Review

Harry swoons over CORALINE!!!

Published at: Feb. 6, 2009, 12:31 a.m. CST

A Film For Brave Boys & Girls... That's how Henry Selick introduced the AICN Austin Screening of CORALINE, the film at the top of my list of Best Films I've Seen in 2009. Of course, there's not really much else on the list at this point, as most of what has come out, are films that were screened in 2008 for Critics, but I think CORALINE is going to have significant legs for my enduring affection. It combines 3 of my favorite things... 1. STOP MOTION ANIMATION... Henry Selick is the undisputed master of the long form Stop Motion Animation movie. With NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH and now CORALINE - he again takes the form and does wonders with it. With every cat whisker, every petal of a living garden, every hair placed by hand... This film is a feast for the eyes... and those of us that pay acute attention will notice that this isn't the same German Expressionistic vibe that you got from NIGHTMARE and CORPSE BRIDE (films I loved), but a richer more calmly delightful palette which feels very much like a warped 1960's aesthetic, think Fiesta Ware pottery and the palatte crystallizes for you. It fits wonderfully. Yes, I know it first came about in the 30's, but it became oh so pop in the 60s. 2. Neil Gaiman... I remember still the days I was introduced to his SANDMAN stories. I read them in bed, because they felt like a performance enhancing drug for lucid dreaming... and they were. Gaiman has a loving, dangerous, intoxicating game of footsie that he plays with the realms that could be described as enchanted. His book, CORALINE is a beloved tome, lovingly brought to life here as Neil dreamt... through the meticulous majesty of Henry Selick's peculiar talents. 3. 3D... Henry Selick's films have a uniformed effect upon me. I want all the toys. Watching those characters moving on that screen... I bought the entire line of Japanese NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH toys - and I'm praying and hoping to see the Japanese do majesty to this realm of creations too. There's a tactile desire to move these characters yourself. When you see a movie of toys (actually impossibly well-crafted and jointed armatures) that come to life through the time lapse magic of all the invisible animators that embody these creations with life itself. AND NOW... IN 3D! Not a 3D that slaps you, but invites you to look closer, to dip your head into the screen instead of dodging things coming at you. Adding to the brilliance is the realization that a single lens, moved barely to photograph 3D from a miniature perspective seems herculeanly impossible to conceive. Yet it makes complete sense. The result of these three aspects being brought to bare with this film left me smiling throughout. An appreciation for 3 artforms all working in their peak form. This isn't NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. This is a completely different universe and style of story-telling. It feels less like the most amazing Seasonal offering, and more like a fairy tale to show your children that gives them the confidence to be curious and the awareness to the dangers that come with it. Is the film too adult for kids? Absolutely not. Is the film too childish for adults? Absolutely not. This is an exquisite creation. A film made of two universes.... ourverse and the otherverse. The otherverse isn't nearly as infinite in expanse and space, but its possibilities seem to far exceed those of ourverse. The question I found myself pondering was... if given a choice between never again visiting a magical universe of stunning possibilities and the mundane world of our actual existence for the mere price of buttoning my eyes... I'm pretty sure I'd want to sew them shut and live with magic. Not that that would be the right choice, but it sure would be a tempting one. The voice work of the cast is uniformly great. In particular John Hodgman's Other Father, Ian McShane's Mr. Bobinsky and Keith David's CAT just entranced me. McShane's Bobinsky never fails to make me smile, while Keith David's CAT voice - combined with the Kong-like fur animation... well... it literally makes me giggle with delight. Especially since the cat defies all laws of the physical universe - and does so absolutely naturally supernatural. When the cat does something, it just feels like a cat should be able to do that... and I'm not a cat person. The doggies and the hopping circus mice are the most delightfully animated creations, to me, in the film. But I have to report that Dakota Fanning's Coraline Jones is the anchor of this magical ship. The magic is that Dakota makes her feel like a real girl - and the animation stylistically creates a magic alternative glimpse of a dream of a little girl, rather than an actual one. If you're wanting to see this film in 3D, you really must rush. As the JONAS BROTHERS' 3D MOVIE will be taking it from every 3D screen in the country. And while this film is absolutely amazing in 3D... I have no doubts that it would delight without fail in 2D. The 3D doesn't make it a BETTER movie, just a slightly more magical one. If you don't have kids... but you consider yourself a cool girl or perhaps you know, date or are married to a cool girl... this film is for all of you. Especially if they've ever gotten a tattoo, a crazy hair color, a cat, have knitted, have a wistful longing for magic. That isn't to say it's overtly girly, but this film has that magic that girls possess. If you appreciate that, you'll truly and dearly love this flickering fairy tale. This film is salve for magical longing and satiates those with a thirst for whimsy.

Readers Talkback

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  • Feb. 5, 2009, 11:15 p.m. CST

    first

    by The Amazing G

  • Feb. 5, 2009, 11:15 p.m. CST

    HEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLZ YEAH!

    by The Amazing G

    I got a first on a Harry review! my life is complete!

  • Feb. 5, 2009, 11:16 p.m. CST

    you've hit by, you've been struck by...

    by The Amazing G

    a smooth criminal!

  • Feb. 5, 2009, 11:18 p.m. CST

    can't wait!

    by mefrog

    seeing it tomorrow. gonna be sweet.

