Dakota Fanning … Coraline (voice)
Ian McShane … Mr. Bobinski (voice)
Teri Hatcher … Coraline’s Mother / Other Mother (voice)
Keith David … The Cat (voice)
Jennifer Saunders … Miss Forcible (voice)
Dawn French … Miss Spink (voice)
John Hodgman … Coraline’s Father / Other Father (voice)
We were lucky enough to see an advance screening of the film which opens in wide release February 6th. Henry Sellick has directed both the Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach so he knows his way around stop animation filming. Usually 3-D movies have only a few 3-D effects and most are lackluster or just some random thing popping out at you. This movie is designed to be seen in 3-D as the entire film and not just some stunt work. As such it is a much better 3-D experience and is without a doubt the best 3-D film I have ever seen. (This even includes Nightmare Before Christmas).
The effects are astounding, especially the scenes where Coraline’s garden comes to life in the other realm, and also when that realm starts to dissolve. For those that have not read the Neil Gaiman book that this is based on , here is a little run down of events. Coraline Jones and her family move into a new apartment complex , where as her parents ignore her due to being too busy with work, she finds a strange small door that appears at first to be bricked up. She meets one of her neighbors and his cat outside and later he leaves her with a doll that looks exactly like her that he says he found in his grandmother’s house. That night Coraline chases a mouse through the doorway and discovers a world where her "other" mother and father give her all of her heart’s desires. Eventually she realizes that the "other" mother is a monster of sorts and Coraline must save not only herself but her family from the "other" mother with some help from her eccentric neighbors and her friend’s cat. Visually this is the perfect medium for this story. The stop motion captures the surrealnesss of her world and the other world perfectly. Also, only with stop motion could the overall weirdness of the other realm be captured without looking hokey or out of place. The 3-D aspect extends to all of the film and the garden scene in the other realm is definitely the highlight as the flowers and bushes come to life and reveal that the garden has been made to look like Coraline from above. The pacing is near perfect with the book and the voice casting is right on the money as well. Overall this movie is highly recommended, not only as a great film, but as a great example of what 3-D can accomplish when used correctly. Coraline earns 5 stars.