In other news, Coraline 3D (a review)

Coraline 3D: What it is

It’s a mooovie. Duh. ;)

OK, so adding a little more detail here…

Neil Gaiman wrote a book called Coraline, about a little girl in a new apartment who feels like her parents are ignoring her. As is wont to happen in these types of tales, she discovers a door to another world, similar to hers, where her Other Mother and Other Father dote on her and give her everything she wants… until things go a bit eery.

There’s also quite a bit of freakyness around buttons.

Coraline won the Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novella for the year 2003, and also won the Locus Award, the 2002 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Work for Young Readers and the 2002 British Science Fiction Award for short fiction. Not bad for an Intermediate-level book…. if you really want to classify it, because I haven’t found an adult yet who didn’t like it.

The movie is out in two versions: normal, and Real3D. I saw the 3D version on Sunday afternoon.

Pros and Cons


  • The movie is just the right length, and will keep you interested the whole way through. I was in a theater full of children and most of the time you could have heard a pin drop.
  • The story, while not exactly the same as the book (for example, there’s an extra character added in) is faithful to the tone and intent of the original. It’s funny, creepy, and a touch heartwarming, without getting stupid or sappy.
  • The rendering of the movie is absolutely gorgeous. It’s done in stop-motion animation the old-fashioned way, but if you’re picturing Clash of the Titans-style cheesy effects, no worries. You really can’t tell that computers weren’t used for this… except that, well, it feels a little more real. A lot of the computer animated films, even the Pixars I love, will jar you out of a state of suspended disbelief with a too-clean-to-be-real shot at some point during the film, but that never happened during Coraline.
  • The 3D effects are used to enhance the film, which is a nice change over the usual jump-at-you screen effects that folks love to slip into 3D stuff. If this film wasn’t in 3D, it would still be totally awesome. Since it is in 3D, it’s that much better.


  • The Real 3D effects take some time to get used to, so don’t get to the theater late. As strange as this sounds, you’re going to want to watch the previews in 3D to give your brain time to adjust.
  • Speaking of the Real 3D effects, this is more a technology thing than the fault of the movie, but they still haven’t found a way to do fast-moving action shots so they don’t look like they stutter a little bit. Especially noticeable were the dragonflies, but it seemed the larger the item the less my brain tripped over it.
  • The soundtrack was… well… I think I was hoping for something out of a Miyazaki film, but it wasn’t quite that enchanting. Creepy? Yes, at times. But very much in the background. If you like your soundtracks in the background – good news! I, um, like a soundtrack I can also listen to while I work.

What I didn’t know until I saw it

If you’re seeing the 3D, take Tylenol in advance so you don’t get a headache. Nighthawk did, I didn’t. I’ve learned.

Who should watch it

Counting down, anyone from ages 126 to… um…. roughly 7 or 8. I didn’t find it frightening (then again, I’ve read the book) but I can see where 25 years ago it might’ve given me a good freakout. (The Neil Gaiman trailer above, on the other hand, well, that still freaks me out.) Since I’m one of the easiest people in the world to freak out, that’s a good sign for everyone.

In summary…

You have roughly 2 weeks to catch Coraline in 3D before it’s only available in non-3D. Regardless of the level of highway robbery currently being practiced by your local theater for 3D films, this one is worth every penny, and you should take the time to go see it.