  • Feb. 5, 2009, 11:28 p.m. CST

    Harry said...

    by BiggusDickus

    ...of 'The Sandman' books:<p>"I read them in bed, because they felt like a performance enhancing drug for lucid dreaming... and they were."<p>Wow, I thought I was the only one who did that, H! Meanwhile, have you read Carey's 'Lucifer'? Sublime!<p>Back to the post, I'm really looking forward to seeing 'Coraline', (BTW - how come you Yanks have vocalised it as'Cora-lyne' when the book clearly points out that her name is pronounced 'Cora-leen'? - Weird.) I have a dilemma, though. Do I take my five-year-old daughter to this? She loves 'Nightmare Before Christmas', but the whole 'other mother' concept in this - especially the abandonment vibe and the 'buttons for eyes' might be a bit too heavy going for her...

  • Feb. 5, 2009, 11:28 p.m. CST

    might I add

    by The Amazing G

    that new Pee Wee's Big Adventure Harry animation is hilarious

  • Feb. 5, 2009, 11:28 p.m. CST

    Off topic: Harry should have been Toyman on Smallville

    by Heckles

    I haven't watched Smallville since season 1. With HIMYM and BBT on rerun, watched Smallville and saw the villan was Toyman. Come on, Harry. You could have done that I think. Pull your geek card and get on a show. And not by being lampooned by Horatio Sanz.

  • Feb. 5, 2009, 11:29 p.m. CST

    Herculeanly?

    by WYLD STALLYNS RULES

  • Feb. 5, 2009, 11:35 p.m. CST

    *southern drawl* Swooning since birth: Mr. Harry Knowles.

    by thebearovingian

    Somebody get this man a chair before he faints and falls flat on his ass.

  • Feb. 5, 2009, 11:37 p.m. CST

    For cool girls?

    by Onyx390

    That's not fair. I've done everything on that list, down to the knitting. Now I feel emasculated. Thanks Herc, now I'm gonna have to cry over a pint of Ben & Jerry's.

  • Feb. 5, 2009, 11:43 p.m. CST

    Not just chicks man..

    by ThePilgrim

    I'm talking the kids and I can't wait to see it, and I'm a dude. One effect job in the Nightmare Before Christmas still owns my soul. The scene where Jack shakes up the Snow Globe while doing tests. I still can't figure out how that was done- unless the globe was full of clear gel and each flake was moved with a needle through the gel, but that seems to complex!

  • Feb. 5, 2009, 11:55 p.m. CST

    I'm not very cool but I'm so looking forward to this film

    by Spifftacular Squirrel Girl

    Especially in 3D. <p> I'm also guessing that Push must not be very good considering that I haven't seen a single review anywhere for it yet. Not a good sign.

  • Feb. 5, 2009, 11:59 p.m. CST

    BiggusDickus

    by Spifftacular Squirrel Girl

    First of all... *snortlegiggle* excellent talkback name. And secondly I'm going to take a guess that they changed the pronounciation because of a running joke in the movie where characters keep calling Coraline "Caroline". Flimsy excuse maybe but it's all I've got.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, midnight CST

    Can't wait.

    by Eats_sandwich_gets_laid.

    Hitting the first matinee tomorrow, which has been my plan since they announced the opening date. Gaiman+Selick=MAGIC. I'd love to see Selick tackle a stop motion "little endless storybook."

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 12:01 a.m. CST

    and also

    by Eats_sandwich_gets_laid.

    best Harry animation since the Joker.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 12:14 a.m. CST

    3D is FUCK-ING DIS-TRACT-ING!!!

    by TallBoy66

    Seriously, me and 3D are done professionally.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 12:17 a.m. CST

    HARRY! COME TO PORTLAND!

    by DOGSOUP

    You would like how we KEEP IT WEIRD. If you need proof ask Henry Selick the next time you talk to him. Still, Coraline: Instant Classic. In conclusion The Spifftacular Squirrel Girl is probably the coolest TBer I know considering she understands Marvel's Mightiest Mutant.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 12:26 a.m. CST

    Portland

    by HEADGEEK

    Austin's phrase is KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD... when did Portland start up the KEEP IT WEIRD thing?

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 12:44 a.m. CST

    Portland is like Austin's sister city

    by Bob Loblaw Law Blog

    No joke... I had never been to Austin until the last two BNATs. My wife and I are native Oregonians and love living here in Portland. But, we also absolutely love Austin. <p>They're both, hands down, two of the most bad-ass cities in this country: Full of cool people, interesting shops, creative artists and musicians, weird events, music festivals and more. Plus, both cities are absolutely gorgeous.<p>Funny, enough, I live in the West side suburbs, just a few miles from NIKE's world headquarters and the very warehouse in Hillsboro where Laika studios shot and produced CORALINE. In fact, Teri Hatcher and Dakota Fanning were in town tonight to premiere the film here in Portland. Awesome!! I can't wait to see it tomorrow.<p>As for the slogan, I have no idea how long we've used it... at least for the past decade. Austin probably had it long before we did, but, like I said... the two cities are both the very best of weird. Consider it a compliment that Portland may have adopted it as their own too.<p> BTW, if you and Patricia ever make it up here, my wife and I will be happy to show you around our beloved Rose City.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 12:51 a.m. CST

