I am so late for the party when it comes to Coraline. As I am not a big fan of animated flicks (I wait for a rather special one to come out and then possibly see it, rather than go see every Pixar/Dreamworks animation at the movies), so it wasn't until last night that I've seen this stop-motion movie. My animation-obsessed boyfriend practically tied me down in front of the TV and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Thus, the review.
Coraline was originally a book by Neil Gaiman. A dark, sinister horror book for children, which gave me the creeps when I was in elementary school. Obviously, I cannot remember the details anymore, but I know that it was well-written, scary and intense, and I loved it. Coraline is a lonely girl, moving to a new house with her detached parents, only to find out a secret door to the parallel universe where everything is peachy, apart from the fact that on the other side, people have buttons instead of eyes. And if Caroline should stay, she needs some buttons as well.
First of all, the stop-motion animation in itself is not enough for me to go, "ZOMFGBBQ". I enjoyed the animation, though I thought that it was a bit patchy at times and also lingered on big scenes, which constantly screwed up the flow of the movie. You know, there is something fabulous Coraline walks into and the next five minutes is a repetition of what you have already seen. This is a small bone to pick, however. The scenes all look wonderful and I bet watching Coraline in 3-D must have been a thrill.
My favorite part of the movie were the voice talents. Coraline is voiced by the freakishly talented Dakota Fanning, who provides lots of character and spunk. The two aged actresses are hilariously voiced by Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, the brilliant British comedic duo. And finally, there is the award-deserving voice performance by Teri Hatcher, who I adore, as Coraline's mother/parallel mother/villain. Hatcher made the movie for me and I can only imagine how kids might be frightened by her character(s).
All in all, Coraline is a fabulous way to spend an hour and a half, especially if you are constantly nagged to watch animated flicks (you can do WAY worse, trust me). This one caters to the adult set, maybe even more than to the kids. It's deliciously creepy and exciting, but is innocent enough for kids to watch it.