Rated PG; Directed by Henry Selick; Starring the voice talents of Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman, Keith David
While watching Coraline I could only think of a one-sentence review: “THIS MOVIE IS FREAKING ME OUT!” I really had a hard time sitting through the movie. With some time to mull over the movie my review turns into something less frantic, but it is still one strange film. Coraline has an interesting concept, excellent execution, and, obviously, it creates one unsettling impression.
Coraline brings us the story of one lonely girl (voice of Dakota Fanning) who finds a magical and fun world on the other side of the wall in her new home. With parents (voices of Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman) who have no time to deal with her, Coraline introduces herself to her strange new neighbors and also stumbles upon an alternate world. In this world her parents are attentive, full of fun, and everything is fascinating. Coraline will discover that this world is not what it appears to be.
Using old-fashioned stop-motion animation, the movie offers some very neat effects. Director Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach) creates an astounding vision of a nightmare world. The overall feeling of spookiness is highlighted by the details in this film. A scene with dancing mice shows how something cute and charming can still seem weird and uncomfortable.
The voice talents are good. Dakota Fanning gives Coraline a believable petulance. Teri Hatcher earns kudos as the busy mother and as the “Other Mother” who just loves Coraline.
The movie is good and freaky. The story is interesting and freaky. The animation is fascinating and freaky. All right, what can I say? I’m still freaked out.