    People Are Mentioning This Film For An Oscar

    by Media Messiah

    I met a girl in college, who worked on this film. I'm very proud that she has come so far. She could have been a star actor, but she chose art over acting, I guess??? Congrats Cynthia.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 1:11 a.m. CST

    Man Harry wtf..

    by Ironthorman

    I was actually enjoying one of your reviews and then you start with the nonsense speak about tattoos/hair colors and "cool girls" blah blah. What the hell does any of that even mean. Doesn't this looks like an interesting one for anyone who likes artistry in film and/or great storytelling? Why does the viewer have to be weird or off-beat? And for the record that new harry as Pee Wee animation is disturbing. It's like he's too fat to do the dance at full speed. It should end with Harry having a stroke and being carried off by the meat wagon.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 1:16 a.m. CST

    HARRY when in Portland

    by I am the most horrible

    Visit Movie Madness. Kinda right up your alley.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 1:51 a.m. CST

    "... this film has that magic that girls possess."

    by Knuckleduster

    Pussy?

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 2:01 a.m. CST

    Happy b-day HEADGEEK

    by Heckles

    And tell Harry he should be Toyman! I want some person with the black Talkback bar to acknowledge me!

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 2:42 a.m. CST

    Nah - TOYMAN

    by HEADGEEK

    needs to be made out of wood and be stop-motion animated.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 2:51 a.m. CST

    I live in Eugene

    by kungfuhustler84

    which is like an hour away from Portland, and every time I go up there, it's the biggest highlight of my week. I can't wait to finish up college so I can move there and dig in my heels.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 3:07 a.m. CST

    HARRY

    by kungfuhustler84

    YOU SHOULD GET SOMEONE ON THE AICN TO HOST A MOVIE SHOW IN PORTLAND OR EUGENE.<p>Why is it that none of the AICN guys are even close to the northwest? Or am I forgetting somebody? And California doesn't count.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 3:19 a.m. CST

    No suprise that Harry would yield to temptation.

    by V'Shael

    The guy clocked in at over 300lbs at one point. Resisting temptation didn't seem like his forté.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 3:34 a.m. CST

    Get me a twinky

    by kungfuhustler84

    AND TURN OUT THE LIGHTS! WE MUST BE ALONE!

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 4:05 a.m. CST

    Well Said, Harry, EXCEPT...

    by ericinwisconsin

    ...The Neil Gaiman point should be #1, not #2.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 4:24 a.m. CST

    well...

    by HEADGEEK

    STOP-MOTION is number one with me, because when I fell in love with the process... it was 1973, eons before Neil Gaiman had ever been published. So... for this geek, STOP-MOTION comes first as a beloved art form, because it came first in my life and passion.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 4:34 a.m. CST

    Simple

    by kungfuhustler84

    stop motion goes all the way back (probably even earlier) to 1933 King Kong. I'm pretty sure there were some more primitive forms of comics by this time, but come on, 1933 King Kong is some ridiculously iconic stuff.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 4:39 a.m. CST

    That said...

    by kungfuhustler84

    comics are definitely my number one.<p>Getting a comic from my parents was like having a quiet little birthday in the corner of the room, that just so happens to involve the greatest present you ever received.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 6:09 a.m. CST

    There was swooning over Twilight as well

    by stooopider

    Swooning I tells ya

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 7:33 a.m. CST

    Uhh Harry, As far as keeping it Weird

    by Undead Neverhood

    In case you haven't noticed, many cities have stolen that Austin saying and are marketing it and have been for a few years now.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Button-eyes

    by Yeah I Wrote That

    Harry needs button-eyes in his next animation.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Harry swoons over EVERYTHING

    by cob666

    I can't trust anything Harry says any more. I used to be able to know how good a movie really was by reading one of Harry's reviews but he seems to like everything these days. With Harry's previous track record, how can he be trusted to tell us the truth?

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 9:11 a.m. CST

    I get really scared when I think of Harry Giggling..

    by Righteous Brother

    Imagine being a kid, with Harry's shall we say, larger form, sat behind you, his giant head a mass of orange hair, and Harry, giggling....it scares the hell out of me.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 9:15 a.m. CST

    TEQUILA!

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    I'm laughing my ass off at that new Harry animation...

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Perfection?

    by scorpio2049

    I was a little disappointed with the perfection of Corpse Bride. While I liked the movie a lot, I wish it had a less polished look to it, sort of like Nightmare had. Nightmare had a raw look to it. Harry, as a stop motion fan, do you think the line between stop motion and CGI is being blurred?

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 9:39 a.m. CST

    WOW, Harry Swoons...

    by KosherWookie

    Over a film that's been advertising heavily on his site for a month... Lucky fucking coincidence, ain't it?!?!

