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July 21, 2009

DVD of the Week – Review of Coraline (2009)

by NIR SHALEV

Coraline Jones and her parents had just moved into a new house and she is instantly bored. Surrounded by wet woods and mud, to escape the rainy weather she explores her new home and finds a secret door in which a portal appears; but only at night. Traveling to the “other world” she notices that it’s very similar to the “real world” only better. 

Her neglectful parents in the real world are busy with work; her parents in the other world are caring and her mother cooks and offers a lot of delicious food. But there’s a caveat: her new parents have buttons instead of eyes. Coraline gradually realizes that the other world may be more fun and more colorful than the real one, but something about it is off and her “other mother” is too good to be true.

Based on a book written by Neil Gaiman, director Henry Selick has created a beautiful world, a kind of gothic dream. The trees are particularly crooked and the hills are bumpy and steep. We see rats performing in a circus, Coraline’s “other father” riding a gigantic preying mantis at night- in which its eyes beam lights like car headlights- and a trio of creepy ghost children.

I love this film the way I love Selick’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Both films are creepy, funny, and most importantly highly imaginative and artsy. Definitely not for kids younger than the age of 10.

This is review is of the Blu-ray two-disc set. The first disc contains a Director’s Commentary; featurettes The Making of Coraline, Voicing the Characters, and Creepy Coraline; Deleted Scenes; D-BOX Motion; and the option to view the film in 2D or 3D (the set comes with 3D glasses). The second disc contains a digital copy of the film. The film is also available on DVD in two single-disc editions- one 2D and one 3D; on DVD in a two-disc edition with 3D; and in a Blu-ray/DVD set without the 3D option.

Other new releases this week: The Great Buck Howard, Watchmen


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