‘Coraline’ brings more to the screen than 3-D animation


‘Coraline 3-D’

Rating: 8/10

Step into the magical and peculiar world of “Coraline,” where the world literally pops off the screen and fills the air with odd characters and a dark, suspenseful storyline.

This weekend was busy for young actress Dakota Fanning. Not only is she starring in the supernatural thriller “Push,” but she also voices the lead character for this magical stop-motion 3-D experience.

“Coraline” follows the story of the young and clever Coraline Jones. After moving into her new house, she finds a door at night that leads to a parallel world; a world that seems perfect to her. There, her parents pay attention to her and do what she wants and an annoying and creepy boy is silenced and normal.

In this parallel world her neighbors are fun and perform amazing shows to entertain her. The only thing that seems odd in this world is that everyone’s eyes have been replaced with buttons. But what Coraline slowly learns is that this alternate world isn’t exactly what it seems.

Director Henry Selick, who also directed “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” adapted the book by Neil Gaiman and turned it into an amazing stop-motion 3-D movie. Almost every scene blew me away with the fluidity and detail that is otherwise lost in other stop-motion movies. The 3-D effects were entertaining and interesting but the movie could still have been just as amazing without the added dimension.

All the characters, including the minor ones, featured interesting and unique personalities and background stories. Some may say the story was slow to start and quick to end, but that beginning slowness is where all the suspense and mystery comes into play. The quick conclusion is just an exciting climatic end to a beautifully constructed film.

For being a PG-rated film, I would not recommend bringing children. The plot offers a slow, yet suspenseful story that may bore children, as it did with the pair of kids sitting behind me. The climax and ending to the story featured some pretty haunting scenes that go beyond the scale of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

For being the first animated 3-D film of the year, “Coraline” sets the bar very high, so high that other animated films (“Monsters vs. Aliens” and “UP”) may have difficulty trumping Selick’s beautifully animated and written picture.