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 10:13 a.m. CST

    KEEP BOTH AUSTIN AND PORTLAND WEIRD, RESPECTIVELY

    by DOGSOUP

    This is a matter of research I'm going to have to dig deeper than on the internet. I couldn't find definitive starts to either the KEEP PORTLAND WEIRD movement or the KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD movement. I do know the local and awesome music store Music Millenium has been distributing bumper stickers and T Shirts for over 15 years now. This information is now a top priority for me and I'll be calling people who would know. You can count on me to report back with my findings. Harry, you love it when people get hyper- passionate over things, well I'm hyper-passionate over this city and from the testimonals from the Portlandians and Oregonians on this thread I'm not alone. I say, ANY city that embraces its Weirdness enough to have a Movement, whether Portland or Austin or any other city that considers itself and its residents Weird enough to deserve it, makes our country and reality better! I don't have time for cynical "We thought of that first! You guyses stoleded it from us!!" thinking because I'm too busy enjoying the Awesomeness that comes out of these Weird cities. Currently, I'm enjoying the Weirdness Austin is providing as are we all. Today I plan on going to Movie Madness to gawk at the movie props and rent a bootleg copy of the Global Frequency pilot. Thanks I am the most horrible, that's a fantastic idea. Continue posting stories by Fatboy, continue stories about Will Vinton Studios or Laika Studios, continue covering movies based on Dark Horse or Oni Press comics, and I will continue to cheer about KEEPING PORTLAND WEIRD. In solidarity, I applaud you Harry for doing your part, successfully indeed, in KEEPING AUSTIN WEIRD. In conclusion, I thought the whole point of getting into things so hard you "geek" out over them was to make your reality better and not everyone else's worse.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Harry,a fellow stop motion fan here

    by Deus X Meshuga

    I definitely want to check this movie out. Also, it's nice to see an animation where you're not being murdered for a change! :p

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 11:18 a.m. CST

    The start of "Keep Portland Weird"....

    by The Ghost of Marcus Brody

    First of all, I didn't realize there were that many Portland talkbackers! Hellz yea! DOGSOUP is right, the phrase "Keep Portland Weird" was indeed started by local portland independent record store "Music Millenium" as a promotional bumber sticker in the nineties. The phrase (and the stickers) caught on and are now seen everywhere. Like Austin, Portland is in fact an incredible town with an amazing music, art and film community. If you wanna come on up Harry, you can crash on my couch and I'll show you around. DOGSOUP is right though, Movie Madness is a definite must see.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 11:21 a.m. CST

    WEIRD

    by I am the most horrible

    Yeah DOGSOUP, I had heard the Music Millenium dude was the one who started the KEEP PORTLAND WEIRD campaign. The other day I saw a KEEP PORTLAND BEERED, and of course there's the KEEP PORTLAND WIRED bumperstickers for LIVE WIRE.<p> And Kungfuhustler84: AICN's (comics dude) Vroom Socko is a Stumptowner. <p> Portland and Austin are similar cities of artistic and cultural mojo. We're like ley line nexuses of cool.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Speaking of stop motion....

    by Darth Macchio

    Anyone know when the "Wallace & Grommit: Curse of the Wererabbit!" is coming out on Blu?<p>Love, love, love me some stop motion!!! Used to make cheesy stop-motion vids when I was a weerat (seriously, with those ancient and gigantic Quasar VCR with a camera almost the same size as modern news cameras, etc)...

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 12:59 p.m. CST

    These movies can't hold my attention for 90 mins.

    by BobParr

    NIGHTMARE and CORPSE BRIDE get really boring after 1/2 hour or so although I will concede that they were well done. JAMES and the GIANT PEACH was my favorite of these because of those two horrible sisters. They were great villians.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Harry, much of your writing just baffles me.

    by LoneGun

    "...the cat defies all laws of the physical universe - and does so absolutely naturally supernatural. When the cat does something, it just feels like a cat should be able to do that...and I'm not a cat person." I have no idea what you're saying. But I'm glad if it made you "giggle with delight".<p>I'm equally bewildered by this humdinger: "...a magic alternative glimpse of a dream of a little girl, rather than an actual one." All righty, then. Let me think about that.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 2:09 p.m. CST

    My kid digs shit like this. I like porn.

    by Stuntcock Mike

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Without Nikki Dial or Seka I tend to nod off.

    by Stuntcock Mike

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Horror movies for kids

    by Adelai Niska

    Glad that someone still makes 'em. I used to LOVE movies like monster squad, somethign wicked this way comes, even tremors. Still do, really.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Coraline: a film for fat goth chicks.

    by Chuck_Chuckwalla

    Nothing wrong with that, I'm married to one.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 6:23 p.m. CST

    Chuck...

    by BiggusDickus

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 6:24 p.m. CST

    ...you have my sympathies.

    by BiggusDickus

    I went out with one for three years...

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 6:25 p.m. CST

    ...and I never want to hear

    by BiggusDickus

    another fucking 'Draconian' or 'Dimmu Borgir' album as long as I live.

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 6:51 p.m. CST

    Keep Santa Cruz Weird

    by donkingkong

    Austin, Portland, Does that leave roon for Santa Cruz?... When does the word start losing it's flava'?. Austin you orginatating weirdisseur's of all things weirdacious what say ye?... http://www.metroactive.com/papers/cruz/10.26.05/weird-0543.html BTW, what happened to the DVD reviews this week Harry?

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 7:29 p.m. CST

    I'm so surprised AICN loved Coraline.

    by Orionsangels

    I wasn't expecting this, :P

  • Feb. 6, 2009, 11:19 p.m. CST

    In Austin, but dig Portland

    by JumpinJehosaphat

    What's with not pumping your own gas there? And does Storm and the Balls still play Dantes?

