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Coraline Review

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PG 100 min


So since nothing worthwhile opened this week I'm going to turn you on to a little gem from last week’s openings, CORALINE, an oddball animated feature taken from Neil Gaiman's equally oddball novella.

It's been said that Gaiman writes fairy tales for grownups and that might be so; I've read his American Gods and there's a touch of that in CORALINE. More on that later.

As CORALINE begins, showcasing surreal stop action animation you'll immediately think of Tim Burton. There are similarities but this one is the handiwork of Henry Selick and Dan Casey and not nearly as dark or musical.

The story isn't groundbreaking; there's a young girl, Coraline (Dakota Fanning) uprooted to a strange new home by her "too busy to be fun" parents.

One day she finds a secret passageway to a completely different world. In previous flicks it's a clothes closet or a tornado in Kansas it's not a new hook.

The new world looks much like the old one but for the fact that Mom and Dad are the perfect parents and everything that was dull or creepy before is now magical and exciting.

But there is a downside. You see all the people in the new world have buttons instead of eyes and it seems her “other” mother (both moms are Teri Hatcher) really wants to sew them on to our little heroine's own peepers.

As a matter of fact it's becoming clear that new Mom is more than a little, well, wicked.

If it sounds a little pat, remember that this is Gaiman. His work is spectacularly unreal but on the downside it may feel weird just for weirdness' sake. Not that it isn't interesting or fun but just a bit hard to fathom at times.

Still as always there is no place like home and this combination of a well-told tale and amazing animation is one I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy.





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