Henry Selick’s Coraline, based on the book by Neil Gaiman, is pretty good. Visually enchanting, dark, and imaginative. It’s a bit overlong, but I probably only felt that way because I was wearing slightly uncomfortable 3D glasses the whole time. The 3D effects, however, are terrific. My one big thought, though, is this: will kids see the movie? It feels really scary and disturbing for anyone under 12, but am I being too sensitive about that? I remember “children’s movies” from the 1980s that were “too scary,” but those usually became beloved classics later in life. Coraline forces the question, though. Do you take kids to see it? And, if so, at what age? Before the film, there were trailers for upcoming 3D animated features like Monsters Vs. Aliens and Up. Those will undoubtedly be suitable for all kids. But Coraline is something else entirely. It makes Selick’s The Nightmare Before Christmas look soft, but both films are ultimately quiet different. Focus Features surely knows they have a challenge on their hands, much like they will for their September animated release, the sure-to-be-dark 9. Bravo to them for taking chances.
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