  • Feb. 7, 2009, 3:44 a.m. CST

    RE: DonKingKong & JumpinJehosaphat

    by DOGSOUP

    DKK: Here buddy, just for you: KEEP SANTA CRUZ WEIRD. Hell no the word doesn't lose its flava! If your city is Weird and you LIKE it that way, there's always room! It does help if hundreds to thousands like it weird enough to want to keep it that way too!<p>JJ: The Not-Allowed-To-Pump-Your-Own-Gas thing was a two-fold reasoning. One it saves gas to have professionals not spill it and Two it creates an industry! Gas Pumper. It's a hard thankless job especially in winter but hey, it's a living. As far as Storm and the Balls they still play Dantes and in fact have a show the 20th this month. Storm Large KEEPS PORTLAND WEIRD every goddamn day of the week. The massive amazon still performs the hardest punk songs in sexy lounge style and her version of Where Eagles Dare by the Misfits is a thing of beauty!</p>

  • Feb. 7, 2009, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Tim Burton'sand Timur's "9" will blow this away

    by dr sauch

    http://tinyurl.com/7v4rm5 Awesome.

  • Feb. 7, 2009, 11:04 a.m. CST

    KEEP EARTH WEIRD

    by I am the most horrible

    And re: Storm Large...born Susan Storm Large...she should have been cast and should still be cast (in the reboot) of the Fantastic Four. It's fated. She'd kick Alba's ass, literally and figuratively.<p>

  • Feb. 7, 2009, 6:14 p.m. CST

    The "9" trailer blew any good will for the project

    by jimmay

    By featuring a nu-metal score. Laaaaammme. Besides, Tim Burton is a producer, which typically means he simply ponied up some of the money in exchange for some of the credit. <p> Come to think of it, however, Burton's lack of creative input in the film is actually a good thing given his track record over the last ten years.

  • Feb. 7, 2009, 7:09 p.m. CST

    awesome

    by TheHumanBeingAndFish

    I went to see this yesterday. It was awesome; best stop-motion film I've seen yet. Great voice work too; esp. Dakota Fanning, French&Saunders, and Ian McShane. I have to say though, the ending was waaaayyy too scary for my GF's 4-year old son.

  • Feb. 7, 2009, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Couldn't believe how different this was from TNBC

    by beastie

    Based on the trailers I expected another film (The Corpse Bride) trying to copy The Nightmare Before Christmas' cult success. I was SOOOO pleasantly surprised. The film was so much more Gaiman than it was Burton and Selick knocked the fucker out of the park.</p><p>Unlike, Harry, I don't care one way or the other about 3D and really didn't notice it the majority of the time. My son didn't seem to notice it either. I, actually, found this film to be better and more well rounded than Nightmare.

  • Feb. 7, 2009, 11 p.m. CST

    The Film Is Not Doing Well??? More Theaters Might Have Helped

    by Media Messiah

    I don't know why, maybe it is because the ads made it seem too scary? I haven't seen it, and I can't say it is my type of movie...although I will say that there is much that can be done with stop-motion (go-motion technology. I have a interesting idea, but I can't share it here, something to do with the way the film is processed. <BR><BR>I think this technology is crying out for a very good story and concept to carry it, so far, however...we have seen only avant-garde and abstract creepy story-lines, and concepts for these films??? They really need a big (pop) culturally accessible concept, to sell stop-motion movies as a commercially viable genre in film. The name Coraline, is even hard on the tongue, speaking of its avant-garde nature. And as for the box office...so far, perhaps if released during the summer, or the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season, with a thousand plus more theater locations, the box office would have been much larger? I wish it had of been. <BR><BR>That said, I'm really proud of my old friend who worked on this movie. I always knew you were a "Star" (a welcomed... and good, inside irony...you get it), Cynthia. The best in your career, is yet to come, so smile...and keep up the great work!!! People are talking Oscar, in respect to this film, that is already success, just to be mentioned in that light.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 1:02 a.m. CST

    Masterpiece

    by BeatsMe

    Really one of the best "kids" films I've ever seen. So rich with detail and subtext. Seriously going to be hard for any "adult" movie to top this this year. I wasn't even that big a fan of TNBC. This movie is just pure imagination, and I came out of it feeling like the world was a little scarier and also a little more beautiful.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 4:05 a.m. CST

    I Love Selick"s work..

    by Droogie Alex

    ..But I just couldn't get that excited over this film, as much as i wanted to. Corpse Bride, either. Nothing seems to match up to the perfection of "Nightmare"

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 8:28 a.m. CST

    Media Messiah, you mean dealing with the lack of motion

    by half vader

    blur? They've solved that. You just use retiming software to generate the right amount of motion blur based on the movement differences frame to frame. There's a bit of cleanup in lateral motion (as with super slo-mo live action photosonics type stuff), but it solves the problem pretty easily. <p> Better than playing with exposure and stuff like go-motion too. I think they used a touch of it on the Tauntaun in the Empire SE (but they left the Walkers alone because they were appropriately mechanical).

