This movie is a favorite of a lot of my favorite people. For some reason, I had never gotten around to it until now.
Coraline is a blend of fairy tale, Twilight Zone weirdness and David Cronenburg style horror. It is a well crafted, psychological tale pieced together from Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella and The Naked Lunch. Technically, it is marvelous. The stop motion animation and models are nothing short of astounding.
I'm sure that every reviewer warns that this movie isn't for all kids. There is little violence and no gore, but this is a movie that rather shockingly attacks children's most basic fears. What happens to Coraline's Dad (sort of) is really awful. In fact, it reminds me of Videodrome, for those in the know.
Coraline also deftly uses adult horror tropes like needles, psychosexual imagery and eye horror. Maybe I'm off here, but my guess is that small children will be horrified, but not really know exactly why. This is a movie that is a big step up from Monster House and Nightmare Before Christmas, intensitywise. I personally would show this to some ten year olds, but no one younger. Be aware.
For everyone else, this is a visually arresting, engaging movie. It is big on wows and a little short on plot, but all together a very fun and unique experience. Buy this movie for your niece who is into Chvrches and Creepypasta.