Wonderfully executed by A Nightmare Before Christmas director Henry Selick, Coraline is an engaging tale from the noggin of Neil Gaiman, one of the most celebrated graphic novelists of all time. Using the painstakingly lethargic stop-motion process; between them, the two men have made a film of substance and heart, with an underlining creepiness that may scare younger members of the audience.
Story sees titular youngster Coraline move away from her friends to an old house in the countryside, so her mother and father can work from home. Bored senseless, she soon makes an unlikely friend in next door neighbour Wybie, who fills her in on their building's eccentric residents. One rainy afternoon, gaining little attention from her parents, Coraline goes exploring and happens upon a door to an alternate world, eerily similar to her own. There she meets her seemingly perfect "other" mother and father, who seem willing to give her all the attention she needs. But all is not what it seems, and she soon realises that her other mother does not fart rainbows as she first thought, and may have a dark motive for trying to get her to stay in their parallel reality.
As overtly gothic as you may expect for the two men responsible for the production, this is an almost old school animated tale, that will appeal just as much (if not more so) to adults, as it will the younger members of the audience.
The story works well enough on its own, and thanks to Gaiman's singular vision, really transports you to both of these worlds. Selick too does a fantastic job of bringing that vision to life, installing a foreboding atmosphere throughout that fits the source material perfectly. One of the best animated films in recent memory, Coraline is creepy with a smile, and all the more enjoyable for it.