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Coraline was half CG and it is stil a kid's film

    by Rupee88

    I saw it yesterday with some chick I am banging, so I thought it would be nice to go with her. It was a tolerable kiddie movie...the story was very much overly simplified and on a childlike level. It is too childish for an adult with a mature brain. And if you think it is 100% stop-motion or even anything approaching that, they you clearly are dumb and/or deluded.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 10:02 a.m. CST

    And Harry "swooned" over Godzilla & Attack of the Cloens

    by Rupee88

    I think that says it all...or at least a whole lot.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 11:07 a.m. CST

    More like .9 % CG, Rupee88

    by jimmay

    From an interview with Neil Gaim: <p> CGI was used in the same way that hand-painting is used in traditional stop-motion: to paint out armatures and to paint out cracks. There’s a thin line on Coraline’s face where they take off the lower face plate and replace it, and they painted out those two cracks in post-production. It’s the same thing people would do painstakingly with a paintbrush, except they’re doing it painstakingly on a computer.” <p> "I think there was one CGI star-field where the ghost-children appear, and now they have their eyes and they’re gold. And they CGI'ed the star-field because, however much they tried, they couldn’t get the hand-painted one to work.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Half Vader

    by Media Messiah

    There are additional things they can do with the tech to take out the herky jerky movements of the characters that don't appear to be getting explored, again...I have some ideas, but placing them on a open source wouldn't be too smart for me...but, I am not so much concerned with the technology, as that can be solved, more over, I'm concerned about the lack of commercial stories being explored in this medium. It, stop-moton animation, simply can't grow as a film genre without stories and concepts specifically tailor made to attract a bigger audience.

  • Feb. 8, 2009, 10:36 p.m. CST

    Still don't get ya MM

    by half vader

    After they solved the motion blur which DOES solve the "herky-jerky movements" (which are caused by the lack of natural blur/resulting strobe effect), what else is there? They don't NEED to do anything else at this point. Maybe because you're so secretive about your brilliant technique you're not communicating your original point properly? Explain what the mysterious "additional things they can do" are. I'm also guessing you're not talking motion arcs as opposed to linear blurs, but Pixar have solved that one anyway from memory so... <p> I just don't understand your logic about stop-motion needing a big mainstream commercial project to validate the technique (and this actually seems more important to you). Firstly, that's extremely backward thinking. Sure, let's water down the content. THEN every LCD trog will get why it's so great! Yeah! Secondly, have you never seen TV? I don't know how you missed all those Christmas specials (usually Rankin/Bass), or every second British 5 minute kids' show, but stop motion has been mainstream forever. And I'm not even talking about mixed live action/animation stuff like Harryhausen. Have you never heard of Wallace and Gromit for crying out loud? Sorry for the sarcasm but I just can't see the logic. <p> For such a dying art, there are like 5 stop-motion features coming out this year that I can think of off the top of my head. Not too shabby. And none of them are Bros. Quay/Jan Svankmajer dark. You ignore one other thing. Maybe people don't feel the NEED for lowest-common-denominator stuff to be made in stop-mo. As opposed to the current situation which is to use stop-mo where it's most SUITED to the content. You really want the cg thing to happen here where they use cg whether it's appropriate or not just to be mainstream? I don't think you've thought this one through at all. Why is widespread inappropriate use a validation of the technique?! <p> The one thing I'll concede is that from the trailers at least, the claymation/stop-motion feature $9.99 doesn't seem to have any valid reason for being done in the technique as opposed to live-action. But hey, it's exactly the sort of validation you're after... <p> Finally, apart from not being able to articulate your thoughts/views clearly, you make the same mistake as nearly everyone else. As Brad Bird said, animation/stop-motion animation is NOT A GENRE! Do you know what the word means? It also casts doubt over all your other comments as far as you using the right terms or having a proper understanding. No offence mate, but maybe you can reword some of your points because it's just not coming through with a clear logic.

  • Feb. 9, 2009, 1:48 p.m. CST

    I've never understood the tattoo thing...

    by DeadPanWalking

    ... doesn't everyone realize that by getting a tattoo, you're more easily identified, described, or tracked by the police? Am I the only talkbacker who cares to limit my identifiable physical characteristics? I have enough scars as it is, I certainly don't need any other obvious physical marks.

  • Feb. 9, 2009, 3:13 p.m. CST

    For the record

    by mukhtabi

    Now that I did see Coraline today, I'm planning to go see it again this weekend with the family. Truly awesome film. Henry Selick has created a gem.

  • Feb. 10, 2009, 2:43 a.m. CST

    Had to run out and catch this tonight.

    by gotilk

    I can't even begin to imagine the Jonas Bros bumping this out of 3d. They should be ashamed. It was ASTOUNDING!!! First time a film truly excited me in years. Absolutely blew me away. Go out and catch this before the 27th, when it will be replaced on every available 3d screen it's playing on. I have never seen anything like it. Stick around after the credits, too, for a really cool 3d stop motion pre-wire removal demo. It's short but just a cool tidbit. I hope a lot more of that stuff makes it to blu ray (IN 3D, no matter how sucky the 3d is in comparison to realD). Came up with a great name for 3d porn projection. NU-D (get it? NUDE-IE.. lulz) Imagine what Russ Meyer could have done with Real-D! Ok I'll quit now. GO SEE IT NOW!! You will not regret it.

  • Feb. 10, 2009, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Overrated. Underwhelming.

    by s0beurself

    I really want to like 3-D movies. I do. But for fuck's sake, if I'm ponying up $27 to see a movie, I want to be blown away. Both my girlfriend and I agree, nothing about Coraline was truly 3-D except for the very beginning and the end. On top of that, the movie was very anticlimactic. Don't get me wrong, the animation was beautiful. But every time a new set piece was introduced, it never amazed me the way it should have. That goes for plot devices, like the 'game' towards the end of the movie, which was a game only in name, because she was never really challenged. So yeah. . . Coraline was wayyy over-rated. You guys HYPE shit up WAYYY too much. Fuck.

