A nightmarish tale for children turns into an entertaining movie for everyone.
Coraline explores a notion terrifying to children: life changing in such a dramatic way that they can never return home. The quality of the animation is surreal and exquisite; in the opening scene a doll is stitched together by a spider-like mechanical hand, setting the scene for a dark and thrilling tale. Coraline is a journey into a dreamlike and unpredictable world behind a secret door in a spooky Victorian manor. Coraline Jones (Fanning) has just moved into the rattly old house with her workaholic parents (Hatcher and Hodgman) who are too busy being glued to their laptops to show her any attention. In her sadness and boredom, she discovers the secret door which leads into a parallel universe. There, everything mirrors her real life but is brighter and more alluring, down to the eccentric neighbours (French and Saunders). But they all have buttons for eyes. Her "other mother" and "other father" dote on her with delicious food and treats, but her misplaced admiration for them is challenged when they tell her that if she wants to stay, she must let them replace her eyes with buttons, needle and thread at the ready. When Coraline refuses, her other mother's maniacal true colours are revealed. Some of the themes and scenes in this film would most certainly scare young children, but that's part of the ride. It is pleasantly original and with parental guidance, as is recommended, it's sure to be memorable cinematic experience for young eyes.