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4.4 out of 5 stars
Coraline (2D Version)
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2009
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
Coraline tells the story of a young girl who moves into a country house with her parents and finds a doorway into another universe. This other place has a house similar to her real one and a mother/father that look like her real parents, but things aren't quite right; the house is too beautiful and perfect, the "parents" are too loving, and all the people in this world have buttons instead of eyes. Her new "other mother" wants her to stay in this perfect world forever. Then things get spooky.

I haven't read the book by Neil Gaiman, who's a terrific author, but I thoroughly enjoyed this creepy movie. The portrayal of the "other place" is just right: at first it looks beautiful and enchanting, but things just start getting a little wrong and wronger. The other tenants (the country house is split into apartments) are terrific characters; the theater performance of the old ladies in the basement is a scream.

The movie was done in 3D stop-motion animation, and it's the best I've seen. The settings are so colorful and imaginative that for a while I thought it was computer-generated animation designed to LOOK like stop-motion. The blu-ray includes both a 2D and 3D version (with the 3D glasses), but I haven't looked at the 3D yet. Home theaters can't replicate the same 3D technology used in theaters so instead they do the ol' red/green glasses thing. This REALLY screws up the colors which would be a shame in this very colorful movie. In watching it in 2D, there are clearly elements that were added for an in-your-face 3D effect, but you don't really need it or miss it.

Critics have said this movie is too scarey for children. What do I care, I'm 54. People are always underestimating children's ability to process scarey fantasy anyway. I KNOW that when I was a kid, this movie would have scared the daylights out of me and I'd have loved it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2009
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
The Movie:

Let me just state that although I am an adult, I absolutely loved this movie, and think that it would be perfect for everyone of all ages. Director Henry Selick of The Nightmare Before Christmas fame and the incredibly talented crew at LAIKA have painstakingly crafted a beautiful world using stop-motion animation. You have to see it to believe how life-like and expressive these characters are while still keeping the colorful fantasy like qualities of a fairytale animation.

I think one of the reasons why the movie works so well is that even despite the wonderful medium it's been created in, the central story is something that everyone can relate to. For adults, it's about remembering what it was like to be growing up and their relationship to their own parents. For kids, it's about exploration, suspense, and maturing through courage. Watching the movie several times through also compelled me to go out and buy the original book by Neil Gaiman. Interesting as well and definitely worth a look if you're interested as the tale is spun somewhat differently. For those that have complained that the movie may be too frightening for young children, why not ask them their opinion first before assuming that they will be scared. The movie was obviously made for children, included two in the cast, and intended to be scary and fun for their age. Plus, that is a central theme in the story: for children to learn to overcome their fears.

Thank goodness, the creators didn't sell out by shoving a whole bunch of huge actors making "hip" or "edgy" jokes. This one is true to it's own story, and you will fall in love with each of the characters. Now that said, I should definitely mention that the entire voicing cast did a truly superb job: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman (PC guy), Robert Bailey, Keith David, Jennifer Saunders, Carolyn Crawford, and finally Ian McShane who did the unforgetable- Mr. Bobinsky (said with a Russian accent). And the "acting" is really a two-part job as the stop-motion animators did a fantastic job in displaying the character's emotions and dialogue. You really do forget that your seeing only animated puppets and not living creatures.

The Collector's Edition Blu-Ray/DVD:

Outstanding buy! I highly encourage everyone (as I have with all my family and friends) to go pick this one up. The Collector's Edition is great and comes packed with very interesting behind-the-scenes and voicing sessions integrated into the Blu-Ray.

I bet a lot of people are probably wondering about the quality of the 3-D that is offered. The Collector's Edition comes with 6 green-magenta 3-D glasses. So obviously it will not be anywhere near as cool as what was presented in the theatres, but this should not deter you as this is the only way to display 3-D currently on TV's as the technology has to do with the projector not the data (there is talk that new 3-D TV's will be made for the future but this probably won't be available for several years to come).

Personally, I thought this was an outstanding bonus and I will shamefully admit that this was what made me interested in purchasing the Blu-ray (Something I have never done before- bought a movie before actually seeing it beforehand. Somehow, I never really knew or forgot about it when it was in theatres- too bad, missed my chance. Though I truly hope it will return to theatres for it's original 3-D as I'll definitely make it this time!).

Anyways, you should definitely watch the 2-D movie first with it's brilliant colors and subtle details. Then try it out a second time with the 3-D glasses- it's quite neat. Although most of the color is gone with this type of 3-D, some are still present which is actually used to accentuate certain things like Coraline's yellow rain coat! I should mention that some people have complained about getting headaches from using the glasses, but I actually got used to it. And it does work- pretty cool stuff. In fact, I hope this encourages other animated movies to include this feature. It's way too long to have to wait before 3-D TV's are released and even more before they become affordable!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-ray
When the movie started my first thought was - Tim Burton. The feel of the creatures, characters, effects, set, etc. was very reminiscent of Nightmare Before Christmas and the like - and seriously, the darkness that comes out in Coraline has a similar feel.

