Review of Coraline on DVD

It's coming tomorrow (July 21st), but we got the *sneak preview of the much-anticipated movie based on the book -- Coraline! The movie, from Universal Home Studios, and directed by the guy who did James and the Giant Peach, is a bit spooky in parts (OK.. it's rather spooky in most parts.) The story in itself is rather creepy -- Coraline enters a dream world where she has an "other mother" and "other father", both with buttons for eyes.

While little children may be especially frightened by this tale (it contains everything from crawly insects to references to children being eaten by the villian), it's no more macabre than the usual classic fairy tales. (Do you even remember how bizzare Hansel and Gretel were?) Parents will have fun watching this flick with the kids, and while I would gauge it most appropriate for kids ages 5 and up, some younger kids may be OK with it (and likewise, some easily frightened older children may not go for it.) Fortunately, you can tell early on in the movie if it's a bit too much... it gets weird right away.

Amazing technical features of the movie include playback in 2D or 3D (includes 3D glasses) and availability on Blu-Ray. Full of magical destinations, bravery, and wit, I thought it was a good film to watch with the family and then talk about later. (A major theme of the film is not being content with what you have, and paying for it in negative consequences.) Overall, it was artfully done and contained redeeming values that fit in line with our family's film preferences. (Note: One more humorous, but a bit shocking scene, included a big-busted woman in a carnival act. What appears to be almost nakedness -- she is covered in all the sensitive areas -- turns out to be a costume. It raises eyebrows, but is not too concerning.)

For your own sneak peek before the film goes on sale tomorrow, check out the YouTube channel dedicated to clips from the movie. You'll get to see (or hear, rather) Teri Hatcher, Dakota Fanning, and the rest of the cast in some pretty amazing performances! You can also take a walk in Coraline's 3D garden at There, you can print a page from the site and use your webcam and microphone to reveal the garden's secrets. Very cool!

*Sample provided for this review