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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Coraline DVD Review

Coraline - An Alliance Films’ Release

On DVD: July 21st, 2009

Rated PG for frightening scenes; not recommended for young children.

Running time: 101 minutes

Henry Selick (dir.)

Henry Selick (screenplay)

Neil Gaimen (original book)

Bruno Coulais (music)

Dakota Fanning as Coraline Jones

Teri Hatcher as Mother / Other Mother

Jennifer Saunders as Miss Spink

Dawn French as Miss Forcible

Keith David as Cat

John Hodgman as Father / Other Father

Robert Bailey Jr. as Wybie Lovat

Ian McShane as Mr. Bobinsky

Special Features: "DISC 1 (DVD-18): SIDE A (Theatrical 2D Version) - Feature Commentary with Director Henry Selick and Composer Bruno Coulais (On/Off)

SIDE B (3D Version) - Feature Commentary with Director Henry Selick and Composer Bruno Coulais (On/Off) DISC 2 (DVD-9 BONUS DISC): ***ENGLISH Dolby Digital 2.0 ONLY for Bonuses but all offered with English SDH / Spanish and French subtitles.*** - Deleted Scenes -THE MAKING OF CORALINE (PLAY ALL - The Evolution of the Story; Inspiring Design: Character Design and Art Direction; Directing the Voice Sessions; Making Puppets; Coraline's Closet; Setting the Stage: How Does Your Fantastic Garden Grow?; It's Alive; I've Seen Fire and I've Seen Fog; The Eyes Have it; Wrapping Up Coraline - Voicing the Characters

Digital Copy Included!"

© 2009 Laika, Inc. All rights reserved. Distributed exclusively in Canada by Alliance Films. All Rights Reserved.

Our reviews below:


Coraline DVD Review By John C.


When Coraline Jones, displeased with her parents, climbs through a mysterious door in her wall, she ends up in a terrifying version of her own house and garden. At first everything appears better. But she soon finds out that she is being lured in by the clutches of her evil “other-mother”. This is a classic cautionary tale, but it is told in a very original and imaginative way. While the movie does have changes from Neil Gaimen’s original book, mainly the addition of the character Wybie, it still serves as a good adaptation.

While a lot of this film will be too creepy and intense for younger kids, it is truly a delight for older kids and adults. From the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas, Henry Selick, this is in a lot of ways a darker film than Nightmare, which was mainly a musical. (Contrary to popular belief, Tim Burton only served as writer and producer on Nightmare). Coraline isn’t a musical, but it certainly does have a fascinating musical score, featuring haunting sounds, including a choir singing.

Coraline is a fascinating stop-motion animated masterpiece that should not be missed. With chilling suspense along with scenes of wonderment, this truly is a great film. One of the best movies so far this year.

Coraline is available to buy in 1 and 2-disc formats. Both formats include the film in 2D as well as 3D. It comes with four pairs of glasses with green/magenta lenses. Though nowhere-near as good as the in-theatre 3D, they are certainly an improvement over the red/blue glasses, although they still do drain the colour. The sole bonus on the 1-disc set is audio commentary by director Henry Selick and composer Bruno Coulais. The 2-disc set includes everything on the 1-disc, as well as deleted scenes, an approx. 36-minute making-of, featurettes, and a digital copy of the film. The Blu-Ray set includes all that, plus an additional featurette, U-Control, and BD-Live features. If you don’t yet have a Blu-Ray player, than I definitely recommend you get the 2-disc.


Coraline DVD Review By Erin V.

**** (out of 4)

Coraline tells the story of Coraline Jones, who after moving with her parents to an old mansion, discovers a small hidden door. Through a secret passageway, she finds herself in what she believes to be a ‘better’ version of her new house, complete with an ‘Other’ Mother, and and ‘Other’ Father. The only little difference, is that everyone there has buttons sewn over their eyes. Since Coraline’s real world parents are busy all the time, she starts to like the Other world better. But little does she know, that everything there is just manufactured to ultimately trap her...

This movie is very intriguing. The storyline is quite strange, although masterfully told and animated. The second disc of the special edition includes a very interesting ‘making of’ documentary which runs approximately 36 minutes long. It covers everything from making the puppets used for the animation to the voice work done for the characters. It is amazing to see the amount of work put into this film. It really is absolutely astonishing that everything in the film was made by hand. Even the clothes that each character wears was knitted in miniature form!

The special edition also includes both the 2D and 3D versions of the film. What I find about it is that the movie already seems 3D enough without the extra gimmick. Unlike in theatres that now can use RealD, the kind of glasses that come with this are still with two colours.