  • Feb. 10, 2009, 9:03 a.m. CST

    It didn't FEEL 3-D

    by s0beurself

    I'm not challenging whether or not it was 3D. It just felt like a gimmick more than it did anyhthing else.

  • Feb. 10, 2009, 10:07 a.m. CST

    I just saw it, and I didn't like it as much

    by Organs

    Oh, sure, it was a fun movie, and I definitely prefer it to any Pixar movie I've seen, but I have to recite the familiar adage: "the book is better". I know, everyone's sick of hearing/reading that, but it's true. Neil maintains more mystery. He doesn't over-explain anything. He lets the unknown simmer and take root, furthering the horror contained in the story. What's more, I thought it was ridiculous to add a character who resembles a not-so-likable new Cosby kid. I didn't like that Mr. Bobo was named early in the film, and had his name changed. I didn't like that I can count on one hand the number of lines in the book that made it in the movie. And a number of other details, but overall, as much as I liked the movie, I much, much prefer the book.

  • Feb. 10, 2009, 7:21 p.m. CST

    True story : children cried when I went to this.

    by MyManD316

    Not not because it was moving, but because it was disturbing as hell. Plus, the seen where the big chested mermaid started her routine I saw some parents leaving outraged. Whatever people say, there will be some younger kids and oversensitive adults that this movie will offend and horrify.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 10:19 a.m. CST

    MyManD316: I'm offended...

    by mbeemer

    ...by your inability to spell the word "scene".<p> Just goes to show you, some people will bitch about ANYTHING.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Problem with 3D: motion blur

    by eggart

    anytime the camera moved the entire scene would turn to mush. Increase the frame rate please.

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 5:15 p.m. CST

    My buddy made their armatures

    by spcglider

    A friend of mine has a business making wat he calls "The Berkey System". He recently made a new set called the "microboy". After the animators on Coraline saw them, they ordered everything he had!

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 5:45 p.m. CST

    Harry, do you know if anyone has tried to

    by rben

    watch Coraline in 3-D who has had Lasix? A while back i tried to watch Meet the Robinsons in 3-D with those glasses and literally saw nothing but a blurry screen. Lasix may be the achilles heel as far as 3-D is concerned which sucks for me since it appears that alot of fantasy films are heading in that direction. sigh...

  • Feb. 11, 2009, 8:14 p.m. CST

    rben...

    by Organs

    There were maybe, two scenes total where something actually left the screen and came out at you. This movie should be just fine in 2D.

  • Feb. 12, 2009, 9:08 a.m. CST

    This movie was awesome

    by Russman

    So freaking, freaking awesome. Go see it. Ignore any haters or people who didn't care for it - they have no imagination nor a soul. Just go see it.

  • Feb. 13, 2009, 7:40 p.m. CST

    Not one word about the STORY, Harry?

    by jrb

    What the hell kind of film review is this? If you want to write an article bout why you like stop-motion, fine. Just don't try to pass it off as a film review. I saw Coraline 3d and was disappointed by the story. All the answers and solutions were just handed to her. There was no real struggle. Loved the design and the world fully realized. Too bad the story wasn't as good.

  • Feb. 14, 2009, 9:01 a.m. CST

    saw it last night

    by robamenta

    coudlnt wait for it to be over so i could get out of the theater...not terrible...but it is flat...just does not work

  • Feb. 14, 2009, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Harry....

    by benlinus

    Have you noticed on these talkbacks that people are ragging on you more and more every week? Your film reviews are becoming nothing more than self absorbed rants about your childhood or what helps you sleep at night. Read a Quint review and then read one of your reviews, big difference big man. Your reviews are the ramblings of someone on Prozac or Lithium. Time to pack it in my friend. Count your money, run things behind the scenes, have some kids, and leave the reviewing to REAL reviewers, not self absorbed egoists. Just some words of advice friend....

  • Feb. 14, 2009, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Harry needs to not be afraid to not like a movie

    by chrismata

    Every review is some sort of love for a mediocre movie.

  • Feb. 16, 2009, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Almost Agree...

    by brain drill

    I drove 30 miles past my local cineplex so I could be sure and see Coraline in 3D, and I'm glad I made the trip. I pretty much agree with most of your review Harry, except for the part about Fanning. Though I think she's been good in most everything she's done, I think this is her weakest performance to date. I felt the same way about Spirited Away (one of my favorite all time films), that it would have been perfect if they would have just cast a female lead with a less shrill, shrieky voice. I really got lost in all the other characters, forgetting their human counterparts and just embracing their on screen persona... but not with Fanning, she kept pulling me back "out of it."

  • Feb. 16, 2009, 10:14 a.m. CST

    tattoo, crazy hair color, knitting, longing for magic

    by ArcadianDS

    I dont know any but I see them all the time outside the Hot Topic with striped socks on their arms with the toes cut out for their fingers.<p> They eat at Panda Express and smell like a blended concoction of feet, burnt tires, and venereal disease.

  • Feb. 17, 2009, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Finally saw this bitch....and in 3D too

    by Fart_Master_Flex

    Seriously genius. It was just amazing art. Neil Gaiman's work brought to stop motion life in 3D. I wanted to stand up and applaud at the end but didn't because I'm not a douche. Seriously though, Oscar contender for best animated film fo sho. Take that Pixar!!

