Coraline 3D (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner07/05/2009

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 100 mins

Beautifully animated, superbly designed and impressively directed, this is a delightfully imaginative tale with strong characters and a great script, though it might be too scary for younger children.

What's it all about?
Based on the book by Neil Gaiman, Coraline is directed by Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas), using stop-motion animation techniques but also conceived and photographed in stereoscopic 3D. 11-year-old Coraline Jones (voiced by Dakota Fanning) is an adventurous girl who moves into a new apartment with her parents (Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman) and quickly meets her new neighbours, eccentric British actresses Miss Spink and Miss Forcible (Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French) and Russian mouse-wrangler Mister Bobinksy (Ian McShane).

Ignored by her overworked parents, Coraline takes to exploring the house, whereupon she discovers a secret door that leads to a superior version of her own world, including a more loving and attentive Other Mother (Hatcher again). However, Coraline quickly discovers there's a catch to her new-found paradise, namely that she'll have to have her eyes replaced by black buttons, just like everyone else.

The Good
The spidery, nightmarish quality of Selick's stop-motion animation lends itself perfectly to Gaiman's creepy story and the 3D effects are extremely impressive throughout. In addition, the character designs are fantastic, from Coraline's appealingly quirky moon-face to the spindly weirdness of Mister Bobinksy and the matronly, Scottie-obsessed charms of Misses Spink and Forcible.

The voice work is excellent; Fanning makes Coraline likeable and appealing without being cutesy and perfect, while Teri Hatcher, in particular, is perfectly cast as both Mel Jones and the sinister Other Mother. There's also reliably brilliant support from McShane, French and Saunders.

The Great
Selick orchestrates some terrific set pieces, most notably a stage show by Spink and Forcible and a bizarre performance by Bobinsky's trained mice. That said, the film stumbles a little towards the end with a disappointing climax, while it's fair to say that the subject matter is almost certainly too scary for younger children.

Worth seeing?
Coraline is a hugely enjoyable, beautifully designed animated fantasy that's both creepy and exciting in equal measure. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

Coraline 3D (PG)
Coraline 3D has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 17/07/2018 22:26

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