The ones here are not like the old 3D, which was just terrible. The old ‘cyan and red’ glasses made you see double images rimmed all over the place with blue and red. No, this here has glasses with one magenta lens, and one green one. When you are wearing them, after about five minutes, you don’t really notice the two colours anymore as they kind of blend together. Also, you see no odd colour rimming on the images on screen. What the glasses do change though, is the colour and the brightness. And that is my complaint about them. The colour is drained on the 3D version - even when you flip the glasses off to compare. It is as though they have drained the green and pinks to more greyish tones so that they are not disappearing for the eye with that colour lens. This makes sense, but unfortunately it means that while we gain a 3D effect, we are losing some of the beauty of the colour.

Overall, I would recommend getting the 2-disc special edition while you can, or if you have a player, BluRay. Coraline is a wonderful, inventive movie in every way!


Coraline DVD Review By Nicole

**** (out of 4)

Coraline is an amazing, stop-motion animated film. When Coraline Jones moves in to a new home, she is bored. There doesn't seem to be anything to do in her new neighbourhood. The neighbours are strange, and the only other kid who live in the neighbourhood is a talkative boy who won't shut up At home, Coraline thinks her parents are boring. When Coraline finds a secret door in the house, she enters to fins a parallel universe where everything seems to go the way that she would like. Everyone, including her parents, seem better, (except they have buttons attached over their eyes). But pretty soon, it is apparent that things are not what they appear to be. When Coraline's "other mother" shows her true colours, Coraline has to escape before it is too late.

The animation is excellent and very original. The attention to detail is amazing. The score by Bruno Coulais is beautiful, possessing an ethereal, almost Celtic sound. The story is very interesting, reminiscent of an old fairy tale; while spooky at times, everything gets resolved in the end. The casting and acting is perfect.

The DVD has both a 3D and a 2D version of the film. The red and green 3D works better than the old red and blue, but still washes out a lot of the colour. However, it is a nice novelty to have. The bonus features are really worth it. The making of featurette shows the many steps in creating stop-motion animation. This was amazing to see. The featurette on voice acting was also really good.

Coraline is an excellent movie, that is worth owning on DVD.


Coraline DVD Review By Maureen

**** (out of 4)

Coraline is a creepily, creative stop-motion animation masterpiece. Based on the book, Coraline by Neil Gaiman the story follows Coraline Jones (voiced by Dakota Fanning) as she discovers a secret door in her family's new home and enters an alternate world. It is there she meets 'Other Mother" and "Other Father' and a host of other creepy characters, all with buttons for eyes. This is a dark but wonderful fairy tale of a story. The whole point of it is "be careful what you wish for."

What makes Coraline work so well is the amazing stop-motion animation. This movie is visually stunning to watch. I saw Coraline in 2D in theatres so I was curious to check out the 3D version on the DVD with the green/magenta cardboard glasses that came with it. While the 3D glasses are a fun novelty I actually prefer the 2D version. The 3D glasses seemed to fade the colour somewhat and were distracting for me.

What I really like about the DVD, other than the movie itself, is the making of feature. Seeing how they did the stop-motion animation gave me an even greater appreciation of how good Coraline really is. The other aspect of this movie that really works is the beautiful music by composer Bruno Coulais. Everything works in Coraline. Director Henry Selick has done a great job with this one.

If you appreciate good animation and a great story you'll want this DVD for your collection.


Coraline DVD Review By Tony

**** (out of 4)

Based on the book by Neil Gaiman, Coraline is the latest stop-motion feature from Henry Selick, best known for The Nightmare Before Christmas. It is a beautiful film with an excellent cast led by Dakota Fanning in the title role and brilliant musical score from Bruno Coulais. More stylized than realistic, the scary story is too whimsical to be threatening to any but the smallest children, and is sure to be among the best animated features ever made.

The DVD is released in several versions, including BluRay and 3D. We didn’t see the 3D version in the theatre, which would have been particularly awesome in the opening stitching sequence. Using the cheap red/blue glasses, the 3D DVD seen up close on a large monitor gave a decent illusion of 3D but the colours were washed out and modified compared to the regular version. Numerous fascinating mini-featurettes covering all aspects of the production are included. The website is also worth a visit, as it provides many delightful surprises, each accompanied by different music based on the brilliant score.


Consensus: Coraline is an animated masterpiece. While definitely not for young children, those 12 & up will really appreciate this cool, kind of creepy, fantasy tale. **** (Out of 4)

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