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Faces were sculpted on a computer

    by ThePilgrim

    It started with one hand sculpted clay marquette for each characters face. These were scanned into Maya using a 3D scanner. The faces were remodeled in Zbrush and Maya to maintain every detail and imperfection the original sculpt possessed; stylized wrinkles, bags under the eyes, moles and freckles that all needed to remain consistent throughout the expressions. The models face shape changes were rigged using blend shapes in Maya and posed for the various facial positions, Each facial transition was saved and printed out on a Perfactory Rapid Protype machine <P> I pretty much knew this when I saw the trailer. The animation transitions between each swapped face and the retention of previous shape placments was too perfect in contrast to the previous faceshape for real world hands to make them. There seemed to be some absolute perfect symmetry in other areas of the faces like the distace of the eyes and their shapes. Yes Coraline was made on a computer- Each face shape infact, These pose shaoes were rapid protyped into the real world primed and painted. It would have been impossible for them to sculpt the 15,300 different faces for the characters needed and maintain the perfect fitting each swap face had. and it's not a bad thing. Computers are changing the world of practical effects, and dare I say improving them. Coraline would not look or move as smooth and seemless as she and the other characters did without the PC. Even the fog was a cgi insert... So Harry bro... Eat crow on this one.... Movie kicked major ass by the way!

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 3:49 p.m. CST

    Those mouse did start on a computer too

    by ThePilgrim

    The shape was made on the PC in and then it was animatede and each pose of that mouse from each frame of the animation was saved as file and it was Rapid Protoyped into the real world!!!! CGI sucks ass huh.... Hahahahahahahahahaha

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Printer used- Objet Geometries Connex500

    by ThePilgrim

    Not the Perfactory.. Damn they aren't spreading the word on how this was made like they should. I saw nothing about this on youtube. This was an innovative process. It will and has forever changed how the large scale studios will make stop motion films. It may have even opened the door for other studios to try their hands at it, where they might have avoided it beforehand due to the labor involved to make the swap faces. The process is offcially streamlined and redefined to a more user friendly level.

  • Feb. 20, 2009, 4:22 p.m. CST

    ope this film is an Oscar contender next year.

    by ThePilgrim

    Why the hell didn't they send it out in time for the oscars???? Wall-e- phpppfffffff... <P> Still have to post more info<P> Quint and Weta should look into from PC to real world RP for his Creature Flick The Home. Those dolls would be more animated and the heads would be produced much faster!!!<P> On with the last bit of info on the Rp revolution.<P> The filmmakers used three of the cutting-edge 3-D printing systems from Objet – the Eden260™, Eden500V™ and Connex500<P> From the opening scene through the entire film, movie-goers see startling animations stemming from Objet technology, particularly in the fluid, life-like facial animation of the characters. Talented artists at LAIKA used Objet systems to create hundreds of models with individual facial expressions that were exchanged on puppet characters to create the illusion of all manner of actions and emotions, from talking and smiling to laughing and crying. <P> Marking the first use of 3D printed replacement faces in a feature-length film, the character of Coraline had the potential to exhibit well over 208,000 facial expressions. By comparison, the main character in the 1993 stop-motion film The Nightmare Before Christmas – by the same director – had but 800 possible expressions, and was considered a breakthrough in animation in its day. Objet was also utilized in the creation of, among other elements, prop silverware, doorknobs, door hinges and food spreads, and made possible the first-ever sequence of computer aided stop-motion morphing, a special effect that seamlessly transforms one image into another. In another first, the technology also enabled a fire to be created with physical, replaceable models, and allowed the film-makers to generate vast numbers of near-identical characters, eliminating the need for computer duplication.

  • Feb. 23, 2009, 3:02 p.m. CST

    My 1,250 cents...

    by pieman0226

    It seems we've seen this borderline between two worlds before (in theme not in story), ie. Bridge to Terabiathia, Pan's Labyrinth...and I wasn't into either of them. During each climactic sequence, it seems like the fantasy world should have its top blown off...yet each of these movies seem to limit themselves right there. All of them are take-offs of Alice (which Burton will take to a whole new level), but why are they capping themselves? The characters all seem very 2D...sure with their quirks. I wont even get into questions about "Why" regarding the story, just....Why NOT!! regarding production. Sure it's a NBC take-off, mixed with Alice. Sure it "looks beautiful" in 3d, and the new claymation-esq style is smooth, can be work well. But in NBC, our socks were blown off. All of a sudden the boggeyman did this whole next level thing in his labyrinth. Here, we have the evil Mom in her spiderweb? I feel like I've seen it before, not that I havn't "seen everything before", but still, next-gen claymation, with NBC director, in 3D....? BLOW ME AWAY! don't leave me hanging. not to mention that extremely depressing mood music. Did it have to be sad piano steps the entire film? Is it really neccessary? Was this a pessemistic/ depressing enough storyline to warrent such sad teardrops on the piano?

  • March 1, 2011, 8:27 p.m. CST

    pieman0226 missed the damn point of Pan's Labyrinth

    by TheKiller7

    Damn fool thought that film was suppose to be a freakin Narnia film with lots of cgi sequences and unicorns romping around in the background. It was an adult fairy tale, you fool.