STARS: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French.
FUN FACT: In order to achieve the look Selick wanted, over 130 sets were built across 52 different stages, spanning 183,000 square feet. The 52 stages were the most ever used for a stop-motion animated feature.
WHY COMPLEX IS CO-SIGNING IT: While we here at 'Plex love Pixar movies as much as, or maybe a little more, than the kids they're aimed at, after a while, all that saccharine shit gets tiring. Even with Wall-e and Up!'s morbid undertones, they're still crazy bubbly. Enter Henry Selick. The man who tamed Tim Burton's classic macabre holiday flick, The Nightmare Before Christmas, aims to deflate all the sweetness in children flicks and his latest movie Coraline does just that.
Based off Neil Gaiman's critically praised novel, the movie revolves around a young girl (Coraline) whose family moves into a new apartment and finds herself neglected and lonely because her parents can't seem to tear themselves away from their work long enough to hold a conversation. While befriending some of her old-n-odd neighbors, she discovers a doorway to an alternate, parallel universe where everything is seemingly better— a place where her parents actually focus all their attention on her. What could have been a heart-warming tale about a protagonist being lost and finding her way back to love turned out to be a dark, at times demented, story about all that glitters not being gold.
Visually, Coraline is stunning. Selick once again used stop motion animation, which meant that everything you saw on the screen was built by hand—no CGI here—making it all the more creepy. Like Nightmare, Coraline is beautifully bleak, but this time there's way more detail to take in. Watching in 3D with the included glasses gives the scenery even more depth. Cartoons may be for children, yeah, but we'd be damned if we don't throw this one next time trifey's at the crib. No kidding.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: 2D and 3D versions of the movie, feature commentary with director Henry Selick, Deleted Scenes, and a "The Making of Coraline" special.