(PG) Universal DVD/BD

In this devilishly clever 3D stop-motion animated movie, director Henry Selick has adapted Neil Gaiman’s best-selling children’s book with intriguing and, at times, downright wei rd results.

I never quite adjusted to the 3D glasses which made the whole experience intensely surreal (good if you can hack it) and wearying (not so good because you get impatient with what other viewers might think are the really good bits).

Coraline (voiced by Dakota Fanning) moves to a new house with her distracted parents (voiced by Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman). She finds her way into a parallel world where she gains seemingly perfect (though button-eyed) parents.

Soon the dream unravels and Coraline must tenaciously fight her way back to reality.

I loved Grimm Brothers fairytales as a child so I have no difficulty with youngsters being exposed to scary stories — though this one is pretty bizarre and frightening so the PG is necessary.

There are good take-home lessons for parents (don’t get so caught up with work or yourself that you ignore your children) and for children (be careful what you wish for and don’t take your parents for granted as the alternatives might not be good).

Despite the art and ingenuity behind this highly-original film, I felt it needed a less simplistic narrative to justify its 100-minute length.

Marjorie Lewis-Jones


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