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Be Careful What You Wish For.
"A remarkable feat of imagination, a magical tale with a genuinely sinister edge. Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
|Animated-an adventurous girl finds another world that is a stran gely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinis ter secrets.|
"The results are nothing short of magical. Tasha Robinson, The Onion A.V. Club
"Thankfully, Coraline is appropriately dark, and like its inspiration, is only a children's movie by the thinnest of margins. Tracie Cooper, TV Guide
As covetous children are often warned: "Be careful what you wish for." It?s this very cautionary wisdom that sets the stage for Henry Selick?s CORALINE, an eerily eye-popping stop-motion animation tale of fractured dreams and families made whole. As the films opens, Coraline Jones (voiced by Dakota Fanning) and her parents (Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman) have moved into the Pink Palace, a once-vibrant boarding house that?s turned drab and dilapidated. As her parents work feverishly on a new gardening catalog, the bored and belligerent Coraline is admonished to explore her new world?s possibilities. Along the way she meets her fellow tenants, including two aging English showgirls and a mouse-training Russian acrobat, as well as an outcast neighborhood boy named Wybie. But it is a mysterious hidden door that most piques Coraline?s interest--a gateway to a parallel world where her "other" parents and neighbors live only to see Coraline well fed and endlessly entertained. All is not cakes and carnivals for Coraline, though, and the black buttons that have replaced the eyes of these otherworldly imitations hint at darker intentions. When these intentions are revealed, Cora and a friendly magical cat use their wits and willpower to defeat Coraline?s wicked "other mother" and restore balance in the real world. Based on Neil Gaiman?s beloved children?s novel, director Selick (THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS) uses the stop-motion technique to bring CORALINE to life with amazing visual and emotional depth. The result is a frightfully magical adventure that will give the whole family plenty to shriek, cheer, and talk about.
Cast & Crew
3 stars out of 4 -- "[T]hose who tough it out with this twisted, trippy adventure in impure imagination will only be the better for it."
Los Angeles Times
"The third dimension comes of age with CORALINE....CORALINE is a remarkable feat of imagination, a magical tale with a genuinely sinister edge."
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "It's gorgeous to watch in all its dazzling stop-motion animation splendor....It's exquisite images have an undeniable whimsical appeal."
"[Selick] stays at child's eye level, letting the 3D process subtly reinforce how a youngster's imagination can be more vivid and real than reality itself."
New York Times
"[A]n exquisitely realized 3-D stop-motion animated feature....CORALINE lingers in an atmosphere that is creepy, wonderfully strange and full of feeling."
"Everyone's in love with someone in HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU, a not-quite-romantic-comedy....Slickly adapted by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein from the popular book....[The film] rolls out like an instructional soap opera."
"CORALINE is a dark delight....This eccentric and deliriously inventive fantasy finds stop-motion auteur Henry Selick scaling new heights of ghoulish whimsy, buoyed by a haunting score that works its own macabre magic."
"This thrilling stop-motion animated adventure is a high point in Selick's career of crating handrcrafted wonderlands of beauty blended with deep, disconcerting creepiness." -- Grade: A
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "The animation is absolutely breathtaking and should be seen in 3D to be fully enjoyed. The story is creepy fun..."
"Selick's imaginative sets and puppets are in perfect pitch with Gaiman's fantasy. The 3-D effects aren't overdone but are used intelligently to make this world come brilliantly to life."
"Selick has complete command of the 3-D format, adding eerie depth and texture to the image..."
Included in Entertainment Weekly's "The Best Films Of The Year" -- "[M]esmerizing....Selick creates a stunning alternate universe for the solitary little girl of the title..."
Included in Chicago Sun-Times's "The Ten Best Animated Films Of 2009" -- "A distinctive visual style and great imagination combine with the deliberate oddness of the animation to create an eerie effect."
3 stars out of 5 -- "Artfully shot....CORALINE packs a lot in....Admirably, it never condescends..."
Rolling Stone 9 of 10
It's not just the 3-D glasses that add an extra dimension to the horror and hilarity of Coraline. For those who can't see themselves forking over hard cash to stare at a cartoon about an 11-year-old brat (Dakota Fanning voices Coraline) whose neglectful parents (Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman) move her to a remote part of Oregon, let me say this: Director Henry Selick, the magic man behind The Nightmare Before Christmas, did the dazzling stop-motion animation. Neil Gaiman (Sandman), a rock star among graphic novelists, wrote the story. And if that doesn't grab you, think of what Japanese anime genius Hayao Miyazaki did with another little-girl story in the Oscar-winning Spirited Away. Coraline isn't in that class, but Selick and Gaiman will take you -- and Coraline -- for a certified wild ride. Secret doors lead to an alternative universe where parents and toys only seem to be better versions. Like Alice, Coraline discovers a Wonderland filled with surreal characters and dark implications that make a kid grow up quick. OK, sensitive tykes may be scared s**tless. But those who tough it out with this twisted, trippy adventure in impure imagination will only be the better for it.
- Peter Travers
Chicago Sun-Times 8 of 10
The director of "Coraline" has suggested it is for brave children of any age. That's putting it mildly. This is nightmare fodder for children, however brave, under a certain age. I know kids are exposed to all sorts of horror films via video, but "Coraline" is disturbing not for gory images but for the story it tells. That's rare in itself: Lots of movies are good at severing limbs, but few at telling tales that can grab us down inside where it's dark and scary...Even more rare is that Coraline Jones (Dakota Fanning) is not a nice little girl. She's unpleasant, complains, has an attitude and makes friends reluctantly. Nor does she meet sweet and colorful new pals in her adventure, which involves the substitution of her parents by ominous doubles with buttons sewn over their eyes. She is threatened with being trapped in their alternate world, which is reached by an alarming tunnel behind a painted-over doorway in her own...Credit is due to those who backed this film. I'm tired of wall-to-wall cuteness like "Kung Fu Panda," and wonder if Selick's approach would be suited to films for grown-ups adapted from material like stories by August Derleth or Stephen King...And perhaps I didn't make it clear that it's fine with me that Coraline is an unpleasant little girl. It would be cruelty to send Pippi Longstocking down that tunnel, but Coraline deserves it. Maybe she'll learn a lesson.
- Roger Ebert