the Russian Mr. Bobinsky.
Selick has created a modern classic that tops even his brilliant Nightmare Before Christmas, turning the world of Coraline into something we've seen before. It's Alice in Wonderland times 10 but, despite its soft PG rating, is really dark stuff. Kids won't be turned off by this, but some not-clued-in parents might. The film will be shown in both 3-D and regular formats, but go for the 3-D version if possible. It's a mind-blowing use of the technology and perhaps the best yet put on screen.
Hollywood.com rated this film 3 1/2 stars.
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