Sure, the bottom line is a mix of â€śBe careful what you wish for, it may come trueâ€ť and â€śThe grass isnâ€™t always greener on the other side,â€ť but this was a unique and magical way to say it. Â Brought to us by Henry Selick, who directed â€śJames and the Giant Peachâ€ť and a great little film about a Pumpkin King who has grown so tired of the same old thing. (The Nightmare Before Christmas)Â He sees things slightly twisted and has a penchant for shooting his films oneâ€¦frameâ€¦at a time.Â It is a rarity these days to use little puppets and scenes to do an entire movie rather than just doing it all digitally.Â Here we have real light bouncing off real objects going into a real lens, all to portray Coraline bouncing back and forth from the real world to the â€śOther World.â€ť
Coraline and her parents have just moved into an old Victorian house subdivided into apartments.Â Throw in a few odd neighbors, and cat, to round out the cast.Â Mix and pour.Â Coralineâ€™s life is pretty blah.Â Her parents are pretty blah too and they are much too busy being blah to pay any attention to her.Â Bored, Coraline finds a little doorâ€¦you know the door.Â Those little doors you see in movies that always signify creepy? Itâ€™s one of those, Coraline finds this door and goes on through to a dream world, the Other World.Â And you know what?Â Itâ€™s pretty freakinâ€™ swell.Â Heck, Iâ€™d wanna move there too.Â And thereâ€™s the rub.Â Just sing the refrain from The Clashâ€™s â€śShould I Stay or Should I Go,â€ť thatâ€™ll sum it up.Â The Other World thinks Coralineâ€™s pretty swell too and would be very pleased if Coraline stuck around, whether Coraline wants to or not.
Coraline was a bit on the slow side, but in the end it was worth itâ€¦like Thanksgiving turkey.Â It takes a while but itâ€™s good, so you donâ€™t care.Â The score was a bit on the weak side.Â Iâ€™ll have to say I did sit there and think how I could use me some Danny Elfman right about now.Â His music has a bit moreâ€¦twinkle then doom to go with a movie like this.Â As far as audio goes, there are a few scenes that make great use of the surrounds.Â The characters were developed as much as they needed to be.Â The voice acting was well done, supplied by Teri Hatcher, (The Love Boat) Dakota Fanning (Oh no, sheâ€™s going to be in Twilight: New Moon!?) and â€śIâ€™m a PCâ€ť (John Hodgman) to name a few.Â Visually it was a treat.Â From the grass being vividly saturated green on the other side to the subdued hues of where we reside in the real world: tThe landscapes; the opera house; everything was beautiful.
So grab the family and pop in Coraline.Â Donâ€™t worry if the intro reminds you of Toolâ€™s â€śSoberâ€ť video, itâ€™ll get nice . . . for a while.Â And donâ€™t forget to thank Ray Harryhausen.