PLOT: Coraline (not Caroline as many characters try to call her) finds herself in a rented home with a mysteriously secret door in the wall that leads to a parallel world - a parallel world that is dark and devilish. It's also a parallel world where everyone's eyes are buttons. Don't ask me why they are buttons - that was one of the mysteries of the movie that I never understood.

Coraline must first figure out what is "wrong" in the parallel world, then figure out how to fix it, or perhaps get back to the safety and potential boredom of "reality".

CHARACTERS: My favourite character was the cat. The creature was elegant, playful, offered both comic relief and insight, and was simply fun to watch. The animators spent a lot of time on that one and it was well worth it. Coraline was an interesting one - I didn't like her at first because I found her voice and her personality a bit irritating - but as the movie progressed and she discovered new things and grew, I found myself liking her more...even her wild blue hair. As for the other characters you will find a few women with VERY exaggerated breasts. It's not done in a sexual manner so you don't need to worry for kids, but it's very humorous (and you'll recognize the voices of Jennifer Saunders & Dawn French).

ANIMATION: Superb, simply superb. The colours were vibrant and rich, the detail was amazing in even the smallest detail like a cat's whisker. Very impressive and stunning - as I said before, the cat was really quite cool.

OVERALL RATING: I'm giving the movie 5 stars. My initial dislike of Coraline went away quickly, the detailed animation and very well written story made for a delightful evening. Even the minor issue of me not fully understanding the concept of the button eyes does not detract from the movie. (Maybe I need to read the book now and find out more) *** FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY ***
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Coraline, the latest adaptation of a work by Neil Gaiman, has hit theatres. It tells the story of young girl who, along with her rather oblivious parents, has just recently moved to the Pink Palace Apartments in what appears to be Ashland, Oregon. She feels stifled and doesn't like the place, especially after she meets weird local boy Wybie.

Her life becomes rather more interesting when she finds a portal to another world (climbing through something rather similar to a big, blue-purple vagina. I'm not judging, just reporting), where she meets her Other Mother and Other Father, both idealized versions of her parents with buttons for eyes. They lavish love and attention upon her and don't appear to want anything in return. Well, possibly her eyes.

This is a weird little stop-motion animated movie with some of the best, most amazing visuals I've seen on film in a long time. One of the things I love about movies is their abilities to show me things I've never seen and on that level this film doesn't disappoint. The mouse circus alone is worth the price of admission. It's also got a good, if rather basic, plot and some great voice acting.

The film has a brisk pace, and at no point was I looking at my watch, wondering when it would end. The sheer creativeness of what I was seeing up on the screen was enough to distract me from the few plot holes, though I did notice a couple points where it seemed like scenes were missing.

But there was something kind of off about the film. I don't know what it was. It certainly felt somewhat incomplete, and the third act felt kind of rushed (basically, "Go off on a quest!" followed a few moments later by, "Right, quest done!"). Despite that, it was a decent movie and I didn't feel my money was wasted, which is always a plus.

One word of caution about the film. I would be careful on taking young kids to see it. There's some rather dark images here (like a few attempts at removing eyes), that might give kids some rather unhappy dreams. I'd not take anyone under about 8 or so without seeing it first to screen it.

Also, I can't speak to the 3-D effects, since my theatre didn't show it in 3-D. I could tell where there were clearly moments that were supposed to be 3-D but weren't. I've a feeling it probably didn't add anything to the movie to see it in 3-D, though.

So if you want a good time at a film where you'll see things you've never seen before, go to this. If you don't want that, hey, there's always Benjamin Button. At least you'll keep in the buttons theme.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2009
If one of Salvador Dali's nightmares could be transferred to film and shown in 3D, Coraline would be the result. I just saw this movie today at the theater, and I must say it is one of the most visually captivating and surreal experiences I've seen on the big screen. But in a good way! And not to mention I saw this in Digital 3D, and that made it even better! This was the best 3D movie I've ever seen!

This is also the first Stop Motion movie to be filmed in 3D, and I sure hope they make more of them. The 3D wasn't gimmicky with things flying out at you, the 3D adds tone and depth to the movie. Like the scenes in the tunnel- you really feel as if you're in there! and the glasses are great too- they aren't the crappy Red and Blue glasses which hurt your eyes. They're polarized 3D glasses, meaning slightly tinted, like sunglasses. This said, it's crystal clear, and your eyes actually feel good while watching this.

