Unlike some other recent children’s lit film adaptations (*cough* City of Ember *cough*), Coraline has actually been on the radar of film viewers for a bit now. Maybe it’s due to the Nightmare Before Christmas-style animation, maybe it’s the popularity of the book - either way, Neil Gaiman’s recent Newbery win could not have provided anything but a nice publicity boost.
I’m planning on seeing and reviewing the film soon, but here are what the critics are saying. My favorite is the NPR quote:
“This thrilling stop-motion animated adventure is a high point in Selick’s career of creating handcrafted wonderlands of beauty blended with deep, disconcerting creepiness.”
- Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
“The results are nothing short of magical.”
- Tasha Robinson, The Onion (A.V. Club)
“Coraline lingers in an atmosphere that is creepy, wonderfully strange and full of feeling.”
- A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“Selick puts his real faith not in the gimmickry that Coraline’s audiences will think they’ve shown up for, but in the stronger virtues that they’d likely view as old-fashioned: character, and story, and handmade figures, handmade milkshakes, handmade blades of grass, each one moving utterly persuasively as he and his animators tweak it, frame by frame.”
- Bob Mondello, NPR
“For all its visual delights, however, Coraline remains more an engaging spectacle than a connective drama. That is chiefly because of the writing. Director-writer Henry Selick doesn’t reach for the kind of universality that would enrich the movie.”
- Desson Thomson, Washington Post
Read more reviews at MetaCritic.com.
Watch the Coraline trailer: