On the other side of a door inside her house, Coraline finds what seems like a better life.
Rated PG for thematic elements, scary images, some language and suggestive humor. Suuuuuuper creepy and full of menace. (Although no one is injured or killed.) Capable of haunting even parents’ dreams. When the Other Miss Forcible performs a tribute to Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, her titanic bosoms cannot help but draw attention to themselves. Kids who take to the film may grow up to be Goths.
She could stay forever. If she wanted to.
It seems unfair to put Henry Selick’s work in the same category of “stop-motion” as the films of Ray Harryhausen. From the opening titles, in which a pair of spindly mechanical hands tear apart a doll and reassemble it anew, it is clear you are witnessing a singular cinematic work. Compared to the bustle and mayhem of most “animation for children”, Coraline is unnervingly quiet. The story (and the danger that Coraline faces) reveals itself slowly, and without many words, thanks in some measure to the eerie score by Bruno Coulais. As a horror movie this feels less like the spooky macabre of Tim Burton and more like the dreamy disorientation of David Lynch. But, you know, for kids. Featuring John Hodgman and Teri Hatcher as Coraline’s somewhat terrible father and mother (and her genuinely terrible Other father and mother). —