In Coraline, Coraline Jones and her workaholic parents move to an old apartment close to the woods. The place needs a lot of enhancing, and where she lives are two ladies on the lower level and the a crazy but loveable man named Mr. Bobinski on the higher level. She is also being annoyed by Wyborn, a nerd who lives with his grandma. However, in the house, there is a secret doorway which in the day, is justst bricks, but in the evening is a portal to another world. She goes to this other world and finds that her "Other family" lives there, and they have buttons for eyes. They also have the "other" Wyborn, and so on. This is a great place to be and offers happiness until Coraline realizes she must make a sacrifice she'd never make. And because of this, things start getting pretty scary!!!

This is a beautiful and amazing movie. I don't think I've ever seen something so captivating visually and story-wise, and this movie has some beautiful and sometimes disturbing imagery. It really is Dali-ish at times and is pretty stunning to look at. And as I mentioned before, the 3D is spectacular. There is nothing like it. Like I said, it's not gimmicky, it makes the movie more dramatic. It brings the movie to life, and puts you in it. I must warn you this is NOT for kids- it's VERY creepy and for the most part, will frighten the young ones.

So in short, do not miss this movie while it's in theatres, You won't regret it, and if you can see it in 3D, be sure to do it. Too bad the Jonas Brothers movie kicked it out :(. Anyways, see this movie!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Even in its two-dimensional version - which I saw recently - "Coraline" is an instant classic of cinematic animation, using time-honored stop-motion action cinemation. It's a classic fable of good versus evil, featuring a reluctant, almost insignificant, heroine triumphantly prevailing against the dark, sinister overlord of an alternate universe. Director Henry Selick has wrought wonders, working on this screen adaptation of Neil Gaiman's eerie teenage literature (with ample adult overtones) novel. His stop-motion action animation looks realistic, even after one remembers the excessively bright, almost unrealistic, colors of both outdoor gardens and house kitchens set in the "Other" universe. But he's also fortunate to have excellent acting from his cast, especially from young Dakota Fanning as the heroine, Coraline Jones, Teri Hatcher as her mother (and "Other Mother"), and surprisingly, comedian/writer John Hodgman as Coraline's father (and "Other Father").

Young Coraline Jones moves from Michigan with her parents - a pair of professional writers who write catalogs on plants and gardens - to a dilapidated old house set somewhere in Oregon. It's such a dull, dreary place, and poor Coraline is bored to tears with all the attention - or rather lack thereof - she receives from her parents, who are busy writing away, working on their respective deadlines. Until one night she discovers a mysterious door to a different reality, the "Other" universe and meets her "Other" parents, who are far more lively, personable, and caring. Or are they really? Without a doubt, "Coraline" is an impressive achievement of cinematic animation at its best. It is also one of the finest films I have seen in recent years.
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on January 27, 2011
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
My 17 month old loved this movie since it came out. He loves the songs in it. He will sit down on the couch and just watch it then get up to dance when the songs come on. Its very relaxing music so he can also sit there and just fall asleep to it and that is wonderful for moms:)
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on March 24, 2015
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I forgot when I first saw it. I use to have the dvd. So I pick it up again for good price. The story and artwork are great. The female voice (2 of them) are well know to most people. It's about a girl who made a friend with a boy and a cat. They had amazing journey together!
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on February 16, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Love this movie! Tim Burton can just keep churning out these wonderful stories. The style is beautiful and the story is fun. If you love Coraline or Mirror Mask or Stardust go to the book store and look for Neil Gaiman he wrote all the books that inspired those movies.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
When I purchased this Blu-ray I did extensive searches on review trying to figure out what type of glasses they used for the movie and nobody talked about them. When you look at the outside of the case they show cardboard glasses with what looks like they grey style lenses you get at the movie theater. So I was interested to see if our glasses we kept from the theater would work. Upon getting the movie last night and opening the case i was very disappointed to see that they were using green and pink lenses instead of the grey lenses they showed on the cover. We watched the first 10 minutes of the movie because they said they it could take up to 5 minutes to get use to watching the movie with the glasses. As soon as the movie starts Coraline looked like her hair was green for the whole time we watched in 3D even though when i took of my glasses i could see that her hair was blue. When we switched to the 2D version and got through the opening credits we noticed that they were showing a whole different scene then where the 3D version starts. In the 3D version it starts with Coraline looking out the window at the rain and getting a package from Wybie. But in the 2D version you see them unpack the truck and Coraline go up the hill to the hidden well where she meets Wybie for the first time.

I give the Blu-ray a 3 star rating only because the 3D was so bad and they left out a very important part of the movie in the beginning. Other then that the 2D version gets a 5 from me. I loved the story line.
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